Soundtrack Of My Life: ‘Ted Lasso’ actor Jeremy Swift

Telly's favourite bumbling sidekick and Roxy Music expert

The first song I remember hearing

The Beatles – ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

“I was on holiday with my family in Blackpool like a northern cliché, and the song seemed to be everywhere – even my grandparents started singing along. I don’t know whether it’s sort of resonated a bit more because we were on the northwest coast, but there was a kind of pride I felt. I just remember being quite happy.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Atomic Rooster – ‘Devils Answer’

“They’re a band I’ve never followed or bought any albums from, but I’d been to London on a school trip when the song came out [in 1971], I was 10. London for me was a massive culture shock at the time, not least because there were loads of hippie freaks around who seemed like alternative gods. When I got back I had to really sell the idea to my dad of buying the record – it was like asking him if I could buy dope! The song itself sounds like a classic early ‘70s rock thing now but at the time it sounded like a hypnotising language, like an invitation to a black mass – I was quite willing to follow the horned one.”

The first album I bought

Roxy Music – ‘For Your Pleasure’

“I’d been on holiday in 1972 when ‘Virginia Plain’ was released, and it was around the same summer as ‘Starman’ and I’d missed the boat completely. I didn’t really take ‘Virginia Plain’ seriously, I thought it was a stupid comedy record – I was too immature to understand a bit of classic art pop. And so my parents bought me ‘For Your Pleasure’ for my 13th birthday. I was completely transported and transfixed, I’d never heard the like – that style and excitement and weirdness that wasn’t prog.”

The song I wish I’d written

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Cousteau – ‘Last Good Day of the Year’

“It’s poetical and full of autumnal reflection. Liam McKay is one of the greatest singers ever, and the chorus has one of the biggest lifts I’ve ever heard, it borders on having a Buddhist alignment. It scoops up dismay and winter gloom, and injects you with a bit of hope and resilience.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

David Bowie – ‘Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)’

“I’ve spent decades reordering my old Bowie albums and I’ve put ‘Diamond Dogs’ as numero uno. It’s an amazing performance with his deepest voice which then shoots up to startling soprano. It’s brilliant narration that paints a picture of surviving a brutal world, it’s really un-self-consciously theatrical, it’s like some weird futuristic cabaret.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Chic – ‘My Forbidden Lover’

Chic were just so stylish. Obviously, that’s what they’re aiming for! Some funk had gone a bit trippy and prog, and some disco had been a bit throwaway, but Chic just pulled it all together. There’s definitely an upwardly mobile feel to their vibe, and for the Black experience as well. This song has their trademark staccato vocals, the strings of a piano doubling, and the phrasing is amazing. The verse was such a working groove, it’s just impossible to sit still when it’s on.”

The song I do at karaoke

The Walker Brothers – ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’

“I’ve only done karaoke twice – one of the times I got so drunk I forgot what I sang, I think I did about 12 songs! But the other time I was doing a TV series called The Smoking Room and I sang this song when the cast and crew had a karaoke session. I got into the Walker Brothers in the ‘80s because I had an older girlfriend who liked them, and I sang along because it was my pitch – Scott Walker doesn’t go too high in my range, and I’ve just never stopped loving to sing it.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Roxy Music – ‘The Thrill of It All’

“I’d want at least three songs, but one would definitely have to be Roxy Music. I had thought of ‘A Song for Europe’ which is sort of moody and sexy and brilliant, but I thought that I want to celebrate life rather than death actually. So I’d go for ‘The Thrill of It All’, which was the opening track on ‘Country Life’. They would always open an album magnificently. Ferry’s got this brilliant evocative narrative to it. We all think of him as a daft Tory now, but he was really very cool and stylish then! And he was a really good lyricist. It’s just literally thrilling – and that would be the intention, I would want people dancing, not weeping.”

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