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Baker's Dozen

Thirsty For Song: James Johnston Of Gallon Drunk's Favourite LPs
Julian Marszalek , November 16th, 2016 09:31

As well as being the lynchpin of suited rock howlers Gallon Drunk, James Johnston has played with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey - but we're not going to hold the fact that he's picked both of them for his Baker's Dozen against him. Portrait by Steve Gullick.

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Alex Chilton - Like Flies On Sherbert
Again, I heard this through Nick Combe, the original Gallon Drunk drummer. I couldn't believe how loose it was, and his voice is so fragile and damaged-sounding. It's such a wild, wild record. Rock and roll put through a mincer, distorted malfunctioning synths, out of tune guitars, ridiculous delays, tapes stopping and starting abruptly, and all the heart and soul you can imagine.

Jim Dickinson produced it, and it actually sounds like it was quite a nightmare and all rather dark, but to listen to it all you hear is spirit and wild abandon. Carefree doesn't even begin to cover it. It's got a fantastic cover by William Eggleston too, the legendary photographer from Memphis, a row of dolls on a car bonnet. But there's something about Chilton's voice that cuts straight through to your heart and I adore his singing, and the title track on here is a superb example of that. This led me to hearing Big Star's Third, which is one of my favourite records of all time.


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