Seasoned readers of this site will of course know Elbow as critically-acclaimed purveyors of booze-fuelled treatises on heartbreak, intoxication - both chemical and romantic - and sweeping optimism. Did you also know, though, that they’re all dads? They soon shall be, anyway; Guy Garvey’s first is due in March, and will join the Elbow creche alongside Craig and Mark Potter’s kids, as well as Pete Turner’s. In fact, it was Turner’s paternal reflexes that inspired Elbow’s theme tune for the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games. As Garvey tells it, “I got a video from Pete, of his daughter, Martha, walking for the first time. It’s a really touching little clip. Pete’s got hold of the camera, but she walks towards him, and his voice does something I’ve never heard it do, before or since. He goes off the scale! He goes, “wha-hey-hey-hey-HEEEEY!!!” And then you can hear Pete’s missus, Ruth, saying “I can’t believe it!”, and then you hear his daughter say “dada”. If that’s not an odyssey in paternal brilliance, I don’t know what is, so who better to chip in to this Elbow takeover on DiS with a raft of recommended kids’ books - or ‘little fictions’ - than Turner himself. He’s kindly included a clutch of records for once they’ve nodded off, too. Don’t say he never gives you owt!
FOR KIDS - THE BOOKS
James And The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
I recently discovered it’s the only Roald Dahl book I hadn't read as a kid. So reading it to my daughter, I realised it’s one of my favourites.
Mr. Pusskins by Sam Lloyd
My daughter’s favourite book, we’ve read this so many times. She brings this to me every time if she gets to choose what we read.
Mr Pusskins & Little Whiskers by Sam Lloyd
The follow-up and another big favourite, in which Mr Pusskins has to deal with a new kitten-shaped addition to the family.
The Witch’s Christmas by Norman Bridewell
I love the really simple illustrations in this. It was a favourite of mine when I was little, and has now become a favourite of my kids. It’s a really sweet book, that classic kind of kid’s story that never loses its appeal.
The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson
The next Julia Donaldson to be turned into a cartoon, so you can watch it on BBC at Christmas time. The rat is an absolute bugger, he steals from everyone. I can relate to him.
FOR GROWN-UPS - THE TUNES
‘Crab Day’ by Cate Le Bon
I saw her at Gorilla in Manchester and was really blown away, so much so that I think I ruined Marc Riley’s gig by going on to him about how great I thought she was the whole time. This was my introduction to her, but I’ve gone back and listened to earlier stuff since. Recommended,
‘B’lieve I’m Goin Down’ by Kurt Vile
Love him. I got Mark Potter into him as well, so there was a little bit of his sound that was in our heads during the recording of Little Fictions. I can hear it on ‘Kindling’, and we tried to have that vibe in mind at various points in the record.
‘Soft Hair’ by Soft Hair
The video for single, ‘Lying Has To Stop’ is ace.
‘Cold Hot Plumbs’ by Damaged Bug
I heard this on Marc Riley’s show. It’s so far up my street. Very much the area of music I write towards, without Elbow in mind.
‘The Geto Boys’ by The Geto Boys
Really old album, this. A friend reminded me of it. It was around the time we were loving Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, and Public Enemy. The year we left school, this and Straight Outta Compton were always playing. I love hearing this again cos it makes me feel ten again. No, fifteen. No, twenty-five - years younger. KABOOM.