Soundtrack Of My Life: The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman On Idolising Bryan Adams And Singing Spice Girls Karaoke

He and his Wakefield brothers delivered one of the best albums of the year so far in the gleefully poppy ‘For All My Sisters’, but what music makes The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman tick? We caught up with him to hear about the records that have shaped his life to date…

The first song that I remember hearing
‘Only You’, The Flying Pickets: “It’s an a capella (cover of Yazoo’s 1982 hit – synth pop Ed) that was Number One over Christmas in 1983. There are videos of me and Gary singing it – we obviously really loved it.”


The first song I fell in love with
‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, Bryan Adams: “When I was a kid I wasn’t into music, I wasn’t into anything, just collecting stuff out of bags of crisps. Then when that came out I just thought it was really cool and that Bryan Adams was dead cool. I wanted to be like him. In the video he had a red Stratocaster and for that Christmas I got my mum to get me a red Stratocaster copy.”

The first album I ever bought was
‘America’s Least Wanted’, Ugly Kid Joe: “I was at high school and we used to go to this weird nightclub place that when it was the dinner hour at school they would let young kids in. They used to play ‘Everything About You’ by Ugly Kid Joe. My friend told me his cousin was selling the CD because he decided he was into rave music. So he sold it to me for £5.”

The song that made me want to make music
‘About A Girl’, Nirvana: “It was just so easy to play. You learnt that and then you were in a band. It’s a rite of passage for kids even now.”


The song I can no longer listen to
‘The Past That Suits You Best’, The Delgados: “It reminds me of a time in my life that I’ll never get back. We started The Cribs and we’d play with Bobby Conn. I fell in love with his nanny and I moved over to Chicago to be with her and I used to listen to that record all the time when I was out there and then the band got signed and I had to leave it all behind. I have to blank it out because I just can’t think about it.”

The song I do at karaoke
‘Say You’ll Be There’, Spice Girls: “I always end up doing something I can’t pull off, like a Queen song. The last time I did karaoke it was a Spice Girls song. There’s no reason why – it just came up. We were in Japan.”

The song that makes me want to dance
‘Into The Groove’, Madonna: “It’s the closest I will ever get to listening to anything that’s classed as electronic dance.”

The song I can’t get out of my head
‘Get On Home’, The Manson Family: “I’m still really obsessed with Charles Manson. What he’s perceived to have done is not something I’m saying that I look up to, but the way he and his Family were living in a counter-cultural way I am jealous of. They tapped into something that will never be tapped into again. They dedicated their life to searching for the art and the beauty in things and the music they made is absolutely brilliant.”

The song I wish I’d written
‘Friends Will Be Friends’, Queen: “I love it. It’s such a good vibe, no cynicism, no negativity. If I try and write a song from the heart there is always cynicism and negativity in it, and I can’t work that out. I sometimes sit down and think ‘God, my life is much better than I convince myself it is. All I have to do is be this band guy and I make something of a living out of doing it. Shit’s good so… what’s your problem?’”

The song I want played at my funeral
‘Love Song For A Vampire’, Annie Lennox: “It’s so intense. And if you chose a song from Dracula, it could give people the impression that maybe you‘re coming back and it’s going to be really romantic and you’re going to have red eyes and we’re going to have a night of passion together.”

The song that reminds me of starting The Cribs
‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, The Shirelles: “When we first started, Gary for some reason went to a caravan park on his own just to hang out. I was left to run our studio and I recorded a really lo-fi version of that song. I was really, really psyched by it so I got in the car and headed over to the caravan where he was at and I gave him the cassette and was like ‘I’ve recorded a version of this song – let’s start a band that sounds exactly like this’ – guitars playing girl group music.”