Soundtrack Of My Life: Blake Harrison

Lovable actor from 'I Hate Suzie', 'World On Fire' and 'The Inbetweeners'

The first song I remember hearing

Michael Jackson – ‘Bad’

“It takes me back to being in my living room, where we had a wooden cabinet that had a cassette player and an old-fashioned record player on top. I’m sure my mum had the Michael Jackson vinyl at the time, and that would be on quite a bit in the house.”

The first album I ever owned


Oasis – ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’

“A brilliant album. Almost every song on it could’ve been released as a single, there are just so many classics: ‘She’s Electric’, ‘Roll With It’, ‘Hello’, ‘Champagne Supernova’. And that’s not even including ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’! I was about 10 when it came out [and] it would’ve been bought by my mum. It the first time I was really into music, rather than it just being a thing that I listened to and enjoyed. It was my thing, not my parents’ thing.”

The first gig I went to

Oasis at Finsbury Park, 2002

“I was about 15, and I went with my older cousin. It was really muddy. It was an atmosphere that I’d never experienced before. The Charlatans and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were supporting, and it was a festival-type event with Oasis headlining. I remember random people dragging other random people into the mud, and my cousin and I ran away from a group of lads who were trying to get a hold of us. They then saw one bloke who was wearing white jeans and one of them shouted, ‘He’s wearing white!!’ A bunch of people then ran over to this bloke, who was shitting himself.

“I also remember bottles of what I can only imagine was piss flying through the air. At one point a bottle flew past my face, and as it was about to hit this guy behind me – in one of the most impressive things I’ve ever done in my life, I sort of-karate-chopped it out of the air. The guy behind me was so thankful!”


The song that reminds me of home

Dizzee Rascal – ‘Stop Dat’

“I grew up in Peckham, [southeast London] and this came out around the time I was 18. I left home at 19, so this is one of my last memories of hanging out in Peckham, Deptford and New Cross. A lot of people were really into this song at the time because he felt like the first proper London hip-hop artist that spoke to people of my generation, and it seemed like a soundtrack for those areas even though Dizzee is from east London. Even if you weren’t a part of that world and the culture that he was talking about, you could feel it around you. Every time you got on the bus, the train, that world and that voice was what was around you. That song just takes me back, particularly being on the bus going through Peckham and New Cross.”

The song I wish I’d written

Baz Luhrmann – ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’

“The lyrics were originally [from a short non-fiction story] written by Mary Schmich, a journalist, as a faux graduation speech, and then Luhrmann took those words and made it into a song. I think those lyrics are so wonderful, and genuinely quite useful and inspiring. To write something like that would be a wonderful thing.”

The song I do at karaoke

Tenacious D – ‘Tribute’

“You’ve got to give it the Jack Black [treatment]: you’ve got to really go for it, play the devil character and go full-on with ‘Tribute’.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

System Of A Down – ‘B.Y.O.B.’

“I keep playing it to the kids in the car – but I turn down the volume at certain moments whenever the F-bombs come in! I played it first as a joke – they’d never heard any heavy metal before – and they loved it. It’s got that chorus that you can really get into: ‘Everybody’s going to the party, have a real good time‘. I loved SOAD, Linkin Park and all of those bands from the early 2000s, and I’m sort of passing that onto my kids now. They may very well be singing it in the school playground: ‘We don’t live in a fascist nation!‘ It’s a good message, at least.”

The song I can no longer listen to

ABBA – ‘Dancing Queen’

“I can’t stand ABBA. I don’t know what it is. It takes me back to family parties or events where songs like ‘Dancing Queen’ would come on, and all the mums would get up and think it’s great. They’d all be dancing, and I’d be like, ‘This song is terrible’. There’s nothing about this song that makes me want to dance or have a good time. I had ABBA forced on me as a kid. My mum would crank up the volume when it came on in the car and I’d be [sat] there just hating it. Sorry ABBA fans, it’s not for me.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Fatman Scoop – ‘Be Faithful’

“It takes me back to The Blue Orchid in Croydon in the early 2000s! The whole club was jumping, and I’m very much transported to 20 years ago whenever I hear it. It’s a mad song as well: I’m sure there’s a lot of problematic lyrics in it, but there’s definitely a point where he shouts, ‘What’s your zodiac sign?‘ That’s just brilliant, I love it.”

The song that makes me cry

Glen Hansard – ‘Leave’

“It’s from the 2007 film Once, a brilliant movie. Hansard’s voice is so raw, heart-wrenching and full of emotion, and it’s a beautiful film anyway. I think it would move anyone to tears.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Queen – ‘Another One Bites The Dust’

“I don’t like the idea of people being all teary if I’m being lowered down into the ground or whatever, I want them to be in a good mood. ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ would be quite funny. Or the image of everyone in black suits, a casket going down into the earth and then ‘Baby Shark’ starts playing – something that lightens the mood a little bit!”

‘World On Fire’ season two is coming soon to BBC One and iPlayer

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