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Baker's Dozen

Champion Versions: Steve Mason's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , March 2nd, 2016 11:04

With his new solo album, Meet The Humans, just released, the prolific musician and former Beta Band man gives Joe Clay a tour of his record collection, meandering through electro, hip-hop, punk and more


Siouxsie And The Banshees – Nocturne
This was the double live album. I bought it when it came out and I don't know why. At that point they weren't considered a punk band at all. I bought it from John Menzies in St Andrews, the town where I lived. I took it home and I liked it straight away. It wasn't like anything else I was listening to. But I didn't tell anyone else that I'd bought it. They were considered almost like a goth band by that point. But they're a band that transcend everything. They weren't a punk band, they weren't a goth band, they just made their own thing. Like all great bands, their sound evolved. They had great songs and she's a fantastic vocalist. The guitar playing was always really brilliant. John McGeoch is the guitarist that everyone always raves about and he wrote most of the guitar parts on Nocturne, but Robert Smith's live playing on this is fucking superb. It's psychedelic as fuck, the sounds that he gets are unbelievable – I've never heard anyone get those sounds out of a guitar. All the bands that I was in first off, I was the drummer, and Budgie's drumming on this record is incredible. He's solid as a rock but really inventive and really tribal in places.

As a Banshees compilation album, it's a brilliant selection of what they've done. I ended up sampling 'Painted Bird' for the Beta Band – on the last album, a song called 'Liquid Bird'. We had to send them the track and they agreed to it. It's always nice when they agree that you can use it. God knows what they thought of our track – it was nothing like 'Painted Bird', but it uses a massive chunk of Robert Smith's guitar playing. It's not underrated by Siouxsie And The Banshees fans, but it is an underrated album.

They suffer from a bit of a stigma that they're a punk-goth band, but if you can move away from that, they're a really inventive, weird, psychedelic band. They've sold millions of albums but I still feel like they're underrated, considering how good they are.