Riffs

The first and last records bought by Tommy Scott, Singer with Space
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The Independent Culture
First record

Elvis Presley:

"Girl Of My Best Friend"

WE WERE playing radio stations last year and I started doing an acoustic version of this song. I did it in my own style, you'll find it was cheesy, easy listening. It was the song which first turned me on to rock'n'roll. And he was the first artist I got really into. He was so cool. I liked Elvis because he was the ultimate rock star. The song has got very good lyrics about a best friend who pinches his mate's girlfriend (no - it doesn't have personal meaning). And it has a good melody and there is such feeling in Elvis's voice.

It reminds me of being at school and how I used to get up on the tables in front of all the kids and sing it, the exhibitionist to the end.

Elvis was the person who first tried that rock'n'roll style and became a modern-day pop star. The black American artists should probably have had the success that he had, but Elvis did it in his own way and, at the same time, respected them for what they had done. I don't think he destroyed the music; I think he added to it. He added sex appeal. But don't put that I find him sexy, like!

Last record

Finley Quaye:

"Maverick a Strike"

I THINK it's dead feel-good; his lyrics are brilliant. I heard "Sunday Shining" and thought "wow" and bought the album. It reminds me of Martin Stephenson - they both have the warmth and happiness, and the lyrics about everyday subjects are poetic. I like Quaye's ethos as well: it's about personal happiness as well as reaching out to people.

Musically, reggae-style music is something I haven't listened to a lot, so it struck me immediately. So it hasn't been much of an influence, though loads of things influence me all through my life, from Elvis to ska to hip-hop. I don't listen to much while I am writing, because I can end up copying. It's nice on a sunny day, but you can put it on when it's raining and it makes the day lighten up. I got to meet him not so long ago and he seemed like a nice fella. He has also got loads of stick - at the Madstock gig when we played with him he was the only one to stick up for himself against the people throwing things on stage. So good on him.

Interview by Jennifer Rodger

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