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Baker's Dozen

Dancing & Defiance - Paul Flynn's Soundtrack To 30 Years Of Gay Culture
Andy Thomas , July 24th, 2017 11:06

To mark the anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Paul Flynn (author of Good as You: From Prejudice to Pride, 30 Years of Gay Britain) chooses 13 records that soundtracked his life, from ACR to Elton and Lil Kim to Sleaford Mods.

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Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
It's the perfect British pop record, heart on sleeve, sadness and sunshine, doused in the detail of personal experience, angry, affecting, unflinching. It's like 'Dusty In Memphis' on reality TV or Springsteen's 'Tunnel of Love' guided by aggrieved oestrogen. I hadn't understood Frank. It got mixed up for me in the middle of that jazz revival spearheaded by Jamie Cullum and Joss Stone. But I'd been sent an unmixed five track CD of Back To Black early, with a view to interviewing Amy for the record's press biog. Her press officer said it's really, really good on the phone and he really wasn't lying. It contained 'You Know I'm No Good', 'Tears Dry on Their Own', 'Rehab', 'Back to Black' and 'Love is a Losing Game', every song a no-arguments, shiver-down-the-spine classic. The biog interview was perfect Amy. She couldn't open her mouth without a quote falling out. She looked like a cross between Nicole Ritchie and Siouxsie Sioux. It was in the Good Mixer at 2pm and a tattooed barmaid put a tequila on the bar for her as she walked in, like a scene from a Tarantino film. Amy had lost her house keys so couldn't get her weed. She was antsy but amazing, like a tiny child and a really sage old woman at the same time. I saw her at Camden tube later that day, going up the up escalator as I went down the down and she smiled and said 'wotcha' and given what happened next that felt like being anointed by an angel.


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