Manchester’s The Empty Page are here to talk about their most influential and life changing records to date. Their album Unfolding is out now!
Here are The Empty Page’s picks:
KEL: Space Oddity – David Bowie
Bowie was one of the first artists I listened to and became engrossed in and obsessed with as a child. My dad had a great record collection with Bowie, Floyd, Kate Bush, Prince, James Brown and heaps more for me to learn from but it was Bowie that really grabbed me. His otherworldliness, his insane creativity. I also still find it alluring that he claims to be detached emotionally from his lyrics, they are not personal stories he says, and yet his emotional delivery is spot on. This song is just a masterpiece!
JIM: The Smiths – Accept Yourself
The first time I heard this I must have been about 15 and I wasn’t prepared for it in the slightest! It’s one of those tunes where it’s got your attention the second it starts, and then this voice puts its hand on your shoulder and assures you that everyone else’s life is as confusing and dull as yours. “Oh but plans can fall through and so often they do” – don’t get your hopes up, kid. This is life affirming stuff.
GIZ: Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (slight return)
As a teenager and a young, know-it-all guitarist I never wanted to listen to my Dad’s suggestion to check out Jimi Hendrix. Who wants to take their Dad’s advice when you’re a kid! It was a while before I actually checked out this Jimi Hendrix but how right he was (again). The fuzz, noise, energy, monster riffs and completely out of this world guitar playing. Even now Voodoo Child makes me go “Holy Shit!” I can’t imagine what it must have been like to see him live.
KEL: Doll Parts – Hole
In my early teens I was really into alternative, indie and grunge. I’d always sang and wanted to play music as far back as I could remember but when I heard Live Through This I was really stunned by Courtney’s absolute femininity and pop sensibility but also complete, raging, power. I knew that women could be strong and angry but I hadn’t heard anything quite like it in music so far at that time. Of course, after that I discovered many more jaw dropping female artists from that time and way before but Hole were my gateway into another realm of possibilities.
JIM: Dungen – Panda
I have no idea what this song is about and I kinda don’t want to know. I’d prefer it to be a mystery. Ha! I heard this on the radio in 2004 and went out to find the album (I failed) the day after.
It’s sung in Swedish and I’m a big fan of people singing in their own voice. I tune in to the melody and vocal harmonies – that’s what I really listen to. People can write wonderful, beautiful lyrics but coming up with a melody is an art in itself.
GIZ: Middle Class Rut – Busy bein’ born
I saw this video on late night TV and it stood out, I loved it straight away but I didn’t catch who it was. Then I randomly went to see a band live and the support band was MC rut, I recognized the song straight away and they we’re amazing! So real, powerful and they have so much passion. They made such a big noise for only two people (this was way before the trend of 2 piece bands we have now). They’re an incredible band, great lyrics too.
KEL: Tori Amos –Precious things
Tori is a lyrical genius and batshit crazy. Her first four albums never left my ears for at least a decade and I could probably still sing them word for word. I met her once at a gig and she was utterly delightful too. I see her live whenever I can and she pretty much always makes me cry. She is basically the soundtrack to my teenage broken heart, I think all of her fans could relate to that sentiment.
JIM: Radiohead – All I Need
I walk and use public transport a lot in Manchester and never without music. I’m in my own world most of the time anyway but being on a train at night, on my own with my headphones on is one of my favourite places to be. Over the last few years I’ve swapped and changed the music on my device but All I Need is one that I’ll never tire of. It’s such a beautiful song, the lyrics are so intense and that build up at the end is fucking wonderful. It just goes with my night ride home perfectly.
GIZ: Harvey Milk – Death goes to the winner
One of my favourite bands ever, these guys are so heavy, noisy and one of the greatest rock and roll bands I’ve seen live. They just blew my brains out when I first saw them supporting Oxbow in a tiny venue in Manchester! Creston is an amazing guitarist, sludgy, doomy, and noisy with great guitar solos too. Sorry I’m not a man of many words but if you get chance, go check Harvey Milk out. They rock! Harder than most!
KEL: Institutionalised – Suicidal Tendencies
We were talking about this song the other day, for me it just brings up memories of many years spent driving around in a van with bands on tour. I don’t think any band has toured without blasting this at least once on the road, have they? I love that 80s American hardcore scene, bands like ST, SOIA, Fugazi, Life of Agony. It’s really energetic, angry and fun at the same time. I try and get to live shows of these types of bands whenever I can cos they are just so intense and I always leave with a massive smile on my face.
The Empty Page‘s Unfolding is out now via Vociferous Records and is available to buy on iTunes.