Be Bop Deluxe – Sunburst Finish

I’ve been a big fan of Be Bop Deluxe and their main singer-songwriter Bill Nelson since school. I loved their first two albums but for me Sunburst Finish was the album that really made me a fan of this Wakefield based band. On the album was their only real hit, Ships in the Night, but many of their songs were about how they imagined life in the future such as Life in the Air Age. From the opening track, Fair Exchange, it was clear that Be Bop Deluxe didn’t fit into any particular musical box highlighted by Nelson’s extraordinary guitar playing.

Steel Pulse – Handsworth Revolution

I’ve always been a lover of reggae especially the 1970s British bands such as Steel Pulse, Early Aswad, Misty in Roots and Matumbi. This album came with a clear agenda of their life in Handsworth, injustice, racism and their Rastafarian beliefs. The image they conjure up of black men dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes ‘disguised in violence from head to toe’ was for me one of the most powerful in music.

Faithless – Reverence

The first album from the hugely successful band who fuse so many different music styles and have an unusual band structure around visible members Maxi Jazz and Sister Bliss and third ‘invisible’ member Rollo Armstrong (Dido’s brother) on production. The album produced hit singles Salva Mea and Insomnia which became a huge hits all over the world, both great dance tracks with so many different dance remixes. The opening track, Reverence, sets out the Faithless philosophy of Maxi Jazz’s Buddhism and being true to yourself in the music business especially in the context of being part of the dance scene with its hedonistic lifestyle.

Underworld – Beaucoup Fish

I loved the first two albums by Underworld but Beaucoup Fish was the album that made them a huge act with tracks such as Push and Shudder/King of Snake with its looping sequence sample ‘I Feel Love’. I also love how Kittens with its euphoric sound that builds and builds is followed by the slower chilled out track, Push Downstairs.

Gomez – Bring It On

The album that won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998 introduced me to this strange and wonderful band hailing from Southport. Influences such as blues, indie, alternative, rock, folk, psychedelic and experimental pour out of the tracks such as Tijuana Lady and Get Miles. They have three singers in the band which entwine throughout the tracks making it a very interesting listening experience. Two singles, Get Myself Arrested, and Whippin’ Piccadilly, became hits in the indie clubs enabling the album to go platinum.

  •  Warrington Market’s record fair is on Saturday, March 3, from 10am