The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

I Don't Belong Here: Cathi Unsworth's Weirdo In 13 Albums
The Quietus , July 25th, 2012 07:17

Author and journalist Cathi Unsworth talks us through the albums that inspired her new novel Weirdo. This feature will bring dark joy to the hearts of those whose clothes are black, whose lips are purple and whose witches are red


Cardiacs A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window

This record came out four years after the time period of Weirdo, and I haven’t used it in the book, but while I was writing it I was mainlining the music made by Tim Smith in the Cardiacs and various other projects – The Sea Nymphs, Mr & Mrs Smith & Mr Drake and the shimmeringly gorgeous Spratley’s Japs; as well as the Tim tribute album Leader Of The Starry Skies and William D Drake’s beautiful The Rising Of The Lights. For this is the antidote to the music described above, the sound of the amusement arcades and the big sell, the brash ego and the pushy personality. This instead is the sound of the child who would rather be over the hills and far away – me – and the glorious, vividly imaginative and febrile songs crafted by this collection of genius minds will always take me back to that teenage state of mind, balanced awkwardly between two worlds, full of apprehension and anguish, but also with that feeling of exhilaration of standing before a whole summer of freedom – The icing on the world, as Tim describes it. My dearest wish is that Tim will recover from the terrible torments he has been through these past four years. He is the William Blake of English (un)popular music, as misunderstood as Blake was in his time, but equally as loved by those who know him.