Soundtrack Of My Life: The Wombats’ Murph On Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode And Radiohead Rescuing Him From A Happy Hardcore Addiction

The first song I remember hearing:
Michael Jackson – something from ‘Bad’

“I used to wear denim jackets. I had this weird brown hat that was more John Wayne than Michael Jackson but I thought I was MJ even though I had really bad dance moves with knobbly knees. I remember listening to ‘Bad’ a lot.”


The first song I fell in love with:
‘Creep’ – Radiohead

“I was going through a really terrible happy hardcore phase when I was about 11 to 13. Then I remember hearing ‘Creep’ on New Year’s Eve up in the den my friend and I made in his parents’ house and thinking, ‘What was that?’ Then I became a Radiohead pervert for years.”

The first album I bought:
‘Bad’ – Michael Jackson

“He was playing in Liverpool and you could hear the bass rumbling from miles away. It was definitely around that time that I got it.”


The song that made me want to be in a band:
‘Stripped’ – Depeche Mode

“My geography teacher played a lot of Depeche Mode. He gave me the ‘101’ DVD. So it would probably be ‘Stripped’ by Depeche Mode. Dave Gahan’s arse looked great!”

The song that makes me want to dance:
‘Pogo’ – Digitalism

“It’s a really offbeat, Kraftwerk-y kind of song. Whenever I used to do DJ sets, it was a real staple. I enjoyed playing that a lot; I dunno if anyone else did, though! That was the song that made me realise I was a techno fan (laughs).”

The song I do at karaoke:
‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’– Drake

“I think it’s one of the best songs ever written. It’s a little bit low and I always want to come in with a real sing-along vibe when I sing it but it’s more chilled out. It kind of lowers the mood of karaoke bars.”

The song we played at The Wombar:
‘Ace of Spades’ – Motörhead

“At BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2009, we had this big inflatable wombat and loads of excess booze on the bus that we used to provide for everyone at the Wombar. A lot of our crew had worked for Motörhead before and they said to us that this was ridiculous – we were so proud of the fact that we had drunk more than Motörhead! Then the song became a bit of a joke from there.”

The song I can’t get out of my head:
‘Take Me To Church’ – Hozier

“I literally can’t stop singing it. There’s something about it melodically that drives me insane. You listen to it and go, ‘That’s a good pop song’, but then you properly let it sink in and realise the connotations behind it. That’s when you become aware that it’s about LGBTQ and that kind of stuff, which really elevates it. Then it becomes fucking impossible to get out of your head!”

The song I wish I’d written:
‘Beetlebum’– Blur

“There’s something that excites me about popularising very grim things. I had no idea it was about drugs when I first heard it! Whether it’s about drugs or not isn’t super important – it’s an incredible song in its own right. When you realise there are these dark undertones to it, though, it propels it further.”

The song I can no longer listen to:
‘Take On Me’ – A-ha

“Whenever I’m in a drunken hellhole at 3AM, it always involves this song. Most of my best and worst nights have ended with this song playing. I know the party’s over when I hear that song!”

The song I want played at my funeral:
‘Wichita Lineman’ – Glen Campbell

“I want something that’s going to be particularly sad! I don’t want anyone rejoicing at my funeral. I think it’s one of the best songs ever written, and lyrically I absolutely love it.”

The song I associate with Liverpool:
‘Today’– The Smashing Pumpkins

“I would drive back home from London a lot and I’d be slightly nervous whenever I thought I had a song or an idea of a song to present to the band. So whenever I tried to calm myself down I would play this for some reason. It was melodically very poppy but had a lot of aggression to it. For some reason, that kind of relaxed me.”