Monday 31 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Tenth Day

"Strange Baby" Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

You still with me? The JSBX have been around forever and you'll recognise some elements of their sound in other bands in this playlist. I've gotta admit this is the first tune they've released that has grabbed me for ages. Another band who played a cracking live session on 6music this tune being a highlight. Turn it up loud!


Sunday 30 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Ninth Day

"Ra Ra Girls" Wife vs Secretary

A band I know very little about but got to hear thanks (again) to a session on 6music for Marc Riley. I like the awkward angular guitar noise, the video is just plain disturbing though!


Saturday 29 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Eighth Day

"Maglite" by Wussy

Not technically released in 2012 but I'd not heard the band before 6music started playing the tune this year from the "Buckeye" compilation that brought together the best of their five studio albums and is their first release outside of the USA. The video is pretty cool as well recorded live in an old RV. Annoyingly I missed them play London (with support from Shonen Knife!) back in October but they'll be high on my list of bands to catch next year.


Friday 28 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Seventh Day

"Where Da Money Go?" The Jim Jones Revue

One of my favourite bands right now and whilst the rest of the album introduced some new elements to their sound both singles off it proved they'd not lost the ability to rock the hell out of a tune. I love the bass and piano intro that maintains it's coda through out and lulls you into a false sense of security before Mr Jim Jones blows your head off with his mighty air-raid siren of a voice.


Thursday 27 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Sixth Day

"The Descent" by Bob Mould

A proper return to form. Perhaps that's harsh on whatever Bob's done since Sugar released "Copper Blue" in 1992 but I know this is the first time since then he's caught my ear.


Wednesday 26 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Fifth Day

"Coastal Command" by Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs

I really wanted to include "Punk Before Chips" a fine tune by the Dreggs that has been a fairly constant feature on Marc Riley's show this year but I couldn't find a copy on YouTube. Anyone familiar with Billy Childish's past form won't notice any radical change in style but I subscribe to the belief that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is the title track from one of three LPs the Spartan Dreggs released on the same day in November, nicely sticking two fingers up to record distribution tradition.


Tuesday 25 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Fourth Day


"Dance At My Wedding" by The Cornshed Sisters

OK, so I intended to pick a new Christmas song to fill this gap but I couldn't find one I liked enough. I toyed with "Christmas Unicorn" by Sufjan Stevens but really it was 12 minutes of tweeness I couldn't cope with so instead here's the stand out track from The Cornshed Sister's debut LP.

"Tell Tales" was one of my favourite albums of the year (though one that didn't make any of my 2012 top fives) so the band were due a bit of recognition on here and this is a lovely tune. Hope you all have a marvellous Christmas Day.


Monday 24 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Third Day

"The Waves" by Villagers

Were Villagers up for the Mercury prize last year? I can't remember but I did catch a bit of a vibe about them around that time that I didn't really buy into. This track, released in October of this year, caught me a little off guard after I heard it randomly on my way to work via the wireless. A really nice tune, though I recommend you don't spend too long staring at that video unless you want to have funny colours dancing in front of your eyes for the rest of the day.


Sunday 23 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - Second Day

"Shut Eye" by Stealing Sheep

Stealing Sheep are a three piece band from Liverpool environs. I saw them support Field Music in February but was a little bit squiffy so don't remember a great deal about either bands. This was the lead single from their debut album and a favourite for me during the first half of the year.


Saturday 22 December 2012

12 Songs for Xmas - First Day

I did this last year, kind of liked it so thought I'd do it again. Basically twelve tunes I've heard and enjoyed this year that I hope y'all will enjoy as well. This should take us up to my first top five of Twenty Thirteen which, assuming I've got my self sorted out, will be my Top Five Songs of 2012.

"Dark Star" by Poliça

A bit of a sleeper hit for me. I heard Poliça quite a bit in the early part of 2012 but they didn't do a lot for me until I saw them on Later with Jools Holland. Two drummers, two bass players and a singer with auto-tune. It shouldn't work but it does.


Friday 21 December 2012

Top 5 Christmas Presents

A little bit earlier than normal with this year's festive top five. Christmas is for me all about the magic of waking up and finding a pile of presents at the foot of your bed or under the tree. This top five is about those presents that made my childhood Christmases memorable before I became a Dad and Christmas became a whole different ball game.

Happy Christmas everyone, I hope you have a lovely holiday break and that Santa brings you everything you hoped for.

