The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Thirsty For Song: James Johnston Of Gallon Drunk's Favourite LPs
Julian Marszalek , November 16th, 2016 09:31

As well as being the lynchpin of suited rock howlers Gallon Drunk, James Johnston has played with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey - but we're not going to hold the fact that he's picked both of them for his Baker's Dozen against him. Portrait by Steve Gullick.


Brian Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets
Before I moved up to London, I'd heard lots of great new music in the early 80s from John Peel or buying the music papers, and I was really into the first two PiL albums, but I was also still listening to the records I grew up with, the ones that my older brother and I had. Stuff like The Rolling Stones, from Let It Bleed up to Exile On Main Street, Lou Reed, and the early Roxy Music albums. I had the second one and absolutely adored it. The cover and everything about it, and I didn't really know what to expect from the Eno solo records.

I can't remember why I bought this one. I don't think I'd heard any of it before on John Peel or anything like that. What I loved immediately about it was how English it sounded. Apart from Lydon and Mark E. Smith, I hadn't really heard such in an English accent, so when I got this as a re-release that really grabbed me about it immediately.

There are so many great songs on here, and so much experimentation, even though it remains steadfastly melodic. The guitar solo on 'Baby's On Fire' is just tremendous, but for me it's the title track that sends this album into the heavens. The whole idea of fading those wild sloppy drums in under the gorgeous humming guitars is so simple, and so totally effective, and when the almost incomprehensible choir of Eno voices come in, I'm totally sent. It's like Thomas Tallis' Spem In Alium playing in the distance; sort of non-rock, but at the time totally sizzling and electric. A total classic.