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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


Fat White Family - Serfs Up
I've always really liked them but this is the album that properly cemented me as a mega fan. They're definitely my favourite band, and when this album came out I was so excited about it. I've become quite friendly with the guys in the band and I've seen them play this album quite a lot and I've spoken to them about it too, and I love the influences that are present on it. Lias' writing is phenomenal, and I've approached him a few times for advice on lyric writing and he'll say, 'You need to listen to Ivor Cutler' or 'You need to listen to this…' and I can hear it. 

This album especially is so well crafted. Lyrically it's amazing, and I know there are certain lyrics that have caused trouble. There's one particular one: "Caucasian sashimi in a sand nigger storm.' He was brought to task for that - people were like, "You can't say that". He said, "No, no, that was what I was referred to when I was growing up." His father is Algerian and he received loads of racist abuse when he was younger. He definitely knew what he was doing when he wrote that, and for people to say, "Do you know what you just said?"; "Yes, I know what I said and I had pure intent when I said it". I think they get a bad rep for the stuff outside or inside of the band which is not the music. And then you meet them and they are the nicest, kindest, loveliest people. 

If you listen to Selda or Googoosh, or music from Cairo, from Algeria, from Lebanon, you can hear loads of other influences from all over the world on this album. There's such a glorious energy to it. I can't really find a better way of explaining it than it's cool as fuck. I'm all the way in, I'm obsessed. It puts a fire in my belly and gives me a kick up the arse.