1. New Bike - I have a fairly vivid memory of coming down to find a shiny new bike in the front room next to the tree. Oddly, I don't remember much about the bike after this so I suspect it was my first with two wheels and didn't last me all that long. You'll probably be disappointed to read it wasn't a Chopper.

2. Scalextric - A starter set with a small figure of eight track and two classic Minis (one Red, one Yellow). Possibly this was the beginning of my love of Mini's (I now drive a proper one, when it's not off the road for various minor ailments) though I probably saw The Italian Job around the same time. We had the track set up all day on the upstairs landing and I remember spending most of Christmas racing various family members.

3. Transistor Radio - The only present on the list I didn't get from Mum & Dad. Uncle Stan and Auntie Margaret bought me this small plastic radio along with a Concorde shaped gold tie-pin (Auntie M worked for British Airways). At first I was a little nonplussed but when I eventually gave it a go I became enthralled by the stations I discovered. There was a lot of static and foreign voices but I was excited to discover the mysterious Radio Luxembourg and began my discovery of music outside of Mum & Dad's record collection.

4. Subbuteo - The beginning of another minor obsession. This starter set came with a felt pitch (that always rucked up at the crucial moment), two teams (one in Fulham colours obviously), a floodlight (essential for those mid-week late night fixtures) and all the necessary paraphernalia. I probably spent more time trying to collect accessories to make my set look more like a real football ground (camera gantry, grandstand, crowd members, St. John's ambulance crew and the like) than actually playing the game. I did try and keep a mini league going for a while and spent most of my pocket money collecting teams from the wonderful Subbuteo team catalogue.

5. Fulham Kit - My first replica kit (Shirt, Shorts & Socks!) from the 1979-80 season. I'd been to my first game in August and got the football bug. It was an Adidas kit but made from some horrible polyester material that rubbed my skin the wrong way. The shorts never quite fitted me either though I remember wearing the entire ensemble to football practice for several weeks before admitting it was bloody uncomfortable.


Friday 14 December 2012

Top 5 Lidos

Inspired by Lido the Darren Hayman album of instrumentals named after open air swimming pools. I can't claim to have been to all of them but there's something magical about an open air pool, despite the irony of living in a country where swimming outdoors is such an unlikely activity.

1. Saltdean Lido - This is a real gem with a glorious art deco design. Typically Saltdean has had an uncertain future of late but was recently saved from developers and is in the process of creating a sustainable future with community ownership.

2. Tooting Bec Lido - Tooting Bec Lido is one of Britain's oldest open air pools, opening to the public in July 1906. The Lido is on Tooting Bec Common but swimmers are concealed from views across the common by the surrounding tree covered ramp. The colourful doors of the changing cubicles have made the Lido a popular location for adverts and other filming including the boxing "pool" scene in Snatch.

Image removed at request of copyright owner but please check it out in it's original location here at The Telegraph or see more of the photographer's wonderful work here

3. The Upper Deck - This is a near mythical pool from my youth, a place I heard other kids talk about but never visited. I think it sat on the banks of the Thames near Molesey in Surrey. Photos courtesy of , I love the black & white one of people watching the racing though I'm not entirely sure this is the same pool.

4. Hampton Open Air Pool - The nearest open air pool to where I live now which backs on to Bushy Park. It's gone through a bit of a renaissance recently and has even staged open-air concerts by the likes of Bellowhead and Kid Creole & The Coconuts.

5. London Fields Lido - I don't know a great deal about this one I just like the name. Today around 30 acres, London Fields was originally common ground used by drovers to pasture livestock. The Lido originally opened in 1932. After closing in 1988 local residents fought to prevent it's removal and it reopened in 2006. Fully refurbished it provides the only heated outdoor Olympic sized swimming pool in London.

A couple of extra goodies to share.

The diving board at Weston Super Mare Lido was something to behold.

A lido at Hastings is now just a square of grass. My Dad lives in Bexhill so we drive past this quite often and I can sense the echo of it's former glories. Sad it's gone.


Friday 7 December 2012

Guest Top 5 Bond Villains by Daniel Smith

This post has been in collaboration with Daniel Smith. I know very little about Daniel other than that he is a big James Bond fan with a passing interest in poker. A man of mystery then which seems rather appropriate considering his subject choice.

Every James Bond film has a primary villain that Bond must face off against and in many cases risk his life in order to defeat. While all have been formidable in their own way, there are some that have stood above the rest of 50 years of Bond films. Today we give the top 5 villains in James Bond film history.

