When you load up Spotify, a great big chunk of the time you can’t think what to play, right? You default back to your old favourites, those albums and songs you played on repeat when you first discovered you could make them yours.
This isn’t about guilty pleasures; it’s about those songs you’ll still be listening to when you’re old and in your rocking chair. So, enter Teenage Kicks - a playlist series that sees bands running through the music they listened to in their formative years.
Next up, Steven Ansell from Blood Red Shoes.
It's pretty hard to choose which Pixies song I was most obsessed with as a teenager, but I think this one might have been it. I mean I’m still obsessed with it now, there’s no other band on earth that will ever be The Pixies, what a weird, evocative, aggressive, spooky, amazing sound. There’s nothing else like it.
As a teenager, my dad saw me reading books about 70s punk, and he went up into our loft and got out all his old 7” vinyl. One of them was 'Holidays In The Sun', which I still have to this day, and it still never fails to make me want to smash up my room.
Just the opening of this song is enough to kill a person. It’s so abrupt and kinda violent and sounds like a band about to collapse from their own intensity. Which they basically did on Jools Holland that time, still some of the greatest TV I’ve ever seen.
Certain things you listen to as a teenager you grow out of or move on but PJ Harvey is someone who has been a lifelong inspiration to me, in fact to both of us, in the band. I’ve never been as starstruck in my life as the one time I saw her randomly in Angel tube station in London, and I froze on the spot, and everyone hated me for being in the way.
I was never into skateboarding or BMX bikes growing up, but most of my friends were, and they listened to a lot of hip-hop. Growing up in small-town Sussex, hearing stuff like this just had this whole groove and swagger which felt like it came from another planet.
One of the things that really bonded our band together when we first met is that we both loved Madonna as much as we loved Fugazi. That was a big deal for us in a scene which was really stuck in its ways and had no room for anything sexy or fun or danceable. This tune is so badass that sonic youth even covered it, I mean, wake up you blinkered punks, SONIC FUCKIN YOUTH SAID IT’S COOL.
I remember desperately trying to work out how to cover the title-track 'Goo', or other songs from this album, and being super confused because they didn’t use normal guitar chords and everything was in weird tunings so you couldn’t get it. It just added to the mystery and allure of the band, and this era is them at their peak.
Well, I couldn’t namecheck Fugazi and not put a song in. This is the opener from the album 'Red Medicine'; again it was my skater friends who turned me onto Fugazi, I discovered them way too late but luckily just in time to catch their last ever tour. Every band I’ve been in and every side project I’ve done, someone has compared to Fugazi, which says a lot about the influence they’ve had on me.
Taken from the March issue of Upset. Blood Red Shoes’ album ‘Get Tragic’ is out now.
Featuring Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, While She Sleeps, One OK Rock and more.