In The Crowd

Blaine Harrison, lead singer of Mystery Jets, is also a ‘property guardian’, who lives and works in the capital’s empty commercial premises.

For a while the entire floor of an office block on London’s Strand was his home. Each weekend he had a front-row seat as NHS marches, Brexit protests, Extinction Rebellion demos and Tommy Robinson rallies made their way past his window. 

In this thoughtful interview with Olly, he explains how what he saw on the streets inspired his songwriting.

Mystery Jets’ new album, A Billion Heartbeats, is released April 3.


Meanwhile, in The Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart considers how the current lockdown has prompted an unlikely rebirth for retro-gaming, VR, quiz apps and even ancient gaming platform Second Life. There’s also some chat about deckchair storage... 

If you have a suggestion of a trend Ollie can test - from his home in Dorchester, for now - get in touch via the Feedback form on our website, 

Thanks to our sponsors, Blue Microphones: we recorded this edition of the Zeitgeist on Blue Yeti X mics.


Elsewhere, down the Foxhole, Alix Fox advises a listener who wants to know what issues may present themselves if he sources the HIV prevention drug PrEP from online suppliers based abroad. 

Alix consulted with the activist team at PrEPster, IWantPrepNow and Terrence Higgins Trust, and, for more about this topic, highly recommends checking out the work of Nathaniel Hall – who wrote a compelling play about contracting HIV via his very first sexual encounter – and following Jason Domino on Twitter.

If you have a question of sex for Alix to answer in a future edition of the show, just visit our website, and click Feedback. You can remain anonymous if you wish.


Our Record of the Month is Bittersweet by Lianne La Havas - and, if you like that, get ready for the album, which drops 5th June.


Wanna be a Mannbassador? Buy us a beer, or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts - and then send us an email to tell us about yourself. 

The Modern Mann is an independent podcast, and we rely on listener contributions to continue. If you can afford to support us financially, please send us a donation via our website, - we’d massively appreciate it.

Stay safe, keep well, and we’ll see you on May 1st.


Presenter: Olly Mann. Producer: Matt Hill. Contributors: Ollie Peart, Alix Fox, Blaine Harrison, Lianne LA Havas. Theme Music: Django Django. Graphic Design: Jenny Mann Design. Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann, 2020. 

This episode of The Modern Mann is supported by Beer52. 

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