T-Rex: "Bang A Gong (Get It On)"
This was the first record that I thought was pretty special. I was a huge Bolan fan. I remember seeing pictures of him at gigs and wanting to do what he did. Bolan had something that no one else did then, or even now. He was a bit of a weirdo, and a purveyor of the glam lifestyle. I thought he was a real poet: "Get it on, bang a gong, get it on" - poetry. It was really easy to play, which was another reason I liked it, really dumb chords. T-Rex must have had an influence on me, because I was very impressionable. If T-Rex were still around I wouldn't want them to reform - they belong to my youth. I don't want it messing up my life now.
Divine Comedy: "Fin de Siecle"
Neil Hannon has a great sense of humour, which is sadly lacking in a lot of music these days. With lines such as "an arse the size of a small country", it sounds like he's got his tongue in his cheek all the time. Everything on that album is really clever, and it's obvious that a huge amount of work has gone into it. It's not like anything else - when it's on the radio it sticks out. A couple of tracks are particularly stunning; "Sweden" and "Eric the Gardener". I don't own a record by an artist who doesn't write their own songs. I like writers who can express themselves and have something to say.
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