5. Francisco Scaramanga

Christopher Lee has made a career at playing the bad guy and his portrayal of Fransisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun was no exception. Critics and fans of Ian Fleming's books both agree that Lee's character was the spitting image of the character in the original book.

4. Le Chiffre

The character of Le Chiffre was one of the major highlights of the 2008 remake of Casino Royale. His torture of Bond during the film really put him over the top. A little known fact about Mads Mikkelsen is that he is actually really good at poker in real life.

3. Jaws

Jaws is bigger than life, and we mean that literally. He is one of the most beloved and most well known of all Bond villains and wound up appearing in both The Spy who Loved Me and Moonraker. In addition, he has been used in many James Bond video games as a playable character.

2. Oddjob

Harold Sakata played the strong but silent assassin for Goldfinger and has a steel rim bowler that can be used to cut the heads off statues and people. This alone makes him one of the cooler villains of the series, and he never spoke a word.

1. Ernst Stavro Bloefeld

Appearing in four movies, the most of any Bond villain, the leader of SPECTRE is easily the greatest amongst Bond villains. He also is prominently featured in many of Ian Fleming's books. He is the equivalent of Moriarty, but much cooler.

Friday 30 November 2012

Guest Top 5 - Films of 2012 by Scroobius Pip

Well, whaddya know, back to back celebrity top fives! Sort of. This one came from yet more Twitter snooping, which might well be the way forward for this blog. Mr Pip kindly consented to let me reproduce his list of favourite films from 2012. This proved particularly helpful as I'm on the verge of putting together my own myriad set of 2012 top fives but don't get to see enough new movies to do my own top five films.

I've been following Scroobius since getting involved in the Celebrity Biscuit database thing earlier in the year. He gave me a great reply but as yet I've not had time to write it up. Also the combined pressure of needing to be funny for the CBDB team and knowing that Pip is such a fine wordsmith proved a little daunting.

If you're not familiar with Scroobius Pip's work here's a sample.

You can follow Pip on twitter here and check out his website here.

1. Killer Joe (Dir: William Friedkin) - IMDb entry

2. Ted (Dir: Seth MacFarlane) - IMDb entry

3. The Muppets (Dir: James Bobin) - IMDb entry

4. Dark Knight Rises (Dir: Christopher Nolan) - IMDb entry

5. Lawless (Dir: John Hillcoat) - IMDb entry

Friday 23 November 2012

Guest Top 5 - Asterix Books by Gideon Coe

I'm sure you'll all be aware of Gideon Coe and his excellent radio show on BBC 6music. By luck I happened to notice Gid tweet his five favourite Asterix reads and asked if he'd mind me reproducing it here. Gideon is a gent and was very obliging. If you haven't listened to his show before you should. It's on between 9pm and 12pm Monday to Friday and also available via the BBC iPlayer, you won't regret it.

The Adventures of Asterix are a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. The series first appeared in the French magazine Pilote and have subsequently resulted in a series of thirty four books. The series follows the exploits of a village of indomitable Gauls who resist the Roman occupation thanks to a magic potion that gives them super strength, brewed by their druid Getafix. I loved reading these as a kid and much preferred them to the Tin Tin stories. Asterix was a real hero, a warrior who was the best fighter in the village but also very smart. His best friend Obelix, who had permanent super strength having fallen in the cauldron as a child, was less clever but loyal. For me they represented the victory of the small people over the big and mighty.

Over to Gideon ...

1. Asterix and the Chieftan's Shield (1968)

2. Asterix and the Golden Sickle (1962)

3. Asterix in Britain (1966)

4. Asterix and Cleopatra (1965)

5. Asterix the Legionary (1967)


Friday 16 November 2012

Top 5 Status Quo Albums

There has been one topic occupying my thoughts this week - getting tickets to see the classic seventies Status Quo line-up of Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster & Coghlan play live together for the first time since 1984. A false start on Tuesday, that largely involved me watching my PC do nothing for 20 minutes before telling me the tickets had all sold out, was followed by a minor panic on Wednesday as I was unable to logon at the allotted hour. However, a network of friends were in position to save the day and we're all off to see the band at Hammersmith next March.

Status Quo were my first favourite band. I discovered them in the early eighties but soon worked my way backwards towards the albums of their peak. I didn't see them live until 1986 so, despite attending over 30 Quo gigs, I have never seen the band with Alan Lancaster or John Coghlan. Hand on heart this is the most excited I've ever been about a band reuniting.

