Soundtrack Of My Life: Russell Kane

The professional funny man talks about his love for dance, teen raves, and singing ‘Summer Nights’ whilst hammered

The first gig I went to
“I never went to gigs until I started hanging around with [radio 1 DJ] Greg James. I was more into hard house, drum & bass and loads of warehouse raves up and down the country, from the age of 16. We used to make fake IDs on my colour printer and drink loads because we never had the courage to do any drugs.”


The first song I fell in love with
Bob Marley – ‘One Love’
“I’ve got a memory of dancing around the garden at my auntie Nicola’s house with my cousins, all doing the conga and dancing to ‘One Love’. It’s a bit of a cherished memory. You always have a little phase in your life where Bob Marley is appropriate; the stoner phase, the hard work phase and the chillout phase. Thinking about it just makes me joyful.”

The song I do at karaoke
Elvis Presley – ‘Jailhouse Rock’
“It’s just what I can sing; I would never listen to it. When I lived in Walthamstow we used to get absolutely hammered and sing in the pub on Walthamstow Market. I’d always finish the night with ‘Summer Nights’ from Grease.”

The first album I bought
Rick Astley – ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’
“I got it in Woolworths. I used to buy all my music in Woolworths. ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was on it, but the rest of the songs just weren’t as good. Everyone at school was dancing to it. Every boy wanted to be Rick Astley and every girl wanted to marry him. I had my hair swept back like him – I’ve still got the Rick Astley hair now.”


The song that makes me want to dance
Beyoncé – ‘Crazy In Love’
“Not to get the violins out, but if I hadn’t come from a council estate and I’d had someone to push me, I would have either become an academic or a dancer. I’m double jointed and I love physically expressing myself – it’s certainly how I perform my comedy. A few years ago I got the opportunity to dance on TV for charity, so I learned the routine for ‘Crazy In Love’ and danced in drag. I got a shoulder injury from crunking too hard.”

The song that reminds me of starting in comedy
Foo Fighters – ‘The Pretender’
“The break in it just gets your blood flowing. I don’t normally listen to rock or indie music but I did have a little phase for a couple of years. You’ve got to wait until about a minute and half in, so you’d listen to it as you were walking up to your gig and then it kicks in… It’s a good tune!”

The first song I remember hearing
Musical Youth – ‘Pass The Dutchie’
“We had a 7” single that me and my brother played in the bedroom on my dad’s record player in our council flat in Enfield. We’d just dance around to the record player. That’s my first memory of music. The lyrics, “Pass the dutchie on the left hand side,” turned out to be about a spliff.”

The song I want played at my funeral
The Prodigy – ‘Smack My Bitch Up’
I think it depends on when I peg it. If I’m old I’ll definitely have something classic from the ’90s or ’00s, but I think if I die from some horrible early cancer I might just have something sombre, like Mozart’s ‘Requiem’.”

Russell Kane’s ‘Right Man, Wrong Age’ tour starts September 7 at Worthing Pavilion