Back for a new year's refreshed run through the upbringing and background to some of our favourite musicians, we start with the Mackem dreamers we wrote about just the other week, Frankie & The Heartstrings. In particular, drummer Dave Harper:
First single bought: Stand And Deliver by Adam and the Ants, I was scared wrongwise by the sound of the snarling horses and the fanfare at the start. It sounds like the world is ending, well it did to a child.
First gig voluntarily attended: Er....first paying gig was Oasis supported by Ocean Colour Scene at Newcastle Riverside. My dad dropped me and my first real girlfriend off at about 5 (how cool were we?) Got crushed, Liam got punched, gig abandoned and Jo Whiley was shrieking like she'd spilt her skinny latte on her Echobelly t-shirt! Then my GF at the time was sick on my shoes, I loved that fucking dumb local idiot!
The record that most made you want to get into music: Angel Fingers by Wizzard. My Dad only had about seven singles and a couple of Demis Roussos albums. There was never going to be any question in the Chris De Burgh v Wizzard stakes, Wizzard 1 mad haired god botherer 0, home win!
The three headliners at a festival you were curating: Tiny Tim, Garry Wilmot and The Wombats with only me watching and a high powered rifle.
A song not enough people know about but everyone should hear: Theres a band that exist in between London, Newcastle and possibly Narnia. They are called Les Cox (Sportifs). Almost definitely the band that the hipsters in Shoreditch will say they followed five years after they fall apart. Pretty much all of their songs are better than anything yours or your friends' pointless beat combo have, more feeling, thought and baffling intensity that Les Coq songs do. Listen to the Hand And The Heed and impress your friend who works in Dalston.
A song you'd play to get people dancing: Depends where you are. For example you could be playing what you think is the most vital moments committed to vinyl in Sunderland on a Friday night... nothing, not a sausage. Pop on the Jam/Kasabian/Stone Roses/whatever was on TFI Friday and you're laughing. For other more cordial environments, Never Get Ahead by Bobby Conn, funky musical cat nip for hipsters.
The last great thing you heard: The noise the 18 year old midget fella made when he was awarded his black belt second dan in the documentary I just watched. Extraordinary little chap.
Your key non-musical influences: Books, more specifically authors. Knut Hamsun has moved me like a loose bowel after a double shot Americano. Everyone can learn from that grim Norwegian bastard.
Your favourite new artist: I've recently discovered Sweet Baboo. A chap from Wales who plays in Euros Childs' band. He writes what should be the most twee rubbish ever when on paper. BUT, he does things that are amazing with, what at first listen, seem silly. But theres a darkness to it, like a steel fist with a velvet glove! Id suggest Hello Wave. Ch ch ch ch ch ch check him out. T'ra.