Soundtrack Of My Life: Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas

The first song I remember hearing

Kylie Minogue – ‘The Loco-motion’

“I remember hearing this in the playground at junior school in Essex. I must have been quite young because I didn’t know what the word ‘locomotion’ meant. It was just this weird new word. But there wouldn’t have been a stereo in the playground, so I think the other children were singing it and it stuck in my memory that way.”

The first album I bought

The Seahorses – ‘Do It Yourself’

“They were formed by John Squire who had been the guitarist for The Stone Roses and everyone always said The Sea Horses is an anagram of ‘he hates roses’. That’s a very clever trick if it’s true.”

The song that reminds me of being in a band

Blur – ‘Song 2’

“I started a band around the age of 12, and we covered this. At first we were called Anonymous, which we thought was very clever. By the end we were called Shamus Speaks. The name was inspired by a children’s book called George Speaks, which is about a baby who can talk. And I thought Seamus sounded Irish and poetic. Then my brother said we should spell it phonetically, but everyone just started saying it wrong and we looked stupid.”

The first gig I went to

V Festival 1997

“It was in Hylands Park, which I could walk to from my parents’ house. I was 13 and Blur were playing. I could not see them at all. I had to be on my dad’s shoulders even to see the big screens. At no point did I see any of the band in the flesh.”

The gig that reminds me of being an actor

Leeds Festival 2017

“We were filming The Festival and I got to go onstage for a scene. I remember the producer saying ‘if they start throwing bottles of piss at you, you can come off.’ But they didn’t and it was amazing. I think they were chanting ‘bumder’ at one point. I guess that’s a win?”

The song that reminds me of home

Sam Cooke – ‘What A Wonderful World’

“I remember my dad singing this when I was little. He would often sing – a lot of Bob Dylan mostly. My family are quite musical and my brothers all play musical instruments. I played the violin and always hated it. I’d put in the minimum effort. I had clarinet lessons at one point and it was basically just luggage to cart around. I was the kid that was just always hitting everyone with their many bags on the bus.”

The song I wish I’d written

Pulp – ‘Common People’

“This is a miniature work of genius. It’s so funny and so clever. I never understood it though. When I was at school and it came out, I thought it was a bit like ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt’. ‘Oh, he wants to sleep with common people, does he?’ I thought he just wanted to hump common people. When actually it’s just this amazing take on the affectation of a certain lifestyle.”

The song that reminds me of the NME office

Morning Runner – ‘Gone Up in Flames’ (The Inbetweeners theme tune)

“We came in to do a cover feature for The Inbetweeners. It made me just want to be in a band. I thought that would be so cool. Why didn’t The Inbetweeners do a comedy single? There were so many opportunities and the world has lost something special [laughs].”

The song I do at karaoke

Blur – ‘End Of A Century’

“It’s so pretentious. I remember singing it when we were doing Fresh Meat in Manchester. We went to karaoke and I told everyone they had to sit down and be quiet while I sang. And they did! It’s a very slow song. I’ve always leaned towards the maudlin end of things. There’s quite a lot of droopiness in my music taste.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Longpigs – ‘Gangsters’

“When we were shooting The Inbetweeners, every day I would sing the first two bars. It’s a proper Britpop tune and Simon Bird says he thinks he’s heard me sing it literally a thousand times.”

The song I can no longer listen to

D:Ream – ‘Things Can Only Get Better’

“I remember my mum woke me up when Tony Blair and Labour won the election in 1997 – this was their campaign song – and there was this sense that everything was going to be OK now. But then it was just 20 years of pure shit. I suppose the optimism lasted until 9/11 and then the Iraq War. But then it was like: ‘Nope, my mistake!'”

The song I want played at my funeral

Sandy Denny – ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes?’

“Fairport Convention do a version too, but Sandy’s acoustic version is my favourite. I think it will be quite fitting for a funeral, right? ‘Well, that went quickly!’ I saw Brian Blessed refused to answer this one for his Soundtrack Of My Life interview. He said he was never going to die. Well, good luck to him and I hope he achieves that dream.”

‘We Are Not Alone’, starring Joe Thomas, airs on Dave at 9pm on November 28 

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