Andy Charles picks his favourite tracks for the TT Playlist:
Andy Charles – @CapitalGull
“Dom told us in his playlist that his tastes were eclectic – well, you ain’t seen nothing yet! I listen to hours and hours of music every week because of the amount of time I spend on public transport and I think it is fair to say I have bounced just about all over the musical spectrum in my time – and here are my absolute favourites (cut down from a much longer list!)”.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC – SPORTS SONG (2014)
I was going to put this last but in case you get bored, or die laughing at some of my later selections, it kicks things off. It’s not one of Weird Al’s usual parodies, just a take on US Sports teams and their marching bands. But just relate all of what he is singing to Woking and it’s bound to give you a laugh – should be played before every home game. Video is predictably mad as well.
“And why don’t you save us all some time and give up now…YOU SUCK!”
BRUCE HORNSBY & THE RANGE – THE WAY IT IS (1986)
I can’t believe this song is nearly 35 years old and it is just as sad the subject matter – racial inequality – remains right at the top of the main concerns in the USA and rest of the world. This is just such a good song and possibly the first I learned every word to – I only wish I could play the piano like Bruce – his solo is sensational.
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH – I ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU (1995)
Public show of thanks to Danny Baker for having this great US country/rock band on one of his first BBC TV shows. Recently reunited, I went to see them last year and was a great reminder of the 90s. Shame lead singer Darius Rucker went solo – his country stuff didn’t do it for me – but so glad they are back making music again.
(MUNCHENER) FREIHEIT – KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE (1988)
A German Christmas song? Really? Yes! I’d heard their German music (as Munchener Freiheit this song was So Lang Man Traume Noch Leben Kann) on foreign language exchanges as a kid so was thrilled when they brought this out in English…and it even got to No 14 in the charts, it’s high coming when Kylie and Jason were No 1 with Especially For You.
HUE AND CRY – REMOTE (1988)
My Scottish period (and I could have added four or five more bands from the time including Danny Wilson on a football theme). Title track of an album including the more famous Looking For Linda and Sweet Invisibility, but this is the one for me and was the highlight of their 30th Anniversary concerts – possibly the best live music experience I’ve had.
DEACON BLUE – FERGUS SINGS THE BLUES (1989)
My karaoke song – usually takes a good few ciders or ales though. Just the best singalong song I know. ‘Can this white man sing the Blues?’ Well Ricky Ross can…Andy Charles, well that’s a different matter!
THE PROCLAIMERS – SUNSHINE ON LEITH (1988)
A proper football song – talk of broken hearts, sorrow and tears – even if it wasn’t written as one. It has certainly been adopted as one by supporters of Hibernian who belt it out before every home game, most of which are watched by brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. It’s a spine tingler should you ever get to hear it at Easter Road. And the same-titled album even spawned a 2013 movie.
GUSTER – HAPPIER (1999)
The sound of my 2019 according to Spotify even though it’s 20 years old now. I was put on to this Boston group by a friend from the US with similar tastes in music and couldn’t stop listening to their back catalogue of rock, folk and synth pop. This song is the best of the lot for me, one about trying to find the right friends and not repeating the mistakes of the past.
JAMES TAYLOR – ANGELS OF FENWAY (2015)
I’d have loved a Torquay version of this song when we ended our title drought at the end of the 2018-19 season – if only we knew a decent song-writer. Wonder if James Taylor fancies a bit of research into the Gulls history or if one of our readers fancies their chances… This one is about the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004 in miracle fashion after being 3-0 down in a best-of-seven series.
THE BEATLES – MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER (1969)
So many great Beatles songs, but I love an upbeat ditty – about an imaginary serial killer! Maxwell Edison even managed to kill a judge during his own murder trial…
FASTBALL – ALL GONE FUZZY (2019)
My new song on the list from a group I have been listening to for two decades. It’s great to have them back after a break and I love the chorus to this – something I’ve done before. “Somebody’s knocking on my door while I pretend to be out of town; I peek through the curtains, watch as they walk away”.
NIK KERSHAW – I WON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME (1983)
Human Racing was one of the first albums I ever bought (vinyl, mmm). This is the best song off it despite being about the possibility of nuclear war between Russia and the USA! Weirdly, if you listen to it now plenty of it still applies to President Trump and others when you think about their disregard for climate change.
BEN FOLDS – LANDED (2005)
I’ve more albums, songs, concerts from this amazing songwriter than any other. I’ve seen him on three continents and in about eight different countries…even managed to speak to him at one event and asked why he didn’t sing this song. He apologised to me and said to get in touch the next time I was going to see him – I did, and he played it for me. (That all made me sound like a real stalker but his music just makes me smile and I don’t mind people knowing that).
BARENAKED LADIES – ONE WEEK (1998)
Simply a collection of the strangest lyrics in music. Another band I have seen so many times (before and after their split with amazing lead singer Steven Page, whose solo stuff is also superb). This song is just weird and anyone who tries to sing it in karaoke, I bow in admiration to you!
DIVINE COMEDY – NATIONAL EXPRESS (1998)
Neil Hannon is a genius. That’s all that really needs to be said here – anyone who can make a brilliant song out of a coach company should be in the Music Hall of Fame just for that.
“Mini skirts were in style when she danced down the aisle back in ’63. But it’s hard to get by, when your arse is the size of a whole countreeeeeeeee”.
A-HA – HUNTING HIGH AND LOW (1985)
Finishing off with my favourite song of all time, a haunting ballad of unrequited love from the Norwegian group who refuse to retire despite saying it dozens of times and disappearing for brief spells. This is another title track less well known than other songs from the album (Take On Me, The Sun Always Shines on TV, Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale, Here I Stand And Face The Rain) but for me their best song, beautifully sung by Morten Harket, whose voice I have tried to match…and obviously failed every time I try to get a high note out.
“There’s no end to the lengths I’ll go to – for you I’ll be hunting high and low.” Sounds like a Torquay United song after all…or is it all about Pete Johnson’s scouting??