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Baker's Dozen

Bombarded With Asteroids: Richard Hawley's Favourite Albums
Sharon O'Connell , February 17th, 2016 10:51

Before he heads off on a tour of the UK tomorrow, the Sheffield singer-songwriter and quiffsman takes Sharon O'Connell through the rock & roll, blues and rockabilly albums that shaped his early listening


Syd Barrett – Barrett
Syd's in the tradition of quintessentially English, whimsical writers from AA Milne onwards. You can delve into the darker side of it all with Barrett and I've read so many words written about this record, but I don't know what fucking record these people are listening to; it's not the one I've heard. I hear beautiful, coherent music, although obviously I've read that a lot of it was cobbled together by Dave Gilmour, who also produced it and played drums. A lot of the Floyd guys were very patient, but I think Gilmour deserves a medal that's bigger than a bin lid for his contribution in getting this record to sound as it does, because I imagine it wasn't an easy task.

I love this record because it makes me think of love. I met my wife, Helen, at what was a fairly crap party and both of us were looking through the host's record collection and sort of not talking much, but we both reached for Barrett at the same time. So, that record opened a massive door in my life; we both loved it very much. The guy was, without a doubt, a genius and we're hearing the flutterings of the candle, just before it went out. 'Wined And Dined' and all those songs... there's obviously a lot of damaged fragility there, but there's also something really open and warm about them. They're like fireflies. And although there's darkness there, I associate this record with being extremely happy.