Leeds to Ulaanbaatar: Sound Screen Sponsors Mongol Rally Hopefuls
Some challenges might not be worth undertaking; the physical and mental endurance can often be too much, even on paper. The Mongol Rally may sound like a fun month away on paper, but with 10,000 miles to cover – much of it without dependable maps, through a whole host of language barriers, and in a Hyundai Accent? Well, most people would probably count themselves out.
Sound Screen is extremely proud to be sponsoring – and providing the official soundtrack for – three rookies as they brave the well-established charity drive run by the Adventurists. Hartlepool-born trio Jonathan Carey, James Pattison and Edwina Cassim are the Shantastics, naming themselves after the local term for “unfair” – pretty apt, really. They will travel a third of the way around the world for two charities to make a difference for the lives of those in need – something Sound Screen is more than happy to endorse.
In the spirit of the race, and to make things more demanding, cars departing Goodwood on July 23rd have to be 1.2 litres or less, with fines if you go over this limit (the Shantastics are driving a 1.3). Mongolian authorities request that all cars are less than ten years old when they enter the country, so they don’t get stuck with scrap metal.
So, what put this challenge ahead of other worldwide charity events available? James is happy to answer. “We’d been aware of the rally for a few years, but I was on the BBC website and saw a report – ‘Briton dies in Mongol Rally’ – and I thought ‘ooh, Mongol Rally? That looks like fun, let’s do it,’” he explained. “It sorta went from there.”
On a more serious note, the spirit of challenge is what really runs high. “The charity aspect is really important to all of us,” Carey said. “As much fun at this trip will be, it isn’t a holiday and there is a serious side to we’re doing. Obviously, there is a selfish desire to take part, but knowing we can make a difference in the countries we’re travelling through is a big part of why we’re there.”
The trio are well aware of the challenges that face them; it’s not all about the drive itself. “Border guards are one thing, but we’ve been told to factor bribes into our budget for police,” James sighs. “Some often pull you over just to take money off you, it’s been said.”
The Shantastics have been warned against certain states by the government such as Georgia, Iraq, Iran and parts of China. Even then, most routes aren’t safe. Turkey, Russia, and many former Soviet republics have real problems.
Edwina explains: “Our route from England is France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, back into Russia then finish in Mongolia. We want to swing by Chernobyl and see the amazing architecture the Kazakh capital Astana. It’s the safest way we can go.”
The trio will mainly camp along the way. Cities will provide hostels, while Edwina has been browsing networking site couchsurfing.org. “It’s because we really want to embrace the culture of each country,” Edwina continued. “We want to try everything. We’ve even made plans to stay in a ger – the hut families live in on the Kazakh and Mongol plains!”
Money raised (with a minimum level of £1,000) will be split between two charities: the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, which is endorsed by The Adventurists, and the other – the Shantastics’ choice – is the Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation. Both provide aid to regular people caught up in life-threatening situations. They’ve recently worked in Pakistan, Iraq and Chechnya, which are all close to the planned route but are too high-risk to travel through.
The highlight of the trip to come? Carey spoke on behalf of them all. “Mongolia is a vast, alien environment, unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s where the rally gets really serious – paved roads just stop and you’re going by compass alone. It’s stuff like that which we signed up for!
Of course, Sound Screen wouldn’t simply be as boring as to hook them up with sponsorship alone… in the spirit of driving, good music has been given as a constant companion. With this double CD that gives plenty of established tunes alongside popular songs that fit the drivers’ desires, you too can join in on the fun if you have a Spotify account.
Naturally, there are a few tunes in there that are established driving anthems, such as ‘Radar Love’, ‘Highway Star’, ‘Warning’ and ‘Go Your Own Way’. Plenty of others are directly inspired from driving sequences in films, while another handful are simply feel-good songs included to keep spirits high during the Shantastics’ arduous journey to Ulaanbaatar.
CD1 – get it here!
Deep Purple – Highway Star
Golden Earring – Radar Love
The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider
Foo Fighters – No Way Back
Heart - Barracuda
Supergrass - Richard III
The Primitives – Crash
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Crosstown Traffic
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
Gorillaz - Superfast Jellyfish
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride
Shed Seven – Getting Better
Ram Jam – Black Betty
OK Go – White Knuckles
The Strokes – Juicebox
Iron Maiden – The Trooper
Everclear - Local God
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ With Disaster
CD2 – get it here!
Black Sabbath – Neon Knights
Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere
Queens of the Stone Age – Go With the Flow
Outkast – B.O.B.
The Offspring – Come Out and Play
Green Day – Warning
Sum 41 – Fat Lip
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
The Undertones – Here Comes the Summer
The Specials – Too Much Too Young (Live)
The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums
The Mock Turtles - Can You Dig It?
Face to Face – Disconnected
Beastie Boys – Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win
Tenacious D – Wonderboy
Millencolin - No Cigar
Guns ‘n’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
Billy Idol - White Wedding
Rainbow - Since You Been Gone
Yes - Roundabout
If you want to pledge your support, chip in if you’re feeling generous; a lot of people stand to benefit from their perilous drive. Be sure to follow the Shantastics on their journey too – they’ll be updating their blog during the adventure, as well as their Twitter feed.
Human Relief Foundation: http://www.justgiving.com/shantastics-hrf
Christina Noble Foundation: http://www.justgiving.com/shantastics-cnf
By Matt Gardner