The track that reminds you of your childhood…
“I would say that it’s ‘Ticket To Ride’. My mum had a record collection which she didn’t treat very well, I’m afraid, and everything was scratched. It had a great energy that track, I loved The Beatles when I was a kid; The Beatles and Elvis — that’s what my mum had in her collection, so that’s what I was brought up on. But in Ireland my experience of music as a child was people singing in the real, everybody knew one or two songs and they all sang unaccompanied whenever drink was taken.”
The first record that you ever bought?
“I think it was Terence Trent D’arby’s album. I think I bought it in Ireland. But I remember going to Manchester and wanting to buy a lot of U2 albums, I think it was something about holding onto my Irishness, being proud of my Irishness, and U2 were huge at the time. But having said that, as soon as I heard Sonic Youth I sold all my U2 records just to buy one Sonic Youth record. I was fickle, very fickle.”
What do you listen to that isn’t dance music?
“I like to listen to classical music, I like to guess where it’s from. So I put it on the radio and we have a guessing game. Is it English, is it Austrian, is it German? And that’s quite a fun game. Once you get into it, you get quite good at it. English classical is quite romantic, it’s modernist and you would certainly hear the difference between Italian music and German music, Russian. I’ve got the basics.”
The track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“Well, perhaps ‘If You Go Away’ by Shirley Bassey, it’s a Jacques Brel song. It’s got a lyric in it that goes ‘I would have been in the shadow of your dog if I thought it might have kept you by my side’. I think that’s one of the greatest lyrics of all time. My dad was always a massive Shirley Bassey fan, loved her up, and he bought that record for me from a car boot sale or something in Manchester when I was a kid. I listened to that song over and over and over again, and it does make me very emotional.”
What’s an album (or artist) that you’re currently into?
“I’m vibing on Kanye at the moment, he’s just on fire, isn’t he? I kind of know Kanye because he worked with my ex-boyfriend a lot, Simon Henwood was his creative director for a while. His music is getting better and better I think, listening to what he’s been doing lately. He’s obviously manically driven at the moment and you can hear it in the music, which I really like.”
The record in your collection that you most treasure?
“I don’t really treasure my records, and every time I break up with someone they take half the record collection with them. I don’t usually play records anymore, but I would say ‘Daydream Nation’ because that was the record that I bought after I saw the Sonic Youth gig which changed my life really. When I was 14 I went to see Sonic Youth in Manchester and they let me sit on the side of the stage because I was so little and it was madness in the moshpit. I watched them throw Kim Gordon into the audience over and over again. And I thought, ‘I want to be like that’, and it made me become very obsessive about music — that was all I was interested in from then on. Getting the money for records and gigs, hanging around with weirdos, embracing my unusualness at that moment. I forgot about trying to fit in.”
Your all-time favourite track of all time?
“That is a silly question — I’m trying to rack my brain, so maybe Angie Stone ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’. When the groove kicks in, which of course is a sample of The O’Jays’ ‘Back Stabbers’, but in this case it’s better than the original, the groove is so tight and it moves me from right inside my body to up and down my brain, up my legs and all over. And it’s another emotional vocal which makes me want to cry. For my generation, I think that was an important record. I went to the closing of Space and someone dropped that — I think it was Coxy — and I managed to catch that, and it was pretty great.”