19. Fat White Family – ‘I Am Joseph Stalin’

For numbers 1/2 in John Doran’s top 20 please go here

Music – should you give it the chance – can cure you.

“I felt subbasement low for well over a week but then snapped out of it on hearing a really good band – the first I’d come across in weeks. And after ten days trapped in a loop of cephalic chaos this album was the only thing strong enough to sort me out. Because despite the art-terrified bouncers, the Del Boy indie promoters, the stupid journalists, the sulking journalists, the lazy, drunk and drugged journalists; despite the hyping hipsters; despite David Cameron, Bobby Gillespie and Tony Parsons; despite weaponised ebola, international terrorism and spiders; despite global dimming, Sharia Law and Kim Dotcom; despite the deathly sepulchres of academia, the merciless bindweed of critical theory and hate-filled message boards; despite the labels and the lawyers; despite the boredom and decadence of a dying culture… despite all of this and more, young musicians still fearlessly strode through this valley of carnage and excrement for little or no reward or thanks with only madness, despair and death as payment. And against all odds and all of our best attempts to stop them, a handful made it through every year untainted, with the thunder still clapping in their chests to deliver the fucking goods. And that is the genius of music. There is literally nothing you or I can do to stop it. It thrives in the most hostile of conditions.

The name of the band was The Fat White Family.”

20. Arabrot – ‘I Rove’

Arabrot are one of the greatest heavy rock bands in the world. [LINK: https://thequietus.com/articles/17544-jolly-lad-extract-an-english-trip-tour-john-doran] Kjetil Nernes is the brains and the brawn behind the group and it’s essentially a dream come true for me to spend the whole of May touring England with him, performing a mix of music and spoken word. The readings will be taken from Jolly Lad but also feature curses, screeds and incantations about black holes, ghosts and regional bus timetables.

“The idea had been with me for months but I only realised what I was doing, in March 2015. As I laid the large fold-out road map of the UK on my living room floor and started placing small star stickers (stolen from one of my son’s Thomas The Tank Engine magazines) over various towns and cities, I tried to pin down where this idea had originated as I marked Salford, Eastbourne, Plymouth, Manchester, Bristol, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, Sunderland, Sheffield, Taunton, Liverpool, Rochester, Cambridge, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Totnes, Nottingham, Northampton, Worcester, Brighton… Every star represented a stop on a reading tour round England I was going to undertake in May 2015 to promote my book Jolly Lad. Each of the small, colourful circles of paper had been placed over the site of a gig location; either in a prison, a library, a school, a record store, a church, a university, a gig venue, an arts space, a theatre, a bookshop or a cinema. Each marker stood for an opportunity I was taking to collaborate with various artists, poets, musicians, writers and filmmakers along the route.”

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