We asked our favourite riders what tunes get them in the mood to slap a turn, get creative or simply put a smile on their face.
Music is a very personal thing, different songs do different things to different folks. We hope that some of our favourite riders’ top tunes get your creative juices flowing, or psyche you up to go rally some trails.
This week’s Friday Mixtapes World Cup snapper legend Gary Perkin.
You can check out our Wise Words with Gary here.
How do I pick just 10 tunes from 40 odd years of listening to music … and sometimes playing it as a DJ in a previous life?
As this is such a tough list to try compile, rather than a pure top 10, I’ll try explain how my musical tastes have changed over the years through the influences of friends or live concerts more than following trends or listening to the radio.
Well, I can safely say that my musical tastes are quite diverse – obviously there are the early days of listening to my Dad’s LPs – British Rock, Motown, funk, country – his tastes are varied too .. must be where I get it. But it was at high school where my mind was well and truly opened musically speaking.
I had a couple of mates who would get Smash Hits and NME magazine – how they managed to get hold of them down in South Africa in those days boggles the mind .. but they did and I am thankful for that. I was exposed to all kinds of new music – punk, rock, all sorts. It was mental.
Going through this list a couple of times I’m reminded just how much I love a good bass line .. Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order and JJ Brunel of The Stranglers are the standouts of course … but there’s many masters of the bass in here.
Also as this is a video related list I cant help but choose a few based on videos as well as links to other bands that I feel go Hand in Glove with the others.
The Monks – Inter-city Kitty
While all my school mates were into The Sex Pistols and Madness I was more into The Monks, The Specials and The English Beat as I loved the bass lines and the humour in their lyrics. Also this one was bit naughty for young teen to listen to which helped keep it on the playlist and mixtapes.
Joy Division – New Dawn Fades
Joy Division are quite probably my all time favourite band … not the most uplifting music or history but for me they changed music. The sound was unique, the lyrics poetic, the outcome tragic, yet it always puts me at ease. Sure, Love Will Tear Us Apart gets all the attention, but I think New Dawn Fades is a mega track which sometimes gets too little of the attention it deserves. Well until Moby covered it I guess.
Spoek Mathambo – Control
Leading directly on from one Joy Division track to another – but in the context of a cover. I’m a sucker for a good cover – not a simple cover where someone just sings the song as per the original, but rather they put their own unique twist on it. Think Cake covering I Will Survive, or Travis covering Britney Spears Baby One More Time. Well, take those and ramp them up a notch a with South African artist called Spoek Mathambo, then throw in a video by the great photographer Pieter Hugo … and well, mind blown.
The Cure – A Forest
I was a big fan of The Cure in my navy days, in 1989 Disintegration was out on cassette and I listened to that a lot. A lot. I knew of their earlier work but never really got it, but with Disintegration I was hooked. This video for A Forest is pretty damn amazing, given its 1979 pre-goth version of The Cure.
The Organ – Brother
This band was recommended to me by Warwick Patterson of The Circus video fame … we chatted a lot at World Cups in the early 2000s about all sorts and music was a big part of those chats if memory serves. When I heard this track I needed more. The bass line, the lyrics, their influences which you can plainly hear.
Brian Eno – The Big Ship
Electronic. Not everyone’s cup of tea I know… but hard to not get into it on a long drive or all night edit session. Think Massive Attack, Underworld, Aphex Twin, The Orb etc… so many long hours of travel spent listening to this stuff. I remember in the early days of MP3 players – no not an iPod – only Malcolm Fearon could afford one of those. Due to space and the complexity of getting music on the player I had two albums on mine – Placebo ~ Black Market Music and Brian Eno ~ Music for Airports. I spent many a day wandering terminals listening to that in a zenlike daze.
Also, I challenge you to watch Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and not cry when this track plays…
Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the name of
It was the summer of 1994, I had the week off from the super yacht I was working on in Cannes, and decided to head to Glasgow to visit my grandparents. On a whim I checked out what live music was on and discovered T in the Park was the very same weekend. Well, turns out I struck gold. Oasis on a side stage, Björk and then Cypress Hill who then went on to accompany Rage Against the Machine. 25000 people jumping up and down singing “f*ck you I wont do what you tell me” in Glasgow is an experience!
R.E.M. – Losing my Religion Live
More live music from another all time favourite band. R.E.M. It was 2001 and I was in Trafalgar Square with my good mate Mike Smith, his missus Mo and their artist mate Brian. I remember it was a South Africa day concert, Nelson Mandela was there, it was freezing, we snuck vodka in in resealed Evian bottles, it was epic.
Joe Gideon & The Shark – Civilisation
My mate Will Ockelton put me onto Joe Gideon & The Shark a good few years ago – and this track has always been special. I used it for the Deep Summer competition at Crankworx a few years ago… despite editing and producing the show with another piece of music. So a couple of hours before the deadline and having had a couple of hours sleep in the 3 days I decided to take Will’s sage advice and drop this track in as it just suited my riders Craig Wilson and Jason Tarbett down to a T. Literally minutes to deadline and shaking from exhaustion, I dropped it into Seb Kemp’s hand.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with PJ Harvey – Henry Lee
What can I say about the talent and genius that is Nick Cave, from the Birthday Party to the Bad Seeds and so much more. His duets though are on another level though – Where the Wild Roses grow with Kylie Minogue and this one with MIss Polly Jean Harvey. Do yourself a favour and watch One More Time with Feeling. Its a heartbreaker but amazing nonetheless.
The Streets – Weak Become Heroes
My last year of living in London in 2002 this was the anthem. Smart, gritty, funny, on point – it was listening to songs about us. Mike Skinner is another genius who always manages to make me laugh, and get a little introspective at the same time.
I might have to do a more modern list at some point too… but for now I feel this will suffice. Sure I left out thousands of tracks that were seminal in their day and especially relevant to where I was in life at the time.
U2 Unforgettable Fire in high school, 2Unlimited on endless repeat on a cassette player sailing from Cape Town to Lisbon and back in 1990, Beck Loser in the Caribbean in 1994, The Smiths after a late night of sub-editing the Natal Witness newspaper, Neil Young and Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Saint Etienne and Portishead on the long drives to NPS and SAMS races, I could go on for ages.