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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Japan - Tin Drum
I don't think of myself as a working class writer. I don't believe in aggregate identities, and I don't accept them. I'm a writer, end of story. But even my own family, didn't really want you to succeed in that way, in that this thing's 'not for us'. So when I got into weird music nobody was very happy about it. They thought I was listening to depressing things. It all came to a head when I got into Tin Drum by Japan.

The sleeve was what first caught me – that photograph of on the back especially. I thought David Sylvian was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen in my life. It really hit me, that men could dress and look how they wanted to express themselves. I became obsessed with David Sylvian. My mum came up to my room all concerned, saying she thought the music seemed really depressing, that it was making me act abnormal. But I was having all these revelations: that the devil doesn't exist, I'm getting into new weird music, seeing different ways of being male. I was so upset, I sat there thinking, can't you see I'm in a pubis stage here?! I'm a little cocoon and something's about to come out! But she banged on so much saying I shouldn't be listening to stuff like Japan I took it off the record player and chucked the record at the wall, I said 'If that's what you want I'll just fucking smash it!' After that she never questioned me about it again, I think she could see it meant something to me.