The Proclaimers’ singer and tambourine basher takes five from us. (Originally published Sept. 17, 2009)
1.) What’s your favorite Beatles song and why?
That’s really difficult. I think I’ll go with “She Loves You.” Just for the energy and memories growing up. For many years it was the biggest single ever in the UK. It was just a huge song.
2.) Who are three songwriters—living or dead—that you wish you could sit down and write a song with?
Merle Haggard, he’s just the best song writer I’ve ever heard, and also the most understated. Sam Cooke, he was just a great songwriter. And, uh, hmm. Robbie Robertson. Just because he comes at it from a different angle. He’s very poetic.
3.) If you had to pick one song that you’ve written that you really think sums you up as a songwriter, what would that be?
“Sunshine on Leith.” I’d had the tune for a long time, but the words weren’t there. Then I remember I was flying up from London to Edinburgh, and as we were coming in the plane tilted over Leith, and the sun was shining down on it and it was just—there was the light.
4.) The Proclaimers have a longstanding tradition of putting covers on your records, and you’ve done some fantastic ones over the years. What’s been your favorite song to cover?
“Sing All Our Cares Away,” which is on Notes and Rhymes. Damien Dempsey wrote it and he would play it when we toured with him. It’s just a beautiful song.
5.) Is there anything you’re listening to these days that you’re particularly digging?
Mostly a compilation that our drum tech put together on some great old ‘60s and ‘70s stuff. Let’s see, what else? Glasvegas, I like their energy. And the Kings of Leon.