Steve King: 2021 Ambassador

Music I'm into:

As a teenager in the 90s my early music listening was dominated by the American grunge scene (Nirvana, Pearl Jam & Smashing Pumpkins particularly) but I was also a fan of the britpop scene (Super Furry Animals, Blur and Supergrass were probably my favourites). I also fell in love with Mogwai in the late 90s.

As I've grown older my tastes have mellowed into the more "indie" side of alternative music. Recent favourites include Okkervil River, Phoebe Bridgers and Bonny Doon. I also have a passion for modern country/americana with Jason Isbell, John Moreland and Nathaniel Rateliff dominating my listening from that genre.

In 2015 in a moment of madness I sold off my entire CD collection, built over 20 years, for less than £100!! I regretted it so much that I decided to start collecting vinyl instead.

Three LP’s you’d recommend to someone getting into collecting?

David Bowie, Hunky Dory: I think it's important to have a few classics in there to show you know your stuff, you can't go wrong with Bowie. (if you could get your hands on a 1st pressing of this album you'd also have a very valuable record on your hands!)
David Bowie - Hunky Dory

The National, High Violet: I find moodier more mellow albums like this really benefit from the depth of the vinyl sound. I liked this album before I bought the record, I love it on vinyl.
The National - High Violet

Black Pumas, Black Pumas: Not only does this album sound so much better on vinyl, but there's numerous coloured variants available as well. No collection is complete without a variety of "splatter" or "swirl" effect coloured records.
Black Pumas - Black Pumas

    Your first and your last gig?

    First gig: Super Furry Animals, LLandudno, North Wales (where I grew up), 1997
    Last gig: Pete Doherty, Oslo, 2018

    Your top 5 albums?

    Impossible Question! But if I must under duress and in continued protest and being forced to choose.....

    1. Led Zeppelin, IV
      Led Zeppelin, IV

    2. Pearl Jam, Vitalogy
      Pearl Jam, Vitalogy

    3. Mogwai, Come on Die Young
      Mogwai, Come on Die Young

    4. Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy
      Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy

    5. Jason Isbell, Southeastern
      Jason Isbell, Southeastern

    (that list would change if you asked me again in 10 minutes time! ha!)

    Your first album?

    I'm pretty sure it was Nirvana, Nevermind on CD.
    Nirvana, Nevermind on CD

    My first record was Okkervil River, Silver Gymnasium (bought mainly for the amazing artwork.)
    Okkervil River, Silver Gymnasium

    Your last album?

    Black Country New Road, For The First Time (on both white and clear vinyl.)
    Black Country - New Road

    Do you Play Any Instruments?

    I learned to read music and play the violin as a kid, but I was pretty bad. I never learned guitar and it's one of my biggest regrets/embarrassments as a "muso"

    If you could join any band for a day who would it be?

    As I cant play an instrument I guess I'd take over Bez's role in The Happy Mondays..ha!

    What record are you most proud of in your collection?

    I recently got my hands on a Near Mint first pressing of The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots on red vinyl. They only released one variant originally and it's quite a rare find.
    The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots on red vinyl

    What record in your collection are you most embarrassed by?

    None of them! They're all in there for a reason and must have meant something to me at the time!

    Follow Steve on Instagram: @newforestvinyl