Chances are that one of the first things to spring to mind when you think about Liverpool is the city’s rich and varied musical history. While The Beatles may have lead the way, bands from the Pool have continued to play an essential part in shaping the ongoing progression of British rock music ever since.
No one knows this better than Ian Broudie. The Lightning Seeds played a huge part in helping the indie boom of the 90s go mainstream, and their pop-laden anthems helped to carve out another distinct facet in the city’s cultural heritage. Since, Broudie has worked with bands from his hometown on writing and production duties, while the Lightning Seeds are still a going touring concern.
We catch up with Broudie to celebrate the songs from his city which mean the most to him.
Sorrow - The Merseys
“I first heard this song when David Bowie covered it on his album Pin Ups. I loved it and then heard the original by The Merseys – it’s a brilliant example of how a simple song can suddenly blossom again at any time.”
The Killing Moon - Echo And The Bunnymen
“On very rare occasions, a studio recording can capture something intangible and magical – as if an emotion has been captured on the tape – and I think the recording of this song does that. The chemistry between the four original band members, which was so special, but rarely captured, is all over this performance. Those beautiful imperfections add the mysterious and enchanted quality that elevates the song from good to great.”
The Power Of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
“This is a real stirring ballad that has the feel of a classic, even on first listen. It isn’t a typical sounding song for a young songwriter in a group to write; it’s more like something Bacharach might have written in a parallel universe for Sinatra to sing. A proper song!”
Dreaming Of You - The Coral
“The Coral at [the time this song was recorded] were a very young and brilliant band whose contradictions were a large part of what made them special, and in some ways this song reflected that. This recording was a performance played live in the studio by a band making a “daunting” first album – they had rehearsed the song almost too much! [As producer of this record], that worried me at the time, as it could have lead to it being quite a “vibeless” recording.
At that time, although [they were all] great players of their instruments, they could collectively fall apart and lose the mojo in an instant. I think this gave the record a special blend of fragility and innocence mixed with an arrogant confidence that work together brilliantly.”
You’ll Never Walk Alone - Gerry And The Pacemakers
“This is an incredible re-imagining of an old show tune that now seems [a] blindingly obvious idea, but at the time it must have been an amazing and incongruous choice for a 60s beat group to undertake a cover of a song like this. The emotion and empathy in this song moves me close to tears on a weekly basis.”
Reward - The Teardrop Explodes
“This was the first time one of my circle of friends had a hit record. I loved it on first listen – the trumpets were a big surprise, and to me it seemed jam packed with humour and energy. Although I had nothing to do with it, in some strange way I still felt involved and proud of it.”
In My Life - The Beatles
“Of course, this choice could have been any one of 20-or-so Beatles tunes, [but] I chose this because it’s such a rare gift to be able to put into words something that everyone feels, but no-one knows quite how to say. I find this song sums up how I feel about my own memories of old times in my hometown better than I can.”
Imagine - John Lennon
“When John’s first solo album came out, I must have listened to it and loved it so much it was almost an obsession, but I found it quite a dark and an intense album. Then came the Imagine album, which seemed as though the sun had come out after a storm – particularly that song. It took on an even greater poignancy after John’s assassination.”
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
“It always amazes me how the guy who wasn’t the writer or the lead singer in his band can then come out and write and sing a song like this. In darker times, this song can truly lift the spirits.”
Oliver’s Army - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
“I had seen Elvis & The Attractions live many times in Eric’s club, and they were a fabulous live band. I had the first album and along with the Ramones, that was what I listened to all that summer . But when the new single, Oliver’s Army, came on the radio, it lit up the room and seemed louder than everything else on the radio.”
The Lightning Seeds will be performing at Let’s Rock Bristol on Sunday 4 June – details can be found at letsrockbristol.com.