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Baker's Dozen

"My Dad Wrote That Better": Andrew Falkous' Baker's Dozen
JR Moores , April 11th, 2018 08:11

Ahead of this month's WRONG Festival, the man behind Mclusky, Future Of The Left and Christian Fitness speaks to JR Moores about the 13 records that inspire him (with only the occasional Lammo and ciabatta-themed digression)

"Is she still screaming and pissing herself like Ozzy?" Andrew Falkous asks his Future Of The Left bandmate Julia Ruzicka. The married couple recently brought a tiny human daughter into the world and are experiencing all the joys, stresses and Osbourne evocations of parenthood.

"Sometimes," reasons Falco, "the explanation for why a baby is crying is 'baby'. You've fed them. You've wiped their arse, metaphorically and actually. You've made sure they're not dead. And they're just crying. It's tough to deal with so you just have to have patience. I'm not the most impatient man in the world but patience isn't necessarily my strongest suit. There's the occasional day when you feel helpless and twice I've sat next to a lake - not for no reason, I walk Ella around a lake - and I've just held her in my arms and been very close to tears."

Welling up next to a body of water is all very touching but the important matter is whether these two rock & roll parents will be forcing their impeccably credible music tastes on their daughter. "It will be given as the first option, certainly," says her father. "She's going to watch all the crappy kids stuff because when you're a kid you like crappy stuff and that's all right. I'm always suspicious of friends who tell me they were into The Fall when they were eight or something. That's the thing with The Fall, isn't it? You have to be old enough to understand why it's not complete shit."

Creatively speaking, Falkous has also got much on his proverbial plate. Future Of The Left, the alt-rock band he formed after Mclusky's split in 2005, will soon release their sixth studio LP. Objecting to the term "solo project", Falco recently completed the fifth album from his something-project Christian Fitness. The follow-up to last year's Slap Bass Hunks has the equally excellent title of Nuance - The Musical. He's halfway through his second book before the first has even been published. Set in Hamburg during World War Two, the debut novel is currently being read by an actual historian so we can expect a level of period accuracy the likes of which has never concerned Jeffrey Archer.

Falco has already written several songs for his daughter which he intends to record for her ears only. Were the public to hear them, he says, it would be "shattering". He has a reputation to uphold after all, even if his shouty and contemptuous on-stage persona isn't an accurate reflection of the real Andrew Falkous: "There are literally tens of people out there who still assume I am a physical manifestation of the kind of person who would sing [Mclusky's] 'Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues'. I remember talking to interviewers in Germany in 2002 when that record came out who were palpably scared of me because they thought that person on the album was how I behaved in everyday life. Can you imagine if that's how people were? If Cat Power was always asleep under a piano? If Sonic Youth were always walking into coffee shops and retuning the espresso machines? It just wouldn't be feasible."

Like many Baker's Dozen interviewees, Falco has selected records he remembers for particular reasons, in roughly biographical order, over outright faves. He's also gone slightly off-piste, bending our unenforced rules by doubling up certain choices because they merit being discussed in unison and throwing in two or three singles and even an olde hymn. These brash non-LP selections went unchallenged because, let's face it, he's that terrifying bloke who sang 'Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues'.

Future Of The Left play Liverpool's Wrong Festival on 28 April. Nuance - The Musical by Christian Fitness is available via Prescriptions and can be purchased here. Click the image of Andy Falkous below to begin reading his selections