1. Live (1977) - I would not normally include a live album in an artists top five but Status Quo are all about the live show and this is the finest testament to them at their very peak. It remains my all time favourite live albums and is for me the ultimate Quo album. Jackie Lynton's opening introduction - "Is there anybody out there who wants to rock? Is there anybody out there who wants to roll? Is there anybody out there who wants to boogie? Tonight! Live from the Apollo! Glasgow! We have the number one rock'n'roll band in the land! Will you welcome? The magnificent! STATUS! QUO!" - is so terrific it still sets the hairs up on the back of my neck. In fact I bought a Jackie Lynton solo album entirely on the strength of this intro.

This is one of the few live albums that manages to capture the feeling of really being at a gig. Despite being recorded over a number of nights specifically for the record it feels like a seamless piece. Francis Rossi is in fine form from his traditional "How are you, alright?" welcome to encouraging the upstairs audience to "get the balcony moving" and later trying get the people down the front to calm down a bit and pace themselves. Early songs like "Juniors Wailing" and "In My Chair" are brought to life and the epic "Forty Five Hundred Times" and "Roadhouse Blues" are extended into monster boogie jams. The album has created memories so vivid at times I can convince myself I was actually there.

2. Hello! (1973) - "Hello!" has long been my favourite Quo studio album, though re-listening to the albums released between '71 and '76 made me realise how difficult it is to split them. I think "Hello!" wins the plaudits for me thanks to opening track "Roll Over Lay Down" and side B opener "Caroline", two of the best songs Quo have written. It also continues the album template set by "Piledriver" (8 songs, 2 classic side openers & an epic final song) with the nine minute "Forty Five Hundred Times". It was the first Quo album to reach Number 1 and the first to be entirely written by the band.

3. Piledriver (1972) - Probably the album that established the band in the Rock pantheon. It has three classic Quo compositions in "Don't Waste My Time", "Big Fat Mamma" and the brilliant "Paper Plane" and ends with a cover of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues". The rest of the album keeps the standard high and it's really a close call between this and "Hello!".

4. Dog Of Two Head (1971) - This is an album that has grown on me over the years to the point where it's close to being my favourite studio album. The band's fourth but the first to be released with the four piece Rossi/Parfitt/Lancaster/Coghlan line up after keyboard player decided he wasn't as committed to rock'n'roll success as the rest. Two seven minute plus songs, "Umleitung" and "Someone's Learning" hint at the band's change in emphasis as does the slightly shorter "Railroad" (one of my favourite Quo tunes). But these harder blues based efforts are broken up but by the jangly pop of "Mean Girl", "Gerdundula" and "Nanana".

5. Quo (1974) - "Quo" edges out "On The Level" and "Blue For You" by sticking to the 8 song template. If anything this album is a little heavier than the previous two possibly a result of Alan Lancaster co-writing 6 of the tracks. "Slow Train" is another of those less well known Quo tracks that I've come to really like, "Backwater" kicks off the album in traditional up beat Quo style and the single "Break The Rules" provides a bit of light relief.


Friday 2 November 2012

Top 5 Songs for Halloween

Another half-hearted attempt though at least I've made this one semi-relevant ... if, admittedly a day or two late.

1. "The Witch" The Sonics - The Sonics kick arse any time of the year and this song is pretty much perfect for Halloween. Maybe Gerry Rosalie is not talking literally but his visceral vocal should be enough to scare the willies out of anyone who's not convinced.

2. "Werewolves of London" Warren Zevon - Not the first time this track has featured in a top five and probably not the last.

3. "Monster Mash" Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt Kickers - A song you'll either love or hate but one that could not be more appropriate for the season. It's a legal requirement that all radio stations play this tune at least once on all hallows eve.

4. "Halloween" Misfits - Not a band I explored much beyond buying the cool t-shirt to be honest. I did see former Misfits singer Glenn Danzig's band support Metallica once and this tune is about as on topic as you could find.

5. "Ghostbusters" Ray Parker Jr - Despite the terrible eighties synth and Ray Parker Jr's sartorial choices that had a hint of mechanic-about-town, this remains quite a tune. The song and the Ghostbuster's logo were well embedded in my psyche long before the film came to town and had the desired effect of making me desperate to see it when it did.


