Soundtrack Of My Life: Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi

Last of the old school rock and roll frontmen, former Blur devotee

The first song I remember hearing

Michael Jackson – ‘Black Or White’

“This was long, long, long before the preposterousness of the whole thing. It would’ve been in my house, we had Michael Jackson records because my dad was into him. It was like Elvis, everyone could agree on that up to a point and then suddenly we could no longer agree on Michael. We used to put it on and dance to it and shit. We were dedicated to that. If anybody brought up anybody else like Queen we were like, ‘nah, shithouse, Michael Jackson is where it’s at’.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Eagle-Eye Cherry – ‘Save Tonight’

“That song had a certain poignancy for me. Sitting watching TV, I remember the video came up. It was on The Big Breakfast, remember that? Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen, they was a pair. It was like a late-night thing but in the morning, quite sexy and naughty. I remember the single came on and that was the first time I was like ‘I have to go get that’.”

The first album I bought

Blur – ‘Parklife’

“My big brother was obsessed with Britpop so by extension I was also obsessed with Britpop. Blur were his go-to. I wouldn’t ever listen to Blur now but at the time there was a kind of melancholy about it. It made me think of London, which was not a place I’d ever been but you’re almost mourning this place that’s not even real to you. It conjured up an image of a place. I used to get my pocket money on a Thursday from my mum and then go down to the record shop in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, and buy one or two CDs every week until I had a collection.”

The first gig I went to

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Blur at the SECC Glasgow

“I was really young, I must’ve been ten or something. I went with my brother and I remember him taking me to the front before they went on. Typical of my big brother, he’s so irresponsible in so many ways. It was really packed at the front and they came out and started doing ‘Song 2’ and the place went fucking mental. I was so terrified I was gonna get crushed, I was this little dude getting thrown around, it was horrible. I escaped and stood and watched it from the perimeter. It was a bit heavy, that. It baffles me that people go out and do that for pleasure at those big gigs.”

The song I wish I’d written

Leonard Cohen – ‘The Future’

“The line about anal sex and I love the one about ‘take the only tree that’s left and stick it up the hole in your culture’, I love the meanness of that. It’s such a great sermon to spit, it’s so righteous and damning. That posture is kind of infinite.”

The song I do at karaoke

John Denver – ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’

“It goes down well if you can hit what I call the leap of faith moment. All good songs have this bit where you can’t really half-sing it, you’ve either got to chuck your lot in or not bother at all. It’s the ‘I belong’ bit, there can be no half-measures. It’s a leap of faith, if you nail that then it usually goes down alright but if you pussy out of it then you’re in trouble.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Bob Dylan – ‘Key West (Philosopher Pirate)’

“I went to see him the other night, I hadn’t seen him in 20 years and it was absolutely mind-blowing. Last time I saw him it was complete shithouse, he has a rep for shithouse live gigs which he’s carefully cultivated for about 30 years. But this was just spellbinding, it was such a dense experience. He’s a historical figure that time is about to extinguish, reflecting back on all of that musical history. ‘Key West’ is ineffable. I doubt that he knows exactly what’s going on in that song, but the more I listen to it the more I think about it.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Lil Louis – ‘French Kiss’

“It’s a sexy number. It’s the combination of the beat and the sex noises that make me want to dance. Who’d have thought?”

The song I can no longer listen to

Anything by Fat White Family

“Anything with me in it. By the time you’ve finished tinkering with them and fucking about with them you never want to hear from them ever again. It’s a divorce. And making a music video is like hanging them up on a meat hook in the public square, you don’t want anything to do with that ever again. Making the thing is a never-ending agony, by the time it’s done you’re like ‘see you later’. Then it’s Guantanamo-style flagellations [doing the video]. It’s awful.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Joe Dolce – ‘Shaddap You Face’

“I just think it’d be good to lighten the mood a little bit. It’ll be a heavy day.”

Decius are a supergroup made up of Paranoid London and Warmduscher members with Lias Saoudi as frontman. Their debut album, ‘Decius Vol. I’, is released via The Leaf Label on November 4

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