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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


I Am Kloot – Sky At Night
I've known Kloot for years, I've known them before they had a name, I did their original demos, and I've known who John [Bramwell, I Am Kloot singer and guitarist] was for many years, longer than we've been pals. He is one of our best songwriters, and Peter [Jobson] from the band is my best friend. Well this has all come to pass through me loving their music and making Sky At Night with them and Craig [Potter, Elbow bandmate] at Blueprint Studios in Manchester, which we don't own, we've been there a long time. We just rent space there and every album is a kick-start these days, every album is a reboot for a band, because of what the industry is. So if you don't go in with absolute enthusiasm and confidence, there is no point in going in. And for the band to be as long in the tooth as Elbow is – not quite as long in the tooth, actually – but to be around as long as we have, going with the level of enthusiasm you have to have, and knowing The Sky At Night is that [good] – that's all you need to know, it's one of the most beautiful, optimistic things. So I chose the album, not because I'm proudly associated with, although I am very, very proud of my string arrangements on that record. It's John's songwriting, and I want more people to hear it. It should have won the Mercury Prize.

When they put the floor down in the studios, in the big room, I put a copy of every album that had been made there to date underneath the floorboards, knowing they won't come up for 100 years, with a note saying, "All these records were made in this space", for somebody to find one day.

How do you see the future of the industry going at the moment?

Music will always be made because it is not something you get into for money. It's something you do because you can't help doing it. It will always be made. At the moment, there's some people making a lot of money out of music, and it ain't the people making it. And I don't give a shit about technology, streaming, you know, I don't cling to a piece of vinyl for the sake of nostalgia. I do like records. But I also listen, I love having a collection on my phone, it is so handy. I would always rather people listened to my music than not, whether they get it free or not. At the same time, if people aren't getting paid, they are going to stop making music. We are losing a generation of music. It will come right. For the time being, streaming is fine if everybody does it and if everybody pays for it. At the moment, you've got a couple of massive companies ripping off every musician that's on there. There ought to be a bigger share for the people making music. It's fine, it's a matter of law, and people will be paid, and they will be back-paid, right to the beginning of this debacle, but yeah, they're shameless fuckers and we're coming for them.