First, Last & Always with Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke of Planet Earth Publicity gives us the lowdown on his musical first, last and always…

First…album you bought (excludes any ones gifted by relatives at Christmas when younger!) and why

The first I can remember buying was ‘Electric’ by The Cult, on gatefold vinyl. I remember seeing the video for the band’s single Wild Flower reviewed on Saturday Superstore and thinking to myself, “I’m having some of that!”. Although I absolutely love ‘80s pop music, by 1987 the production of most pop hits had become very generic and formulaic (think Stock, Aitken and Waterman). By then, I just wanted something with more balls, something that didn’t sound synthetic. Electric ticked that box. It also introduced me to Rick Rubin’s deconstructed production, which was like a breath of fresh air. About 15 years later, I met and started working with The Cult’s former manager, Ian Grant. I’m sure I’ve told Ian this, but during our first conversation he mentioned that he used to manage The Cult during the ‘Love’ and ‘Electric’ years. I clearly remember not believing him, so when I got home that evening I checked both of the albums’ sleeve notes – he was only telling the bloody truth! I’ve never doubted another word he’s said since. Ian helped me enormously when I set up my own PR company and we’ve been good friends ever since. But I digress…

Last (or latest)…decent album you heard and why

Like a lot of people these days, thanks to streaming I don’t buy albums like I used to. I’m a sucker for creating my own playlists because, like many people, I used to love making mixtapes. However, the last album I bought was My Baby’s most recent album, which has a name that makes it sound like it’s an album by another band. It’s called: ‘MOUNAIKI ~ By the Bright of Night’. I stumbled across My Baby when they were playing on a tiny stage in the middle of a wood at Glastonbury in 2015. I was immediately hooked by their unusual-but-instantly-familiar melting pot of blues, soul, funk, gospel and raga, so I downloaded their second album ‘Shamanaid’ while I was watching them play. I now own all of their albums and play them a lot. They are also a great live band. I’ve seen them about seven times now. I’ve met the band a couple of times and both times was unable to stop myself slipping into ‘fan boy’ mode and gushing about how great I think they are! I also can’t believe they haven’t crossed over into the mainstream yet, but good to see them enjoying a lot of success on the live circuit and festival scene. Their singer Cato is a real star in my book.

Always…an album(s) you always come back to listen to and why

There are dozens of what music snobs might describe as ‘cooler’ albums, but I’m going for Duran Duran’s 1981 self-titled debut album. They were the first band I got into, so they have much to answer for…including me becoming a bass player. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to interview John Taylor for Bass Guitar Magazine and it was a brilliant experience. I mean, if you’d told me when I was ten years-old that one day in the future I’d be sat in John’s house drinking tea with him and playing his basses I think I’d have passed out…but that’s exactly what happened. The whole experience made a mockery of the old saying ‘never meet your heroes’.

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