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Baker's Dozen

Spiders' Webs From Scraps: Guy Garvey's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , May 11th, 2016 09:59

Before his edition of the Meltdown festival begins next month, the singer-songwriter, broadcaster and Elbow frontman talks to Lisa Jenkins about his love of Talk Talk, lyrical grey areas and nutmeg-based mishaps

Photograph courtesy of Thomas Butler

"I was very happy throughout my teen years to be defined by what I was listening to. And I wanted the world to know about that, claiming a band as my own."

Guy Garvey is a passionate man, even in his slightly hungover state, and, in the midst of making a friend a much needed cup of tea, conversation about his favourite music does not stall. If anything, as much as being a musician he is also a huge fan. It's infectious. He will champion any band or musician he comes across and loves, and many of them become friends. His stories weave pictures of love and heartache, political change, moments of misspent youth, friendship and a love for music that runs so deep that it makes the listener want to buy everything he is speaking about immediately. You get the impression he could speak for hours on the topic, and indeed he does, on his Radio 6 Music show the Finest Hour every Sunday. He is also curating the 23rd Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London this year, and he sees it as a perfect opportunity to shine the light on some ascendant new acts.

He is no doubt in his element. Elbow have been in the business a very long time, [although they are not as long in the tooth as he cares to believe] but it is exactly for this reason that his focus has always been, and will always be the music. Whether with Elbow or recording his own solo work. He has a unique take, focusing on the very core of a song or piece of music, and seeing what he likes the call 'the grey areas' Nuances and stories fascinate him, and it's easy to get drawn into the love he has for these albums. Some complex, some experimental, and some just utterly beautiful. Very rarely has a musician chosen three albums by the same artist, [and would have quite happily chosen more I feel] From a concept album, which used to be considered a dirty word, to an ad hock 'bedroom album' that refused to edit out vocal mishaps. Classic sixties folk, to the bad boy of the Jazz scene. The list has it all. To delve into this list is to delve into Garvey's mind and heart. Sit back, put the kettle on, and enjoy the journey.

Courting The Squall is out now on Polydor. Guy Garvey's Meltdown runs from June 10 to 19; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on the image below to begin scrolling through Guy's choices, which run in no particular order