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


Funkadelic – Free Your Mind... And Your Ass Will Follow
This was the first record I took acid to with Richard [Ashcroft]. My dad bought it for 20p in a junk shop. It was the same shop where I used to get all my pedals from. Twenty quid for a flanger and that was what the first Verve record was based on – that flanger. Funkadelic – it didn't even have the proper cover on it, it was just in a tattered white sleeve. I can remember listening to it not under the influence and thinking, "This is a bit strange!" Then my folks were away for a week and Richard came and stopped with me for a bit and we did acid. It was my first time, but I think he'd done it a couple of times. We were walking about the field at the back of my house for a bit, but then we went back and inevitably starting ploughing through all the records. Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix, stuff like that. But that Funkadelic record was the one really – we put that up against our first demo and it made our demo sound like toy music. We had a moment of revelation. Not as painful as later on, but just that we were heading in the wrong direction. That's the acid cringe – that portentous, pontificating moment. Because suddenly it was like, "Oh fucking hell, that really makes sense now".

Those first three Funkadelic albums for me define what a guitar band should sound like. They're just incredible. Eddie Hazel, he sits in the place for me where Ron Asheton does for most people. I love the Stooges but Eddie Hazel crystallised… I don't know if it's as simple as saying psychedelic guitar. He was cramming lots of ideas in. The violence of it to me is what's really appealing. It's the destructive force behind it, but maintaining a beauty about. With Ron Asheton it's all about annihilation, and I like that as well and I do indulge in that. But with Eddie there's texture and space and atmosphere. There's a big fire burning in the middle of it and it is such powerful music. That's what started my love affair with tape echo. I think I had a tape echo at that point, but I wasn't really using it that much. In fact I don't think there's that much on record that caught me using it, which is a shame. But live we were a bit more ferocious than we were presented on record and this is where that came from. I was also into EVOL by Sonic Youth at the time. That's one of my favourite records.