EUROS CHILDS’ SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE

From the glory of The Tweets to the less serious pleasures of The Velvet Underground...

The first record you can remember

Birdie Song (The Birdie Dance)’

– The Tweets

“I remember listening to this in the car when I was about four years old and being really excited because I knew they were going to be on Top Of The Pops that same evening. I think I was especially excited because they used to dress up as big yellow birds. The Tweets were also The Snowmen, who did ‘Hokey Cokey’ in snowmen’s suits – a useful fact, that.”

Record that reminds you of school

‘Berlin’ – Lou Reed

“In the sixth-form common room we’d put it on and watch all the faces of our schoolmates drop. It’s a pretty grim record. There’s this horrible story about one track, ‘The Kids’, which has this long section of really anguished children crying. Rumour has it that the producer told his own kids that their mother had just died and recorded their reaction.”

Record you fell in love to

‘Tomorrow Is A Long Way Away’- The Byrds

“This is off one of their early demo records, ‘In The Beginning’, but it’s a very Beatles-y kind of song. If it wasn’t The Byrds it would have to be anything by their mysterious one-time singer Gene Clark who left the band because he was scared of flying; all of his songs seem to be about relationships beginning. Mind you, there’s a very unrequited feel to it and he did drink himself to death in the end, so I suppose I don’t display a particularly positive attitude to the start of relationships.”

Heartbreak record

‘On The Beach’ – Neil Young

“If you’re ever going through a bad patch it’s always a good thing to listen to this on headphones. The second side in particular is very dark; ‘On The Beach’, ‘Ambulance Blues’ and it keeps getting worse. The good thing about suffering all of this is that if you are in a depression you will be led inexorably to the conclusion that however bad you feel you don’t feel half as bad as Neil Young did when he made ‘On The Beach’.”

Record that evokes the greatest summer of your life

‘Ocean’ – The Velvet Underground

This is one of the really long tracks from the live ‘1969’ album. I remember that it was the summer of 1991 and we had just started the band and we’d all come over to my house for a few days at a time. It was really hot outside and in the evenings we’d go into my room and turn off the lights and open the windows and put the album on, but it was ‘Ocean’ that I remember the best. ”

Anthem for a night on the tiles

‘Till There Was You’ – The Beatles

“For some reason, and this is a relatively recent development, every time I get drunk I’ve started to sing this song. It goes

(sings):‘There were bells on a hill, but I never heard them ringing/Till there was you’. Quite corny, really. The problem is that I don’t know any of the words to the rest of the song so I end up with lines like, ‘there were dogs in the pound but I never heard them barking’.”

Record that inpired you to form a band

‘Pyst’ – Datbyglu

“When we first started off we didn’t have much confidence and we were writing all of our stuff in English, but seeing Datbyglu and playing this album we realised that singing in Welsh and indeed being a Welsh band was nothing to be ashamed of. It was this that finally made the connection in my mind between pop music and Welsh music, which had felt like two separate things beforehand. Everything I had listened to before, like The Kinks and all the American stuff, was sung in English.”

Record Guaranteed to clear the tourbus

‘House Full’- Fairport Convention

“This is a tricky one because a couple of other people in the band do quite like it but you have to play it at the right moment. It’s a live album and mostly comprised of reworkings of English folk songs like ‘Sir Patrick Spens’. It’s an amazing record, but I can see that it might get on people’s nerves. It’s important to differentiate this record from another one of theirs called ‘Full House’, which is

a studio album and isn’t half as good.”

New Year’s Eve 1999 – What’s on the hi-fi?

‘The Best Welsh Album In The World… EVER’ – Various

“This is a bit of a stupid one but it’s only a matter of time before someone puts this out. On New Year’s Eve you’re going to find us all in the Harvester pub in Cardiff; us, Catatonia, Stereophonics, Super Furry Animals and all the rest celebrating ten great years of putting Wales on the musical map and there’ll be a Welsh Tourist Board representative buying us drinks. I’m joking, by the way. It’s not a bad idea for a record, though; you could have Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Man, Max Boyce, The Pooh Sticks, John Cale, Budgie,and The Alarm of course. Lots of The Alarm, in fact.”

Record you would like played at your funeral?

‘Lovely Lady Of The Roses’ – Peter Cook & Dudley Moore

“The great thing about this record is that it’s completely musically inept and it has Peter Cook singing in the voice of this sinister character he invented called EL Wisty. It goes, “Lovely lady of the roses/Let me take off all your clotheses”. It would be much better to have this kind of silliness than something ironic like ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, because I want to go out in a happy way.”