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Baker's Dozen

Psychedelic Thread: Gaz Coombes' Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , April 23rd, 2015 10:36

With an upcoming UK tour and an appearance at Field Day coming in the wake of his second album Matador, the former Supergrass man gives Julian Marszalek a tour of his top 13 LPs


Neil Young - On The Beach
This is such a glorious and beautiful album. There are not many albums that make me want to cry but I think this is stunningly beautiful and raw and emotive and it contains some of the best and favourite Neil Young lyrics. You know: 'I need a crowd of people/ But I can't face them day to day' - I feel that. I'm interpreting that in a certain way but I'm with him on that. There are so many times that you listen to stuff that you really feel. It feels so real; more than real even. It's a beautiful album.

'Revolution Blues' has got everything; it's got a great sounding band working really well and nailing it and it's got an energy. Nothing's too internal either. I was talking to someone earlier about the lyrics to Matador and I know that there are some really personal lyrics on there but they still have to have a hook; they can't be too internal. I can't internalise too much or else I close myself off to whoever is listening. I don't want to push anyone away by being so morose or depressing. But Neil Young does it so well.

Lyrically he's a great inspiration to me. They sometimes feel like throwaway lyrics or he has quite simple couplets that feel very day-to-day, but then equally he can be a lot more abstract and using metaphors as well. I've looked at that quite a lot in terms of creating that balance of metaphors and real day-to-day life.

But why not have some anger in there? I hear that a lot in 'Revolution Blues' where he talks about 'killing stars in their cars' and that's great. It's angry; it's like the first line of 'To The Wire'. The first line of the song is, 'I want to cut myself' but the second line is: 'I want to cut myself down.' You know, it's where I want to cut myself free of all the pressures. I remember when I played it to people and they were like, 'Gaz! What was that?' and I was like, 'No, no, no, it's part of a couplet. The pay-off is line two.' You know, I'm not into self-harm or anything but I like the fact that some days I might feel like I'm really completely fucked and that I might hate myself and do some damage but I won't. I question it. And like I say, Neil Young does that really well.