Friday 26 October 2012

Top 5 Songs about Superman

It's been a hectic week and I'm a bit tired so when I heard Steve Lamacq discussing this very topic on 6music I thought I'd use it as a quick top five opportunity. Apologies for what is a fairly shoddy top five with minimal effort (i.e. none) to justify my selections.

1. "Waiting for Superman" Flaming Lips - A highlight from their mainstream breakthrough album The Soft Bulletin.

2. "Superman" R.E.M. - From Life's Rich Pageant and, I only found out when researching this, was originally recorded by The Clique in 1965.

3. "O Superman" Laurie Anderson - Yeah, I know. It's not really "about" Superman but it does reference him and it's a bloody good song so it's in.

4. "The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" Sufjan Stevens - I've not really got into Sufjan Stevens a great deal but I love the fact he was planning to release an album for every single US State. This track is from the Illinoise album. He'd previously released an album called Michigan but now seems to have admitted he is unlikely to complete the full 50 album project.

5. "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" Spin Doctors - What's that? The sound of readers cringing? What can I say, this song was responsible for me buying at least two Spin Doctors albums and going to see them live once. I really liked them at the time. They've not aged well but you have to admit the song is bang on topic.


Friday 19 October 2012

Top 5 Album Back Covers

I recently discovered the wonderful blog The Turnaround which celebrates the art of the album back cover. It's a simple idea really well executed and inspired me to head into the loft and rummage through my old LPs. In doing so I discovered three things; a) I have an awful lot of dodgy heavy metal albums, b) I take really crap photos & c) my loft is not the most comfortable place to spend a couple of hours. Back in the more comfy sections of our house I had a skim through my CD collection and realised there were some better choices in my post-vinyl purchasing history.

1. Beastie Boys "Licensed To Ill" - The debut album from the Beastie's was a bit of a milestone in my musical journey. The front cover seemed slightly incongruous until you turned it over and realised the plane was crashing headlong into a mountain. Apparently the Beastie's weren't that keen on it but it's become something of an iconic image.

2. David Bowie "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars" - It took me far too long to get into Bowie. I used to work with someone who was a huge fan and was related to the photographer Brian Ward who took both front and back images. I like the use of additional colouring that gives the image an other-world feeling.

3. Rolling Stones "Beggars Banquet" - Another simple idea really well executed. Though perhaps not thought so at the time as both the UK and US record companies rejected the design. The band refused to change it causing a delay in the release of the album. Eventually the Stones gave in, allowing the album to be released with a basic white cover imitating an invitation card. However, the Stones were not to be outdone and took out an advert in the music press to encourage fans to buy the original artwork in a form that they could stick over the released version.

4. Marillion "Fugazi" - I had to include at least one Prog album. Marillion were one of the bands that really got me obsessive about music as I rebelled against the prevailing style of pop in the early 80s. Their album covers were full of detail, hints of song meanings and images snatched from the lyrics. I spent hours listening to music whilst studying record covers, a pastime I miss a little but one you can only get away with when you're a teenager and living at home.

5. Black Sabbath "Sabotage" - Managing to be both hilarious and wonderful at the same time. I own quite a few albums that do the reverse image of the front cover thing (Deep Purple's "Come Taste The Band" and Status Quo's "On The Level" were also contenders) but there's definitely something memorable about Sabotage.


Friday 12 October 2012

Top 5 Lighthouses

I've long been a fan of lighthouses. Partly inspired by the romantic notion that I might live on one and enjoy the isolation of being somewhere you could only get to by boat, partly imagining mad-cap adventures as witnessed in The Goodies episode "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies".

1. Beachy Head Lighthouse - Family holidays to Eastbourne would not have been complete without our traditional trip out to Beachy Head. this was the first lighthouse I ever saw and has therefore become the template by which I gauge all other lighthouses. To be frank, as far as I'm concerned, if it hasn't got a domed roof and red & white stripes it's not a proper lighthouse (though as you'll see below I do make exceptions). The current lighthouse replaced the equally famous Belle Tout lighthouse that sits atop the cliffs and has been seen in many film and TV shows, most famously "The Life & Loves Of A She-Devil".

There's a campaign ongoing to raise money to repaint the red & white stripes which are looking a little worse for wear after years of being battered by the waves. This was what got me thinking about a lighthouse top five in the first place. They only need another £5000 to reach their target so if you have a few spare pennies they'd be very glad of any contributions at

2. Start Point Lighthouse - I discovered this gorgeous lighthouse on a trip down to Dartmouth. Built in 1836 it has a wonderfully gothic crenellated tower and a very attractive leaded light window. Whilst some of the charm of lighthouses is their remoteness from the rest of civilisation, I think in reality if I was to pick a lighthouse to live in it would be this one.

