Monkey Doesn’t Know East From West
by Tom Southam | 11/07/09

It’s nigh on impossible for me to come up with an authentic Chinese playlist as the eastern frontier is not one I’ve ever visited musically. I did spend a while flicking through Damon Albarn’s Chinese opera, ‘Monkey Goes West’, just the other day but was sure that if I did buy it (I don’t steal music; I have too much respect for it), I would listen to it twice and then it would just be another reason as to why I don’t own a Saab.

So here is my loose approach to what will be my first foray into China, and what I imagine my headphones will be whispering into my ears pre and post stage somewhere near Tibet:

Bill MurrayGorillaz
A tune named after my favourite actor that I recently trawled up on the Gorillaz DVD. I can’t think Bill Murray without thinking Lost in Translation, and I have a feeling there may be a fair bit of that going on.

Just Like HoneyThe Jesus & Mary Chain
While we are on the Lost in Translation theme, I watched it (again) the other night, love that ending and how this song is the perfect soundtrack to that leaving feeling.

TranssiberianRaphael
This is kind of a strange tune for a French singer songwriter to have knocked out, but it is very Eastern, and the first time I heard it on my IPod I had to stop cycling and stand still to listen as it’s so damn beautiful.

CandyPaolo Nutini
No one believes me when I say I rate this guy, yet as soon as I saw the video to this song I was sold. He’s the singer at a Mexican wedding, there are chickens and children. Cool.

UmberellaheadThe Mystery Jets
Someone told me the other day that this song was ‘weird’, I might well agree but also think its pretty fine. By the way it’s Donkeys not horses that can’t live on their own.

Hong KongGorillaz
Another Damon Albarn tune I know, but his just fits the bill perfectly and I think the guy is a genius. To think that Pleb Liam Gallagher used to think he was in the same league as this guy.

Fez/Being BornU2
A ‘friend’ of mine just went to Morocco, told me it was nice and that this song sounded a lot like being there. Not the best track off the new album but probably the most interesting, great feeling of motion.

I’m not calling you a liarFlorence & the Machine
I’ve waited, like the rest of Britain an absolute age for this album. This track has a great lyric running through it culminating in ‘I’m not calling you a ghost/just stop haunting me’, lovely.

Pale Blue EyesThe Velvet Underground
Bizarrely I think Lou Reed wrote this about his then time Asian girlfriend, not that I need an excuse to include such a classic.

PunkerIndochine
I know for a fact I have dragged this song out a few times in the past but I love it and I am desperate to know the song the sample is from as I heard it in a French clothes shop once and on a weird film on SBS, so know it exists but have never found out what or who its by.

Don’t even know her nameRyan Adams
Another Moroccan track, in that it’s from the Moroccan Roll E.P. I hear Marrakesh is very cool at this time of year.

An’ Another Thing.

I almost forgot but one of my very best mates on the planet won the British National Road Title a couple of weeks ago. I think a tune is probably in order and it just so happens that it fits in nicely with the event I had to miss to ride the Nationals, Bruce Springsteen proving that rock an roll is for the big men, not the skinny kids at Glastonbury.

So for a man who has to listen to my inane drivel while he tries to train in Oz all summer, but who must actually like it, because he’s always been ready to get me out of the jams I seem to get myself in. A man who has put in all the sacrifice and hard work needed over the years, for our new National champ, Kristian House, I thought Bobby JeanBruce Springsteen’s ode to Miami Steve Van Zandt would be just about bang on. Well done man.