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Baker's Dozen

Playing For Keeps: Cate Le Bon's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , September 4th, 2014 11:33

With her UK tour just started, singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon tells John Freeman about how an attitude of playfulness runs through her 13 top LPs


Pavement - Brighten The Corners
This is a very personal selection. I was 13 years old and was falling into bad musical company - Red Hot Chili Peppers, Limp Bizkit and all the music that the hot boys at school were into - and coming home and threatening to get a Chili Pepper tattoo. I think my father had had enough and told me to listen to an album as he thought I might like it. He needed to pull something out of the bag and steer me onto a good path. My dad loved Pavement.

It was the first time I had heard music that I felt was mine. I didn't know anything about the band – whether they were dead or alive. It didn't matter that it was music that my friends weren't listening too – it eclipsed all of that. I just remember being really struck by how the songs would trickle in all these different kinds of directions and would have all of these weird guitar solos. They weren't as formulaic as the guitar songs I was used to from all of the terrible music I was listening to at school. I became absolutely fascinated with Pavement and I didn't care that no one at school had heard of them. It was the beginning of having the courage to say, "This is the music I like and I don't care if anyone puts it down."