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3 November 2015

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Andrew Wasylyk (Idlewild)

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Life Is Like A Box Of Records is back. Today we welcome Andrew Wasylyk (of Idlewild) who is releasing his new solo album Soroky, out November 6th via Empty Words.

You can listen to this latest track, ‘Last Of The Love’ via his SoundCloud.

Fairport Convention – A Sailors Life (Unhalfbricking)

Since we were teenagers, Matthew from The Hazey Janes has been an avid record collector and remains a source of odd and beautiful album recommendations. Many of my informative summers were spent out at his family house in the countryside where we’d take his portable record deck (and a bottle of cheap wine) to a neighbouring berry field and sit in a sunny dreel listening to early Island stuff like Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band, John Martyn. This particular Fairport tune would go on to stoke my appetite for all things drone. Hang in there for Martin Lamble’s kit to kick in.

Guided By Voices – My Kind Of Soldier (Earthquake Glue)

I first came across GBV in 2004 during a Spanish tour with Astrid when they covered Teenage FBI. Robert Pollard’s idiosyncratic chord sequences and lyrics delivered with the utmost conviction have left me floundering for box sets and books since.

Footnote: I met Beatle Bob at a Hazey Janes’ gig at SXSW, 2006 and can confirm he is a lovely, unique human man.

The Meters – Just Kissed My Baby (Rejuvenation)

Early 2000s, some friends and I got ourselves a residency in Dundee as a quartet dedicated to playing scrappy, over-excited funk, soul and rhythm and blues covers. I don’t know how good we were, but we had the best time playing stuff like The Staple Singers, Johnny Guitar Watson, Curtis Mayfield, and The Meters in a sweaty soul club on Sunday nights. It certainly helped developed my hunger for listening to records off the beaten track.

David Axelrod – Holy Thursday (Songs Of Innocence)

In many way this was my introduction to Jazz and orchestrated and embellished arrangements. I dream of assembling a band to play this one day. Haunting magnificences.

Michael Marra – The Beast (Michael Marra With Mr. McFall’s Chamber)

Written for Liz Lochead’s adaption of Beauty and The Beast and surely one of the most evocative uses of the metaphor. I was fortunate enough to have worked with Michael and spent time with him as a friend. He’s never too far from my mind when I think about songs. Many writers wait their whole career to muster the sentiment he finds in the flick of a line.

Footnote: I recall listening to this in the dead of a 5:30am January darkness at the wheel on the way to catch the Oban-Mull ferry, to get to the studio, to capture what would soon become Soroky. Through stifled tears I narrowly missed a galloping Stag with my grandfather’s Nissan.

Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gz And Hustlas (Doggystyle)

Though I’d be inclined to say my favourite hip-hop album was probably Nas’ Illmatic, this record was the only cassette my brother and I had during a long and argumentative car journey down to London many years ago. It made an indelible impression, not to mention the drive more bearable. Almost certainly Snoop at his 1993 peak too.

Deerhoof – The Tears And Love Of Music (Offend Maggie)

Innovate, explosive, playful. For me, this band is the perfect composite. Turn this up and through yourself about a little.

Nina Simone – You Can Have Him (Nina Simone at Town Hall)

I doubt there’s much I could add that hasn’t already been said about this mesmerising version of Irvine Berlin’s song. It reminds me of my time touring in Electric Soft Parade across Europe in 2011 when they were opening for Noel Gallagher. We listened to a lot of music on those long, dark winter drives. One minute the van stereo was blasting Mission Of Burma, the next some Stanley Unwin gobbledegook. Her vocal glides like a symphony on this.

The Beatles – And Your Bird Can Sing (Revolver)

My first Beatles album, bought entirely on the strength of Klaus Voormann’s sleeve collage. Perhaps slightly predictable having The Fabs in there, but their importance to popular music can’t really overstated. I’ve never really stopped listening to them..

Scott Walker – It’s Raining Today (Scott 3)

When I first heard this song I felt a shift, a door open. The vocal delivery coupled with Wally Stotts’ dissonant drone arrangement was unlike anything I’d ever heard. That pause and cascading swoop kills me.

He will be performing the following ten intimate solo performances at theatres across the UK, supporting Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue:

8th Nov – Queen’s Hall – Edinburgh
9th Nov – Lemon Tree – Aberdeen
11th Nov – Gardyne Theatre – Dundee
12th Nov – Cottier Theatre – Glasgow
15th Nov – Floral Pavilion – New Brighton
16th Nov – RNCM – Manchester
17th Nov – St. George’s – Bristol
18th Nov – King’s Place – London
22nd Nov – Town Hall – Birmingham
23rd Nov – The Sage – Newcastle
19th Jan – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow (part of Celtic Connections 2016)

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