3. Eddystone Lighthouse - Probably the most famous lighthouse in the British Isles, it is built in a spectacular location on a small and very dangerous rock 13 miles south west of Plymouth. It has proved a tough location for buildings to survive and for various reasons there have been four separate lighthouses constructed here. The current tower was built in 1882 and has lasted much longer by learning from the mistakes of its predecessors. There's a helicopter landing pad on top too which must be one of the scariest ways to enter a building you're likely to find.

4. Dubh Artach - Similar in location to Eddystone this Irish lighthouse was designed by Thomas Stevenson and was erected between 1867 and 1872. It's thought to have inspired Thomas' son Robert Louis Stevenson in writing sections of his novel Kidnapped. It has a cool name too which, I think, means "The Black Rock" in Gaelic.

5. Royal Sovereign Lighthouse - Undoubtedly the least attractive in this list but probably the one I see most regularly since my Dad moved down to Bexhill-on-sea. It's unusual silhouette is visible along the whole of the beach front and the Sovereign Light Cafe that takes its name has been recently made somewhat famous after Keane recorded a song of the same name and filmed the video outside.


Friday 5 October 2012

Six Songs of Me

Something a little different this week as I discovered The Guardian's Six Songs of Me series. You can check out my Six Songs playlist here, I thought it was a pretty cool way to pick some songs that mean a lot to me. Another step towards maybe writing my top five songs of all time.

1. First Song - "Going Down Town Tonight" by Status Quo - A fairly horrible attempt to "modernise" the Quo sound during a period when Mr Rossi was exercising his love of country-pop and attempting to get away from the typical Quo sound. I was not a fan of chart music and Quo offered me an alternative that eventually lead to classic rock, heavy metal and beyond.

This was the first record I bought for myself (though I'd previously been given records for Christmas including the seminal "Showaddywaddy" by Showaddywaddy and "Chas'n'Dave's Christmas Jamboree Bag"). I remember cycling into Kingston specifically to get the 7" from W.H.Smiths, I bought all my early music in either Smiths or Woolworths, then cycling back with it clicked onto my bike rack. Within 6 months I had most of their early 70s output too (mainly because Pye had re-released them in cheap tape editions).

That video is hilarious, I don't think it's the official one but an interesting juxtaposition of Quo against a backdrop of snow and flame.

2. Gets You Dancing - "Love Shack" by The B52's - Mrs Top Five is not a big fan of dancing whereas ply me with a few drinks and you'll struggle to stop me. This is one of a handful of songs we both enjoy a bit of a bop to. I also derive enormous pleasure from joining in with the "Rusted! Tin roof!" shouty bit.

3. Takes You Back - "Ticket To Ride" by The Beatles/The Carpenters - Mum and Dad weren't huge record buyers but there was enough 60s & 70s pop to stir my interest in music at an early stage. I had to pick The Carpenters version as the SixSongs website didn't have a legit copy of the Beatles to select from but both bands were big favourites while I was growing up.

The Beatles always soundtracked long journies in the car and remind me of holidays in Eastbourne. We had the Red & Blue Beatles compilations on Vinyl and I was fascinated by the covers and the genius of the photographer to get the group in the same location several years apart.

4. Love Song - "We Have All The Time In The World" by Louis Armstrong - A magical song that cheers me up whenever I hear it. This was the last song the DJ played at our wedding reception.

I would have discovered it initially thanks to "on Her Majesties Secret Service", the Bond film for which it was written by the combined genius of Hal David and John Barry. There it is used to great effect to suggest a happy ending for Bond before things take a sad and unexpected turn. It was also the last song Louis Armstrong ever recorded.

5. Funeral Song - "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash - If you can't pick the songs played at your funeral then when can you? No pun intended with the title, I just really like it. It's Cash at his best and that horn section is amazing.

6. Encore - "Debaser" by Pixies - They're my favourite band and, though it's difficult to pin down, I reckon this is my favourite Pixies tune.

It has everything that makes them great, a thumping Kim Deal bassline, some solid David Lovering drumming, disconcerting lyrics from Frank Black and blistering guitar from Joey Santiago.