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Low Culture

Low Culture Podcast 2: Tariq Goddard On The Sisters Of Mercy
John Doran , October 1st, 2020 08:03

The second in our subscriber-only series of podcasts features Repeater books boss and novelist Tariq Goddard talking about Floodland by Sisters Of Mercy

Tariq & TQ portrait by Maria Jefferis/Shot2Bits

Not so long ago site editors John and Luke jumped into the knackered old tQ jalopy along with producer Alannah Chance and made the treacherous journey to visit Tariq Goddard in his modernist Wiltshire lair.

Tariq is a longstanding friend of this website and we've been informed, entertained and, occasionally, scandalised by many of the amazing titles he has put out while running both Zero and Repeater books.

When we asked him which cultural artefact he'd like to spend the afternoon discussing with us we were both delighted that he picked Floodland by Sisters Of Mercy. (And in John's case, relieved that he didn't pick Appetite For Destruction by G n'R.)

As anyone who has read any of his novels, such as The Picture Of Contented New Wealth, Homage To A Firing Squad and Nature And Necessity, will know that Tariq is a thoughtful guy, so we weren't that surprised when talk of Andrew Eldritch's moment in the sun, turned into a deeper discussion of the very forces and aspirations that shape our lives.

Speaking about how this album, which he first heard as a 12-year-old schoolboy in 1987, has stayed with him over the years he says: "I was driving home from North Yorkshire with my family all asleep. I hadn't had much sleep and I was quite near the hard shoulder and it could all have ended quite badly. I listened to the whole of the Floodland album and after a few minutes I felt like one of the chosen again. A few minutes after that I was the uber man. But then I realised I was driving along the hard shoulder at about 200 miles per hour.

"And it was glorious. And I thought to myself, 'How little distance I have travelled since my 12-year-old self first heard this album.' Or did my 12-year-old self have such low ambition that I've vaulted it and occupied it completely. But yeah, it's thrilling... wildly exciting."

To listen to The Quietus' new Low Culture podcast, you'll need to become a subscriber and sign up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers. You can find out more about why we're introducing the subs and all the amazing perks you can get here and join via the checkout below.