Each week, Keep Colchester Cool invites local faces to provide us with their top ten tracks of all time. There are no rules, some will explain why they’ve chosen particular tracks; other’s won’t. Either way, it promises to provide an insight into what has influenced some of our local heroes over the years.
This week, it’s the turn of Johnno Casson aka Snippet aka Old Tramp aka the host of The Warm and Toasty Club or for all the old ravers out there, the lead singer of Deep Joy. He’s a talented chap whose music has made him the most played artist on Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing show.
*In Johnno’s case he has selected his top ten musical memories for this feature.
Picking a top 10 songs of all time would be ridiculously hard for me as there is just so much good out there – I’d be debating for weeks on end the merits of this song or that song. So turning this feature on its head a little I’ve picked 10 songs that hold the strongest memories for me in my life tonight.
These are not meant to represent my greatest songs ever but they all represent a strong memory and a moment in time for me….
1. Nat King Cole – The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
One of my earliest memories. My Dad just to sing this to me when I was tucked up in bed as a tiny nipper. I don’t know if he was keeping me guessing about Christmas but I do know I had a lovely childhood.
2. Mr Benn Theme Tune
I loved the TV show and basically wanted to be Mr Benn, go to a shop and change my clothes in the dressing room and suddenly enter another world based on the costume I put on -what’s not to like? This was the beginning of gaining something that has served me very well in my life; an active imagination.
3. Sly and the Family Stone – Family Affair
I had an Elizabethan record player in my bedroom when I was a kid and this vinyl 7” record must have been my brother’s or sister’s. The middle hole was misshapen so it played a little wonky and off kilter – what a wonderful sound it made.
4. Kate Bush – Babooshka
I may have had a Kim Wilde poster on my wall but after hearing this it was Kate all the way for me. Kim looked nice and I liked her stripey t-shirts but her music wasn’t filling and couldn’t hold my wayward teenage spirit. The video for Babooshka was how they tortured nice shy 15 year boys in them days, one of my favourite artists.
5. The Specials – Too Much Too Young
Ghost Town was the pinnacle but this was the wake up call and in seeing this multi cultural band live on TV (and at No.1) it just made total sense to me and my mates in Hackney. It gave us music and style that could belong to us too and they talked to my generation like few others things did then.
6. UB40 – King
My school class went away on a school trip, staying over at some big house in the country for a couple of days. There was an old record player there and someone had brought some 7” singles with them and this double AA side was one of them. I was a good kid but some of my class mates were so unruly it made the rest of us a little more brave and naughty. All sorts of mischief went on that weekend, on the last day all the pupils (all boys) played naked football on the field to the shock of the very reserved locals and staff – I think it might have been this that got the school banned from attending again.
7. Gary Numan – Cars
My brother went on Capital Radio to do a guest young DJ slot – talking and playing this new electronic music. I remember the interviewer asking him if music made by machines was the future, my brother was convinced it was and put his point over very well. Mind you he also played Turning Japanese by The Vapors as part of his set which sort of negated his electronic music point but overall the kid did great. Much as David Bowie had done before to many, Gary Numan appearing on Top Of The Pops felt like a real spaceman was on my telly. Great tune.
8. Chairmen of the Board – Give Me Just A Little More Time
Gary Crowley’s Tuesday Club in Harrow, a group of us went every week – the Hackney boys in full flow. Joy, pure joy – being young, dancing, happy.
9. The Style Council – Shout To The Top
Andy Weatherall on the decks at Shoom, strangely Kevin Rowland is on one knee( football player style) holding a beer in the middle of a rammed dancefloor and amongst all the Ibiza classics and old school house tunes Andy throws a curve ball and drops this. Sweet!
10. Marvin Gaye – Is That Enough
In the back of my mate Stu’s camper van travelling back from a warehouse party in Brighton, where I was tripping my face off and had to be looked after by Martin Fry and his wife Julie. This song sounded at the time like the weirdest thing I’d ever heard (outside of Dr John’s Gris Gris album). The harmony work on the ‘too obsessive, jealous’ line never left me.
See Johnno host The Warm and Toasty Club at Colchester Arts Centre this Sunday.