Life Is Like A Box Of Records is with Rae Baker today. She is quite frankly one of the most impressively active and hardworking ladies in the industry.
Head of Entertainment and Events for EUSA (Edinburgh Uni Students Association) she looks after Entertainment, Programming and Production for Teviot Row House, Potterrow, Pleasance and Kings Buildings in Edinburgh. She programmes and runs The Pleasance Sessions, additionally, she is responsible for the Edinburgh Uni Freshers week, and all of their annual balls and events. Impressively, they have won ‘Best Live Music Provision’ across all student unions in the UK two years running. Oh, AND she helps organise The Insider Festival.
O.P.P – Naughty by Nature
1991 was around the time that I was in a wee school rap group called The B Hits. We did a performance at assembly in front of the primary school about Pollution, got into the ‘Porty Reporter’ and successfully managed to rhyme ‘Sick’ and ‘quick’ – haha! I had obviously moved on from my Jason Donovan phase and had started making up dances to a variation of different genres in my bedroom instead. This track was one of them. Obviously at the time I had no idea what the track was about, and now understand why my mother was a bit uncomfortable with me performing my sick moves to the whole family….. I just knew it sounded amazing and it’s been one that still sounds just as amazing to me now. What a tune.
At the River – Groove Armada
I’m half kiwi, and had been set on heading over to live in New Zealand for a bit after school for as long as I can remember. When I finished sixth year, I worked the summer, packed my 65 litre bag and flew the nest. As it was only 1998, half of my muckle rucksack was jammed full of cassette tapes for me to play on my Walkman during the 4 years I was away. This track was one of them and will always remind me of great adventures, free living, horizons, no worries and clarity. And I’m very fond of sand dunes and salty air.
Lucky Man – The Verve
My brother, Kev – who is 3 years my senior had the same idea growing up and disappeared when I was about 17. He’d been away a wee while when we found out he’d had a stroke in the South Island whilst travelling with 2 of his pals, Scotty and Ewan. The Stroke had been caused by a small part of a benign tumour growing in one of the compartments in his heart breaking off and floating about a bit. He was told that if this hadn’t happened, he’s have been dead within 6 months and his particular case was really very rare. He went through open heart surgery and when he was recovering listened to The Verve a lot. Mum tells me that when he was off his face on morphine, he was asking her to ‘jump in and grab a spliff’ and Richard Ashcroft was on hand to help out. It makes Urban Hymns a pretty important album for us but a few years later, when we were both back in the country – I surprised Kev with a Richard Ashcroft concert in Glasgow. When Lucky Man came on, the mirror ball made the whole room sparkle and it was a proper moment. We’re lucky to be alive folks.
Love Spreads – The Stone Roses
This one is also linked to Kev. We always kind of had this as our song. I’m not sure if it’s weird for siblings to have a song, but we did. When he was in hospital it was over the period that I had my leavers dance at school. We didn’t know if Kev was going to survive surgery and although mum had gone to NZ, Dad and I were still at home and trying to cope by being as normal as possible. All my friends knew that we shared this track and when it came on at my leavers dance I just remember things going a bit still. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Scottie (another Scottie) running from one direction and Sophie from another. They just took me to a chair and talked at me about other things. Those moments remind you how much you’re loved. Thanks guys.
Hyperballad – Bjork
I saw Bjork in or around 1997 in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. I was instantly in love with her. I was also instantly sure that music would play a part in my life in some way. This is the sort of track that makes me tingle all over and when you see it live it consumes you entirely. I just never wanted to get over that feeling.
Wandering Eye – Fat Freddy’s Drop
Living in New Zealand, you can’t avoid Fat Freddy. They are also brilliant live. Many memories of marvelling at sweaty sax players and dancing till the wee hours surround Fat Freddy for me. A few years ago a couple of my friends and I went back to NZ for a holiday and happened apon a Fat Freddy’s gig in the local surf club of a beach we used to go to when I was small and it was totally brilliant.
Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
This was my dad’s favourite song. He used to reminisce about his youth and chat about drugs in the 60s and 70s a little too much for my teenage ears. He also chose it to play at his funeral and whenever I hear it I’m reminded that he was a total legend.
I bet you look good on the dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
This is just a tune. Not that I listen to the Arctic Monkeys at all really, but when this came out it was just ace. I went to South by South West that year, and they were there. Sophie and I spent the week trying to find one of their free gigs. We then stopped in New York for a few days on the way home and went to a Mystery Jets gig – I turned to my left and Alex Turner was standing next to me. Nobody in New York knew who they were, and they were still only about 18 so we ended up hanging out with them all night – us being the oldies who could get served at the bar, so long as they paid for the drinks. Brilliant way to spend our last night in New York.
JFatherson – James
I’m sticking this one in. I’ve been booking Fatherson for years and they are wonderful boys, Ross in particular – well done you for being so lovely, Ross. I have good friends that represent them and they have done, and continue to do an amazing job. I’m also convinced that in my future box of records, this will be one that we all say ‘we knew them when they were just playing small venues’ because Fatherson are going to be absolutely huge.
The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun
Just cos guys. This one proves that everything is going to be alright. ITS ALLL GOOOOOOOOOOOD J