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Baker's Dozen

Versions 13.0: Shirley Manson's Favourite Albums
Elizabeth Aubrey , June 6th, 2018 10:19

In a satisfyingly forthright Baker's Dozen, Garbage singer Shirley Manson argues for boycotting un-gender-balanced festivals, explores Scottish sonic pride, discovering the finger-banging potential of listening to The Clash and says a life without misery is incomplete. All that plus enthusiastic recollections of music from Nick Cave, Patti Smith, The Stone Roses and more


Siouxsie & The Banshees - The Scream
This one is down to my best friend, my dearest friend from when I was three years old – we met at nursery school and we grew up together. We grew through our teens and went through puberty together, starting to experiment with alcohol and cigarettes and boys. She had very lenient parents whereas my parents were really old-school and sort of conventional; she had a very unconventional family life. She and I used to be able to just do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, up in her attic bedroom. 

Because I'd been caught smoking by my parents, I didn't have any pocket money but my best friend Sarah did. She was able to buy records that I couldn't get my hands on – she bought The Scream – I'm not entirely sure why she bought The Scream, but she played it in her bedroom and I can still remember her putting the needle on the vinyl and just that record beginning, starting: I was mesmerised. I just was like, 'What the fuck is this? And who is this? And what is it?' 

We just became quickly obsessed. We finally saw them on Top Of The Pops and I just fell madly and obsessively in love with Siouxsie and the whole band for that matter: I just loved how they looked like nothing I'd ever laid eyes on before.

 Up until that point I'd only been exposed to very conforming women in music. I'd never seen someone who identified as a female but looked somewhat androgynous and referenced Native American Indian culture, which excited me for whatever reason. She had this incredible, strange style that seemed very confrontational and rebellious. She just excited me visually and musically.  

I've been obsessed with her ever since and my love for her has never waned at all. She's another artist who's never, ever let me down. I still go back to those records over and over again because there's a certain power in Siouxsie's delivery that's very hard to find amongst most female-identifying artists. She still sounds unique, and she still sounds like she can wipe the floor with any of us.

 I was starting to experiment with what my version of what adulthood meant and I think I was 13 or 14; I became obsessed with 'Suburban Relapse' and 'Nicotine'. 'Suburban Relapse' had such a strong narrative: I just could see everything in detail through her lyrics. She was very erudite and I was just so mesmerised by her.