Part one of Kerry’s top 10 favourite songs.

Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan

Dylan at his best, when he’s being a bit bitter and twisted. It’s pure poetry, and I love the way the song builds, and the way he sings some of the lines. He’s a great singer even though he can’t sing. And I suppose most politicians can identify with a song that starts “someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press…”

AT+T – Pavement

I love Pavement. They’re fantastic live too, especially Bob Nastanovich and his random interventions. This is one of their most manic tracks, that gets faster and faster in fits and starts. I love the way it explodes when Stephen Malkmus shouts ‘Go!’ Most Pavement songs are pretty abstract, apart from the occasional almost conventional track like Range Life; you’ve no idea what they’re on about, and musically it’s a bit messy and discordant and chaotic, but somehow it works brilliantly.

Too Many DJs – Soulwax

These guys are geniuses. Live, both their Soulwax and 2ManyDJs sets are absolutely phenomenal. I’ve promised myself that this year I’m going to get to see them at a festival, outdoors under the stars. It would be sublime. There’s something a bit industrial, a bit mechanical about them, which I like. This is another manic song, that accelerates from an already explosive pace and goes absolutely bonkers. It’s great!

Temptation (7″ single version) – New Order

Joy Division/ New Order are the only band where I really notice what individual instruments are doing. I love all the component parts of this – the repetive sequencer line, the guitar bits, the synth drums, Bernard’s vocals. It’s all very tightly controlled, and a bit uptight and unemotional, and then Hooky’s bass bursts in; it’s what gives the song its soul.

New Dawn Fades – Joy Division

I have an almost religious reverence for this song. It’s so bleak lyrically and so powerful musically, it scares me. It should only ever be listened to in the dark, very loud, and not very often. Anything else would devalue it. As with New Order I love all the individual elements, and Martin Hannett’s industrial production is just perfect.

Part one of Kerry’s top 10 favourite songs.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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