Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. Nick PynnAfterplanesman

Nick Pynn is a bloke who you see in pick up bands for comics. He used to be in Rich Hall’s band when he toured as a country and western singer called Otis Lee Crenshaw. He is absolutely fantastic. He’s got all these different instruments that he’s made himself, and dulcimers that he’s salvaged, and things like a coconut that he’s strung and he puts them all through loops and makes this music that’s like folk music but too arty. It’s like something that might be in the Wire except it’s a bit too melodic, it’s sort of like singer/songwriter stuff but there’s no words. It’s sort of a bit like John Cage or something, except that there’s too many tunes. It doesn’t basically fit any model. And yet every time I see him I can’t really believe how great it is. For me and my wife, this is our favourite record of his.

He’s also in things like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Cockney Rebel when they tour, and he was in B*Witched for a bit – the 90s Irish girl band. And he has this outlet of doing all this stuff. And I think because he’s made to do all the other things, when he gets his own thing, it’s more and more extreme.

He made this record Afterplanesman when he got a job restoring submarines for a military museum in Southampton. And the afterplanesman is the man who sits and keeps the thing balanced by looking at the bubble in the spirit level. And I think that’s how he saw his position. So this record’s got this polite dignity about it. When I started doing music on stage, I used Nick originally, and he really gave me the confidence to work out how to do things.

PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today