Our seventh favourite album of 2007 was one that found a new way to tread old ground. Lucky Soul's The Great Unwanted channelled Dusty, Stax, girl groups and big old melodrama of a Sixties hue but did it in a way that was entirely believable and quite apart from most of the revivalist hucksters before and since. It certainly didn't sound self-financed. Their first new material since, Whoa Billy!, which came out on download last week, advanced further into the realms of Motown emotion and threw in slabs of glam and disco too. The band are currently recording their second album (see their blog), but singer Ali Howard took a moment out to inform and explain:
First single bought: I really can’t remember, but no doubt it was something deeply embarrassing like Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.
First album bought: Five Star’s Silk and Steel on vinyl. I was really proud of it. Stedman was going to marry me when I grew up, but as it turns out, I’m not his type.
First gig voluntarily attended: I made my brother take me to Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990. He lost me in the crowd and I stood at the back of Wembley Stadium, scowling.
The record that most made you want to get into music: It’s a cliché, but Smells Like Teen Spirit was this massive awakening. I remember watching the video on MTV after school at a mate’s house. I didn’t know what the hell I was witnessing, but I knew I liked it. It wasn’t long before everyone in school joined a band.
The three headliners at a festival you were curating: Ooh fantasy festival… The Smiths (reformed) The Stone Roses (reformed) The Jam (reformed)
A song not enough people know about but everyone should hear: There’s a Dusty track called Summer Is Over, which unbelievably was the b-side of Losing You. It has this dark, brooding horn riff. It’s quite brilliant.
A song you'd play to get people dancing: I’m a rubbish DJ, and it’s usually the track I least expect that will get them up, but Dizzy Miss Lizzie seemed to do the trick last time.
The last great thing you heard: Nina Simone’s piano version of You’ll Never Walk Alone. It’s not just great, it’s sublime.
Your key non-musical influences: Quadrophenia, Under the Skin by Michel Faber, Julie Christie, vintage fashion, traveling the world, Stevie G, speaking Spanish (muy poco) and girly cocktails with my ladies (to counter all the boy-ness in my life).
Your favourite new artist: Theoretical Girl. She’s played with us a couple of times and she’s doing Glastonbury this year, which I’m super excited about. Really looking forward to her debut album.