Image : Fran Myles @fmyles on Instagram [Used with permission]
Folk/rock singer-songwriter Peco on the soundtrack to his life
What was the first album/single that you ever bought?
First album I actually bought myself was AC/DC ‘If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It’. A lot of the older guys on my road were into them and they let me copy their tapes. (Yes I’m old as fuck!) But this was the first original tape I bought. It has to be one of the best live albums ever, the energy is unbelievable. And obviously Angus Young is a guitar god!
What is your earliest musical memory?
I have a terrible memory but I do recall watching Back To The Future when I was about 7 and the scene where Marty plays ‘Johnny B. Goode’ on a beautiful Gibson ES 345 absolutely blew my mind and did something fundamental to me!
Is there a particular song/band/singer that made you want to be a musician?
It’s impossible to pick just one. I was lucky to grow up with a lot of different styles of music around me. We’d make mix tapes that could have everything from Luke Kelly and Christy Moore to REM and Pixies, from Nirvana and Bob Marley to Metallica or U2. I grew up in a small rural area so it was too small to have different musical tribes, which was great! But maybe more than any other artist I was inspired most by Bob Dylan. I love lyrics and playing with language and he is the master at that.
What song instantly reminds you of a particular person?
‘Van Der Lyle Cry Baby Cry’ by The National always makes me think of my eldest son. When my partner was pregnant we used to do that thing where you played music to her belly because we read somewhere after a certain stage the baby could hear. It was the kind of thing you do on your first child when you have loads of time!
Is there a song whose lyrics resonate with you and why so?
I do love good story telling in lyrics and nobody does that better than Dylan or more recently Josh Ritter (‘Henrietta, Indianna’ is like a complete movie encapsulated in a few verses). But I’m going to go for Bowie and ‘Life on Mars’. It’s a brilliant look at how ridiculous and reductive the human race can be. From the brilliant opening line, ‘It’s a god awful small affair…’ to the big dramatic swooping chorus of ‘Sailors fighting in the dancehalls, Oh man look at those cavemen go…’. What would anybody extraterrestrial looking in on us think? The way things have been unfolding recently in the UK and the US, I imagine they’d be rolling their eyes.
The band/musician that you grew up listening to?
Again so hard to pick one. I’m going to go with The Frames. My sister, one of my brothers and I were into them from their first album ‘Another Love Song’ and then ‘Fitzcarraldo’ in ’95 and we just grew up with them as they matured with each album they released. We’d go see them together at least once a year.
What song do you wish that you had written and why?
At least once a week I hear a new song that I wish I’d written! I could easily give you a different answer if you’d ask me in five minutes time. But I was listening to Nick Cave recently. I love Nick Cave, I have to ration my listens otherwise I’d never listen to anyone else. His song ‘Oh My Lord’ is a masterpiece. The lyrical balancing act between the banal and the surreal, the tragic and the comic is perfectly executed. The barely controlled emotion and mania in the vocal performance and Warren Ellis’ accompanying distorted violin is a masterclass in dynamics and tension building. I can never just play it once.
What song transports you back in time and why?
‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by The Stone Rose’s always reminds me of my best mate Philly. We played in so many bands together since we were teenagers. He played bass and looked like Mani! He lives in The States now but I can’t listen to The Stone Rose’s without thinking of him.
Which song makes you happy when you hear it?
‘Debaser’ by The Pixies never fails to have me grinning ear to ear and banging along. Just the raw energy of it is amazing and it still sounds so fresh and vital.
Which song makes you sad when you hear it?
I defy anyone to listen to the Johnny Cash version of ‘Hurt’ and not get something in their eye! Especially toward the end when his vocal gets more emotive and the piano line gets louder and louder and slightly distorted…and the video – stop.
What was the first gig you went to?
The first proper gig I went to was Neil Young and Pearl Jam at Slane, which in fairness is a good start to any gig going career and it was magic. Truth be told I was there more for Pearl Jam as I was 14ish and completely in love with them and was just enthralled seeing my heroes on stage. Eddie Vedder is still an amazing singer and front man.
What was the first song that you ever performed?
I think the first song I learned on the guitar was the ‘El Condor Pasa’ by Simon & Garfunkel and I recall we did a kind of punk version in my first band when were 14 or so. And yes it was as terrible as it sounds!
Peco – Spotify Playlist
Peco – Social Media