Soundtrack Of My Life: Russell Kane

North London comic, would rather be in Ibiza

The first song I remember hearing

Barry White – ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe’

“I remember my dad playing Barry White in the car. He had an 8-track system rigged up to the Transit van. He was still using them in like 1999/2000. I was born in ‘75, and ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe’ came out in ‘74. About eight years later my dad threw it out of the window. He was so sick of it because me and my brother played it all the time. We had the last laugh [though] because my dad popped his clogs in 2003 and he was cremated to Barry White.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Musical Youth – ‘Pass The Dutchie’

“It was the first single I was allowed to buy with my pocket money – 7 inch. I must have heard it on Radio 1, or something. It was about ‘82, and I bought it in Woolworths. I obviously didn’t know what it was about – passing a spliff around in a circle. Later on, when I was smoking, getting stoned with weed to this sort of thing was like an escape. A way of chilling out. The thought of doing cocaine or any drugs like that just does not appeal to me at all.”

The first ‘gig’ experience I had

Roller Express @ Lea Valley Trading Estate, north London

“I was never taken to any concerts. I grew up on a council estate and there was nothing for me to go and see. When I was about 14 or 15, hard house and drum & bass became big. I never wanted to know the name of a single artist again. I just wanted to dance. We were lucky, we grew up in Enfield, north London where one of the last famous raves was established (legal) called Roller Express. That’s where we went every weekend. We’d have vodka before we went and I wore a wooly hat, shorts and a bomber jacket. I was one of the last people to leave the dancefloor at six in the morning.

The song I wish I’d written

Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

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“Once I got past 35 I became less worried about ‘wouldn’t be seen dead listening to…’ I’m now going back and catching up on all the things I should have done as a teenager. I always knew Freddie Mercury was an icon. I’ve always identified as straight but there’s something about him that’s so much like me. That’s what my journey at college was like. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has got a bit of everything – you can dance to it, it’s lyrical, it’s got classical music (something else I’ve belatedly started listening to). It’s just a work of genius. I can’t think of anything else like it.”

The song I do at karaoke

Elvis Presley – ‘Hound Dog’

“I hate late Elvis – fat, warbly Elvis. I like young, rocking Elvis. I can also do a song by another artist who I feel is a bit of a spirit animal, ‘Tutti Frutti’ by Little Richard. Anything that allows me to belt out some big notes.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Beyoncé– ‘Listen’

“For about the last 10 years I’ve found myself singing this. It really winds [my wife] Lindsey up. It’s just an earworm. I don’t know why. I also sing Al Green a lot when I’m home alone.”

The song that reminds me of home

Little Mix – ‘Salute’

“I’ve got a little girl now and things just change all the time. She’s only five. She does this whole choreographed routine to ‘Salute’. If I hear that when I’m on tour instantly I’m back home in my pyjamas on a day off while my daughter dances and I shit myself about what the future holds.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Jamiroquai – ‘Virtual Insanity’

“You’ve got to remember, when we first heard Jamiroquai at the time we thought it was amazing – I didn’t realise the guy was white until someone told me. But then, as I got to university, which was ‘98, I started to realise that it was frowned upon for middle class reasons and I started to turn a bit middle class. Now, when I put it on I cringe that I even danced to it, but for the wrong reasons – for pretentious, identity politics, typical BBC comedian reasons I can no longer listen to Jamiroquai and I hate it.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Mark Knight & Funkagenda – ‘Man With The Red Face’

“So many Gen X’ers are still fucking having it, it’s something about the music of that era. Obviously I can’t. I have to lead a squeaky clean, avocado-eating, FitBit-wearing life for work but I still go to Ibiza every year and drink neat vodka. For this song in Ibiza someone always takes over live with the saxophone bit and someone is banging a bongo. It’s a jazz Cafe Muzak banging dance tune. It’s never not in Ibiza. I put it on in the car sometimes and pretend I’m there.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Liquid – ‘Sweet Harmony’

“I quite like the idea of having some banging gabber techno playing just to annoy everyone. It would depend what age I was. If I got some sort of cancer disease and I was dying now at the peak of my life I would probably want to give everyone a laugh so I’d like something like Liza Minnelli. But If I’d lived a long and rich life, and all my friends were there and I was the first to go I’d play ‘Sweet Harmony’. It’s such a good message as well. I just love it. It reminds me of being sweaty and passing a dreg of water around.”

‘Evil Genius’ with Russell Kane is available now on BBC Sounds

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