Soundtrack Of My Life: Robert Webb

Writer of books. Maker of TV. Fan of mid-gig bingo

The first song I fell in love with

Showaddywaddy – ‘When’

“It was the late ’70s and I saw them on Top Of The Pops. I made my Auntie Trudy buy me the single. I won’t have been very old at all, but there was something about the tune that I found very pleasing – and I liked their little Teddy Boy costumes. I thought it was all very jolly.”

The first song I can remember hearing


Charles Aznavour – ‘The Old Fashioned Way’

“My Aunty Trudie had a wooden gramophone and this was one of her favourites. [Sings in French accent] Dance… in the old fashioned way. Won’t you stay in my arms?”

The first album I bought

George Michael – ‘Faith’

“Not enormously trendy, but I wasn’t really buying them very often until I was well into my teens. I always liked Wham! because they were good fun. They didn’t seem to take themselves very seriously. I was drawn to that really. I was very sad when I heard about his death, but I’m afraid not terribly surprised because he didn’t seem like he was in a very well place.”

The first gig I ever went to


Erasure – London Arena, 1989

“A gang of my friends went along. It was good fun but we were a long way back in the cheap seats. I think it was the tour where Andy Bell did an impromptu game of bingo in the middle because everyone had bingo cards under their seats. It was all fantastically camp. It was the ‘Wild!’ tour but I liked the albums that came before better.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Katrina and the Waves – ‘I’m Walking On Sunshine’

“We used it as the end song of one our Edinburgh shows and it wasn’t a particularly happy one. We used to do these two hour shows where we’d tell a really crazy story with super-villains and heroes and there was a version of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar [from That Mitchell & Webb Look] in there. We had a load of fun doing that for three or four shows but by 2001 it was going a bit stale. We never died but we never really hit the heights. This song brings back the worst of Edinburgh.”

The song I do at karaoke

The Walker Brothers – ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’

“I massively avoid karaoke but if I did, I would probably do something by Scott Walker. We have similar voices. Most songs are either too high for me or too low but there’s something about Scott Walker’s register that I can sort of do. I have an outside chance of singing it without making a complete dick of myself.”

The song I wish I’d written

Leonard Cohen – ‘Hallelujah’

“I know the Jeff Buckley version best – as most people my age do – but cool people know it through Leonard Cohen, don’t they? I heard Buckley do it and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d heard in a very long time, if ever. Lyrics like, “Maybe there’s a God above/But all I’ve ever learned from love/Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya.” I just thought, ‘What the hell happened to this guy?’ Fucking hell, Leonard.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Morecambe & Wise – ‘Bring Me Sunshine’

“I think this is the sem-serious answer. Just because I’d want everyone to cheer the fuck up. Funerals are sad enough! But I’m not going to be there. It’s very much not my problem.”