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Baker's Dozen

Oooff, Ken! It's John Shuttleworth's Baker's Dozen!
Luke Turner , January 22nd, 2020 09:02

As he prepares to head off on a major UK tour, South Yorkshire's finest electronic artiste John Shuttleworth delves into his dusty loft to find 13 favourite records, from Harry Secombe to The Beatles, Mrs Mills and Leo Sayer

Cabaret Voltaire. The Human League and Heaven 17. Pulp. Warp Records. Sheffield has always been known for its pop pioneers, but one man has endured and outlasted nearly all of them. It often seems that since time immemorial John Shuttleworth has been carrying his Yamaha organ from the smoky nightclubs of the Steel City to BBC Broadcasting House and the highways and byways of England, serenading an ever-growing audience with his astute commentary on modern life - how many cups of tea it's acceptable to have in a row, for instance, or the appeal of setting oneself up as a community leader. His character studies, too, are at times deeply moving - who can forget his reflections on the man who lives in the farm in the middle of the M62. Speaking to the Quietus about his Baker's Dozen selection, Shuttleworth reveals they're largely drawn down from his dusty collection up in the loft, with photographs taken for the site after he went up to retrieve a tent during Storm Brendan. Most of Shuttleworth's records were acquired over the decades perusing the discount retail opportunities of his Derbyshire home. "The charity shops offer the best selection of the kind of music I prefer," Shuttleworth says, "also in the open air market there’s a lad who sells country and western CDs, and I often have a flick through his stall before going to talk to the man who sells dog baskets." He says that the artists on his list of 13 favourites stretch back into his childhood, where Mrs Shuttleworth Sr would play Val Doonican, The Bachelors and Jim Reeves, and all have influenced his work in some way. But what of those Sheffield artistes whom you might label as Shuttleworth's contempories? Did he ever see them over a pint of mild in the Fiesta Club or Mucky Duck? "Jarvis - isn’t he that skinny lad who does extravagant hand gestures over his brow?" Shuttleworth asks. "Oo no, I wouldn’t interact with someone who does that. I prefer performers who punch the air on key phrases, like top vocalist Brian Cooper. But Brian’s not in a group - he’s just a solo performer with a backing tape, so ‘no’ is the answer to your question."

You can catch John Shuttleworth across the UK throughout the coming months - for a full list of tour dates go here. Please click the image of John to begin reading through his Baker's Dozen choices.

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