1. Crawfish Fiesta – Professor Longhair
This was one of me and my dad’s favourite albums for the school run – it wasn’t always easy to find music we both agreed was amazing, but this did the trick. As an example of New Orleans piano I can’t think of a better album…
2. Signs of Life – Penguin Cafe Orchestra
I feel like I have to have one of my dad’s albums in here and its always hard to chose a favourite. At the moment its this one – its got the mig penguin track Perpetuum Mobile in there and Rosasolis and then at the other end of the PCO vibe its got The Snake and the Lotus and Wildlife for some out-there experimentalism…
3. The White Album – The Beatles
Again, this was a huge part of my growing up and learning about music. Its been said that they could have fit the best tracks on to one disc of vinyl and made the best album of the decade and I get that – but some of the weirdest moments are the ones that stick with you I think.
4. Beethoven, the Complete Piano Sonatas and Concertos – Alfred Brendel
I can listen to this album on repeat for days and it never gets old. He has such accuracy and dramatic feel – he lets the music expand and contract in a way that brings it to life going beyond the realms of genre or period. Its actually really if you listen to music while running…
5. 3 Feet High and Rising – De La Soul
Absolutely my favourite hip hop album – it came out when I was 12 and starting to hang out skating with baggy trousers and long hair and all that stuff. Its such a happy album and the sources they sampled are amazingly diverse – they showed a love for any genre and played around with it all in a way that made you feel like anything was possible. My dad had an Atari rig and an 8 bit sampler and I’d spend days messing about on them with this album as a road map.
Penguin Cafe on ‘Handfuls of Night’ at The Royal Albert Hall Wednesday 9th October 2019