Mark Kermode: My life in travel

'Making music in Memphis is amazing, you have to breathe in the atmosphere'

Film critic Mark Kermode's latest book, "Hatchet Job", is published by Picador; £8.99.

First holiday memory?

Being on the beach in Port Erin in the Isle of Man, in the late Sixties. My mum, Audrey, is from the island, so we would go once or twice a year. My grandparents had a house in Douglas and, at first, we'd all stay there. When we were older, we'd rent places in Port St Mary and Port Erin. I remember playing cricket behind a kipper-smoking barn in Port St Mary, using fishing crates as wickets. I still go there whenever I can and consider it to be an utterly magical place.

Favourite place in the British isles?

Last aisle seat on the left, 10 rows from the front, at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, London.

Best holiday?

A couple of years ago I went to Memphis with my band, The Dodge Brothers, to record an album at Sun Studio. We'd been on the blues trail for a year or so before, going down to Clarksdale, staying at the Riverside Hotel where Ike Turner started strumming "Rocket 88" all those years ago. Being in Memphis was amazing, though – we recorded the album over two sweaty nights at Sun, and between tracks we'd wander outside to breathe in the atmosphere.

What have you learnt from your travels?

As Elvis Costello said: "Travel broadens the mind till you can't get your head out of doors".

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode (BBC) Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

When I turned 50, I promised myself that I'd learn to surf. So far, I've managed to stand on a board for about three seconds, which hardly constitutes "adrenalin junkie". But anything that gives me an excuse to spend time on a beach in Cornwall is fine by me.

Greatest travel luxury?

Travel-sized tins of Dax – no quiff should be without them.

Holiday reading?

I picked up an original copy of Elvis: What Happened? at a jumble sale in the Isles of Scilly. It's currently sitting at the bottom of a bag of wet-suits, demanding attention.

Worst travel experience?

Travelling across Russia and Ukraine in the back of a punctured Lada with my friend and colleague, Nigel Floyd. I'd been sent there to do a set report for Fangoria magazine on a horror film called Dark Waters. The journey was horrifying and lasted several days, by the end of which I had ruptured something in my spine. When we finally got to the set, it turned out that someone had sold all the film-stock on the black market, so we never got to see a single frame of footage actually being shot.

However, Nigel and I bonded over that experience and have been joined at the hip ever since, so maybe it wasn't really such a bad time after all.

Best hotel?

I have an undying affection for The Sefton in Douglas, Isle of Man, because my grandfather, James Stanley Kermode, used to be on the board of governors and he would take us there for lunch as a treat. I've also had brilliant times at the Watergate Bay Hotel in Newquay and I'd go back to Hell Bay in the Isles of Scilly any time.

Best meal abroad?

I had a tuna steak on the beach in Portugal once, which has pretty much ruined all tuna steaks ever since.

Where next?

I am in Shetland for the Screenplay Film Festival, which I co-curate with my wife Linda Ruth Williams. We've been doing it for about seven or eight years and it's a wonderful event – great audiences, fabulous scenery and spontaneous outbursts of raucous music and strange dancing. Shetland is unlike anywhere else: wild and remote, yet warm and welcoming.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas