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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


The Chameleons – Script Of The Bridge
I had a friend at school that was just as obsessive about music as I was. He was a huge New Order fan. He lent me a really badly taped cassette of Script Of The Bridge. At first I thought it was too dangerously close to prog rock. Around that time, I think I'd just gone to sixth form… What was great about that was meeting people of a like mind. But the place where I came from was a typical Northern small town. I think the idea was probably dawning that there was nothing there and I didn't really belong. I was stuck in my own world with no outlet for it. I spent a lot of time just wandering around and thinking about stuff, and that was the soundtrack to it really. Pissing it down in the North on dark evenings. It sounds like rain in the north-west to me now. I dunno what's good about that.

Was that the start of you thinking you might want to leave the town?

I think I felt a bit trapped. Looking back what I should have done was… If I'd had the wherewithal I should've moved to the city where things were happening. That might have been a good thing for me. I've had this discussion with a few people and they've pointed out that had I done that I wouldn't have pursued the life I did. If I'd met my own people I probably wouldn't have been so dogmatic about it. That's what you need if you're going to chance your arm in something as ridiculous as the music business. You have to be quite blinkered about it. So that sense of isolation probably did me a favour ultimately. That Chameleons album gave me hope, Mark Burgess is the only guy I've ever written a fan letter to. It was on MySpace, a few years back. I just said my life would have been poorer without your music. Mark seems to be someone who has trouble with wearing his heart on his sleeve, which is a very un-Northern trait. Because of that I don't find I can listen to it too much these days. It relates to a time in my life I'd probably rather forget about, but it's still a brilliant record.