Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Claire Lim

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Claire Lim

Today’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records is with Claire Lim who co-runs A Badge Of Friendship. A good friend of Podcart since the beginning, this is a cracking set of tracks.

The War Of The Worlds

My Dad had this on vinyl and used to play it quite a lot when I was really wee. It scared the utter shit out of me. Looking back, I think he probably played it to scare me deliberately! I hated the artwork, I hated the sounds, I hated the narration and the story. It still gives me the creeps a little when I listen to it now – the sound of the lid falling off the craft and the description of the alien beings emerging for the first time. It’s nice to be able to listen back though and appreciate it fully – the artwork is bloody amazing and the whole album is completely epic. A true work of art and I think this was probably where my fascination with all things sci-fi really started; I’ll watch anything that features space, aliens or robots.

Queen – Miracle

The one thing I remember about my childhood is Queen. I loved Queen. I still love Queen. I love 70s Queen, 80s Queen, early 90s Queen – all of it. We had a video box set compilation of Queen videos and I used to air guitar to them and re-enact the moves in our front room. I could have chosen any video here but I particularly loved the video for ‘Miracle’ because I was probably the same age as the wee boys in the video when it was released and I really, really envied them. I wanted to be one of those wee boys in that video! Ok, I’m not a boy I know but I didn’t really think like that and still don’t – I felt I could do whatever little boys could. I’d have probably been Brian May if I’d had a chance to star in this video. He’s awesome.

Supergrass – Richard III

I was a teenager by the time Brit Pop hit and everyone was talking about Blur and Oasis but I really didn’t care for either of them too much. Supergrass’ single ‘Alright’ had catapulted them into the spotlight but that’s probably my least favourite of all their songs. I bought their debut album I Should Coco nevertheless and was completely surprised. Then they released second album In It For The Money and this album is probably one of the most perfect albums of the late 90s for me. I spent a lot of time in my room playing along to this on my guitar. Supergrass really represented these early to mid teen years in music for me.

Mansun – Being A Girl

Having started to explore the alternative side of the Brit Pop revolution, I found Mansun. Their first album Attack of the Grey Lantern was a cracker but, for me, they really came into their own on second album ’Six’. This band really meant a lot to me and encapsulated my teenage years along with Supergrass but it was Mansun that opened me up into the less generic sounds of that era. The greatest and only avant-garde indie prog band to have ever stolen my heart.

Radiohead – Kid A

Radiohead are perhaps one of the greatest bands of the last twenty years. I never really think to include them on my ‘top bands’ list but they’ve been a constant in my life for years and I’ve loved every single thing they’ve done pretty much. I’m also surprised at how popular they are considering they’re not always the most straight-forward band – they’ve always gone their own way and I love that. It was this element that appealed to me when they released Kid A. I’d just started University and I would listen to this album in-between or on the way to lectures. Kid A will always remind me forever more of bitter cold, blue sky winters in October around the Glasgow University campus, feeling excited and confused about what I wanted in life knowing I was about to start an exciting new chapter.

Slint – Washer

I had started going out more to gigs around Glasgow whilst at Uni and spent more time at shows than actual lectures! Around the early noughties, Glasgow had a brilliant scene with a lot of bands influenced by stuff from across the pond. This is how I got into Slint, Chavez, Polvo, Shipping News, Rachel’s, June of 44, Bluetip and many more. I’d nip into Avalanche after lectures and grab whatever record cover appealed to me, talk to bands on the scene and find out what they were listening to or catch great bands from overseas at the 13th Note like The Lapse. I was really hungry for new music. However, Slint really stuck with me. I began to change my guitar playing style and Slint had the perfect blend of beauty, misery and post-rock that appealed to me at that time.

Couch – Alle Auf Pause

Between first and second year Uni I was already getting bored. I was studying German and Film and TV and as much as I love films, the course held no interest for me – I really didn’t want to be a film critic. I enjoyed German but didn’t fancy translating and analysing Faust. I just wanted to get out into the world and live! I began to explore the aspects of German culture I liked like film and music. I was watching a lot of German music TV and found Couch. ‘All Auf Pause’ will always remind me of this time and moving to Germany for the summer. I learned a lot that summer, I love Germany, I love the culture and the music scene is terrific (and still is!). It was that move that made me realise I had to leave University and start living life.

Red House Painters – San Geronimo

Just as I was about to leave Uni and head off to London, Paul and I met, became friends and more. It was an exciting and confusing time and it felt like everything was happening at once. Ah to be young! Paul introduced me to the Red House Painters. I wasn’t sure of Kozelek’s voice at first and found them a little depressing but ended up loving them in the end. Such a shame Kozelek’s such a massive bastard.

Riddle of Steel – Our Guitars Are Haunted

We had begun to put on DIY shows in London and Myspace had arrived – we couldn’t believe it. We had unlimited access to music all over the world! Somehow we found out about Riddle of Steel over in the US, got in touch with those guys and ended up booking a tour for them in the UK. They became friends and we still see Andrew, who’s now in Torche, whenever he’s over here. They were a terrific band and we felt honoured to have put on Riddle of Steel in London. We put on loads of shows for bands including Sucioperro, The Twilight Sad and And So I Watch You From Afar… but Riddle of Steel were the only band we booked a whole tour for.

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

It’s a little depressing but this reminds me of my relationship. We loved this album and this track in particular has special meaning to us. We had a string version arranged at our wedding and it wasn’t sad at all, it felt joyful and uplifting. I guess it depends in which context you listen to a piece of music but I’ve never felt this is a sad song for me. When I listen to this song I feel invigorated, like life can throw anything in your way but if you’ve got the one you love – even when they’re apart – they’ll always be in your heart and you’ll always have that at least. God, what a soppy bastard I am! Better stop writing now!


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