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Baker's Dozen

Things I Hold Dear: Nadine Shah's Favourite Albums
Jeremy Allen , June 3rd, 2020 08:46

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Nadine Shah guides Jeremy Allen through favourite albums from Mariah Carey to Fat White Family, along the way discussing her friendship with Amy Winehouse and why Richard Dawson is the only man who should be allowed acoustic guitars at parties


Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
It's an honest one, this. I guess I call them my emo years, not that I listened to actual emo. I'd left London for a time and moved back to the north east when I was about 20, and I stayed there for a year. And I realised I'd made a mistake and I wanted to go back to London. I was living with my parents and I had no money and I was saying "Please dad, can you lend me some money so I can move to London?" and he was saying, "No, I already lent you money years ago, you're not getting anymore. Get a job'; 'I don't want a job!' [laughs]. I was feeling really sorry for myself. 

I had a really camp manager at the time, a brilliant guy called Steven Brains, and he was such an advocate for great female musicians I didn't know about like Diamanda Galas and also Tori Amos. He told me how important she was to him. My mum and dad live by the sea and I would play this Tori Amos album to myself over and over again feeling so sorry for myself. Walking across the dramatic north east coastline looking out to the North Sea and singing along really loudly on the clifftops. I thought she really knew me and she felt my pain. Now I cringe! 

There's something about her vocals that has a unique character. I appreciate artists who show you every bit of them. They're not there to appease or blend in. These people provide the soundtracks of our lives, and she provided one for me when I was feeling very, very sorry for myself. And it was a really great way to exorcise that pain, so aye, thanks Tori Amos for that.