The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings
I listened to it for years and I found myself singing songs from it by default all the time. All the time. And it's something about his delivery. My friend John pointed out probably 20 years ago that he sings like he plays trumpet, not the other way around. It betrays his sensitive delicate self. Somebody who would go hide himself in something as insidious as heroin. Yeah, and just his big fat gentle beating heat – never far from me, I love it.

Does it remind you particularly of a time in your life?

Yeah sure, when I was about 18. I was making my plans with a close group of friends, who are still close friends, I am happy to say, and when you're 18 and you are a boy you hang around with other boys, you tend to just shout at each other a lot. But it's that period of your life where one of us had access to his mum's car, so we'd go around listening to music and chip in to get five quid's worth of weed, to get some kind of a little bit of a high. And then my friend Nick's uncle Harry owned a garden centre, and Barry later came out as being a gay man, but at that time he was living in an area in the north of England that wouldn't have tolerated it. He had to move to Australia to come out. But Barry wonderfully had this huge, amazing record collection, and he didn't mind us being in the house. He'd go to bed because he was up so desperately early, but the four of us would hang out in his house and listen to his records. And we discovered Tom Waits and Chet Baker and all sorts of treasures. It reminds me of sitting round a table, running out of weed, I'm smoking everything in the spice rack to get high.

We've all done it.

Nutmeg? Miss that one out [laughs]! There was a great poet on Cerys Matthews' BBC 6 Music show a couple of days ago, called Kim Moore. She recited an excellent poem called 'Chet Baker', only short. Do find it.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.