Soundtrack Of My Life: comedian Josh Widdicombe

'The Last Leg' host and podcasting dad

The first song I remember hearing

Paul Simon – ‘The Boy In The Bubble’

“The first album I remember hearing was ‘Graceland’, and the first song on that is ‘The Boy In The Bubble’. I think there were a lot of children my age whose parents were ‘recovering hippies’, I think is the phrase, who played that album around the house a lot. My dad had it on vinyl – and we used to have it on cassette as well because I remember it being on in the car.”

The first album I owned

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Blur – ‘Parklife’

“It would have been Christmas 1994. I was a singles and compilations guy up until then. That album hit me as I was starting out at secondary school, and it defined all the music that I’d be into for my teenage years. The following birthday I got ‘Definitely Maybe’. You felt like you were getting into a very exciting time for music that’s maybe now got fewer classic albums than it felt like at the time.”

The first gig I went to

The Rolling Stones – Wembley Stadium, London, 1990

“It was the night England lost to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final. We went up as a family from Devon where we lived. As a seven-year-old it was probably lost on me what a great thing to go to that was. But that World Cup was a really defining tournament for me when I was getting into football, so it was weird that I missed that big Gazza crying moment. Mick Jagger referenced it on stage, something like: ‘We’d all like to be somewhere else tonight.'”

The album I can no longer listen to

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The Libertines – ‘Up The Bracket’

“I was at university in Manchester. It must have been about 2003. I really went for The Libertines. I saw them in Liverpool and London – I went to one of those Christmas gigs they did just after Pete Doherty had been released from prison. It felt like: ‘Oh my god, I’m at a gig that matters’. But I listened to this album the other day, and I couldn’t believe how bad the production is. I know that’s such a weird thing to say, and I must be getting old or but it sounded like it had all been recorded in one day. I was really gutted.”

The song that changed my life

LCD Soundsystem – ‘All My Friends’

“It has defined a group of friends that I’ve got now as an adult. It soundtracked all of our adventures in my late 20s and early 30s, going to all these festivals in a way that united us. We would always argue about headliners – some of us would want to go and see The Killers [and some wouldn’t]. It was an absolute nightmare. But it changed my life in that it united a bunch of people who I think will always be my closest group of friends.”

The song I want played at my funeral

The Beatles – ‘Here Comes The Sun’

“I was very close to my gran and she had that played at her funeral. My wife and I also had it played at our wedding. I’ve made that contract now that that’s the song I have at important milestones – and there’s no bigger milestone in your life than death. George Harrison – it’s mad to say this about someone in The Beatles – is still a great underrated songwriter. Towards the end of the band, he was writing most of the best songs: ‘Here Comes The Sun’, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and ‘Something’. He lives in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney, but he’s great.”

The song I do at karaoke

Pulp – ‘Do You Remember The First Time’

“I think you can have a lot of fun with Jarvis Cocker. I hate karaoke unless I’m hammered. You want to go with someone who you can be a bit animated with. You don’t want to be doing Oasis or something and you’re just standing there. Also, it’s not ‘Common People’. I would never do it in a public setting though, it would have to be in one of those [private] rooms.”

The album I went back to during lockdown

Outkast – ‘Stankonia’

“I started running during lockdown, and it’s a really good album to listen to when you’re running. Then I did my leg in, but I carried on listening to it even though I’d stopped running – a really good sign.”

The song I listen to before going on stage

The Beatles – ‘Please Please Me’

“You have to do the ‘audience coming into the venue’ playlist before you go out on a comedy tour. You’ve got to choose the right kind of thing. You know you’re going to hear it every night for 60 nights and you’re going to associate it with nerves. You’ll never be able to listen to it again without getting anxiety, so you’ve got to be careful. For this tour – that’s currently not happening because of ‘The World’ – I chose a playlist of early mop-top Beatles songs.”

Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s ‘Lockdown Parenting Hell’ is available online now

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