13. Gravenhurst – ‘The Prize’

(For John Doran’s youtube playlist : numbers 15/16 go here)

The upside to music journalism is occasionally you get to meet extraordinary people.

“One very bright spring morning, sitting on a bench by the Thames eating ice creams, Nick told me – in the most flattering way possible – that my interpretation of Gravenhurst’s ‘The Prize’ was completely different to what he was singing about. I’d always cursed musicians for refusing to discuss the concrete meanings to their lyrics but on that day I learned that this reticence was a benefit… that songs were hardly ever written for critics, and were nearly always written for listeners and that a song could lose its power as a tool for the listener when the author’s intents were spelled out for them.”

14. Wire – ‘Comet’

In 2007 using my first pay packet from the Quietus I went to watch Wire in an art gallery in Belgium. Bar the actual gig, it was a truly terrible experience.

“From 6pm onwards everything is a horrific psychedelic blur – brought on no doubt by our attempts to sample every alcoholic drink we encountered that had a religious connection. After trying one bottle of everything brewed by monks we sluiced down syrupy Belgian beers called Judas, Satan and St Peter as well. I remember standing at the bar waving my arms about maniacally, shouting: “Of course Poperings Hommelbier was in the fucking Bible. Give me two of them, two more bottles of Barabbas, a yard of Leviticus and a bag of salt and vinegar crisps.””

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