Ewen Bremner – Soundtrack Of My Life

The Trainspotting actor and star of Wonder Woman takes us through the songs that have made him who he is

The first song I remember hearing

Paul Simon – ‘Late In The Evening’

“I became conscious of music through that song. I listened to it a lot. My dad got himself a nice hi-fi that I wasn’t allowed to touch, but he picked me up an old radiogram from a skip, so I had a turntable in my bedroom.”

The first song I fell in love with

Ian Dury and the Blockheads – ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’


“It’s got fantastic energy, and attitude and poetry – it’s really an exciting piece of music. It set a template for me. In the late 1970s there was a whole new music scene going on in Britain with the 2 Tone scene and Madness and The Specials. That steered me into the world of British beat music that was based on Jamaican dancehall music and reggae and ska.”

The first gig I went to

Tom Waits at Edinburgh Playhouse

“I was 16 and it absolutely blew my mind. It was a fantastic concert – very visual and very theatrical. It wasn’t like going to a traditional gig; he created this world that was like a living room or an LA motel lounge bar. It was like entering another world.”

The first album I bought

Pink Floyd – ‘The Wall’

“It was all about questioning authority – it was quite rebellious and subversive, and had fantastic songs about growing up and being at the mercy of an institution. It really resonated with me, feeling like a little minion in that big scary world of school.”

The song I do at karaoke

Prince – ‘Purple’


“The last song I did was ‘Purple Rain’. I was in Tokyo and he’d just passed away, so I felt compelled to murder ‘Purple Rain’.”

The song that makes me dance

Don Thomas – ‘Come On Train’

“I’m an old soul head, and this is just a great tune. Bobby Byrd’s ‘I Need Help’ also does it for me. They’re both powerful movers. You just can’t listen to them and not move.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Jimmy Cliff – ‘Many Rivers To Cross’

“It’s got the church organ and it’s contemplative and it’s about life going on and having something to reach for. I think for a funeral it’s not bad.”

The song that reminds me of home

Paul Simon – ‘That’s Why God Made The Movies’

“It’s one of the songs I used to listen to a lot as a kid. It’s about making sense of your life and your existence. I am, for my sins, an existentialist. It’s about coming to terms with the wounds of life, and how film and music can be a medicine for your wounds.”

Wonder Woman is in cinemas now


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