The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Elements Of Confusion: Nick McCabe Of Black Submarine's Favourite LPs
Joe Clay , March 11th, 2014 09:21

With New Shores, the long-awaited debut by Black Submarine, out this week, the former Verve guitarist goes from teenage mainstays to recently-heard favourites in his top 13 albums

Add your comment »

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
My dad used to work on the buses, and the bits of the vinyl from the triple set turned up on the back of the bus. It went into lost property and never got claimed and he got to keep it, which was pretty fortunate for me. You know how there are certain mainstays in your life that you keep coming back to? It works several ways for me now. I was five-years-old when I became aware of that record and the atmosphere struck me really. It's a Phil Spector production and it's kind of cinematic in its sonic aurora. The use of the acoustics of the room – typical Phil Spector tricks – and coupled to those songs… it had a haunting effect on me as a young lad. I've come to realise that some of the sounds on there have become signature sounds for me. I've been informed by that, you know, how a band's supposed to sound together. It's created a bit of a problem between me and recording engineers for most of my life. Thankfully I can do everything myself now. To me, that's how things are supposed to sound. They should sound like the room they're recorded in.

The gentle wisdom of the album really has got me through bad times. I dunno if it's because it reminds me of home, but there's a lot of wisdom contained in those lines. I think George Harrison in general is quietly inspirational for a lot of people. He conducted himself with grace, for people in the dynamics of a band with rather large egos – he sets a good precedent. I can't claim to have always followed that to the letter but it's something to aspire to at least.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Mar 11, 2014 2:25pm

Sounds like a guy with eclectic tastes, which I didn't expect from knowing his work with The Verve. Good stuff.

Reply to this Admin

Star sail
Mar 11, 2014 9:15pm

This was a revelation. Full of interesting stories about records that I now look forward to checking out. Always the best thing about this excellent series. (Nick, your music has been a huge part of my life since I - somehow - managed to get into a Verve gig at the Jericho Tavern aged 15.)

Reply to this Admin

Mar 11, 2014 11:16pm

Seems a nice lad

Reply to this Admin

Mar 12, 2014 11:34am

Love Nick's guitar playing so much; 'Reprise' from A Northern Soul still gives me goosebumps after about 1000 listens ;)

Nice to see shout-outs for Autechre and Mobb Deep as well...

Reply to this Admin

Mar 12, 2014 12:37pm

In reply to autechrejambo:

This, totally! Just an astonishing piece of music/guitar playing/alchemy!

Reply to this Admin

Mar 12, 2014 1:11pm

Great to read about someone's obvious love and passion for music, made me want to check a few things...thanks.

Reply to this Admin

Mar 13, 2014 10:16am

Sometimes I google 'Life's An Ocean - Jools Holland 1997' to be reminded of the moment when everything I knew about what guitars could and should do was irrevocably changed. This man is a genius in the true sense of the word.

Reply to this Admin

teddy dogs
Mar 22, 2014 7:29pm

Love Nick's descriptions of why these albums mean so much to him. Can't wait to check out a lot of this stuff.

Reply to this Admin

lisa m. washer
Mar 24, 2014 8:07pm

I would be the first to comment on nick and simons jones talent as well. My god simon soooo good looking back the and talented and still is. And nick as well,. Too bad richards ego got in the way or who knows the verve might still be together,. I will buy the black suberine c. D. When it comes out look forward to it lol lisa m. Washer

Reply to this Admin

May 24, 2014 12:32pm

Fantastic interview. Some of the greatest guitar lines in British rock from the 90s come from this guy. There were supposed to be deluxe reissues of A Northern Soul and A Storm In Heaven but it takes all 4 members to sign off on it. Imagine the studio outtakes! Also there was talk of a live Verve record release.

Reply to this Admin