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(Credit: Tramlines/Far Out)

Music

Doctor's Orders: Little Man Tate prescribe their nine favourite songs

@josephtaysom

After over a decade in the dark, Little Man Tate announced their reunion in 2020 after splitting up in 2009. A lot has changed in that period for guitarist Edward ‘Maz’ Marriott, and for a long period, he lost interest in music.

They announced their reunion just a matter of weeks into the pandemic and hoped to perform at Sheffield’s O2 Academy that September. However, circumstances out of their hands meant they had to agonisingly wait for this to happen and finally return to the stage.

Due to incredible demand, they added an extra night at their hometown venue for October last year and made up for the lost time. This summer, their reunion continues, and they have a sprinkling of festival dates, including a main-stage slot before Kasabian at Tramlines Festival. Now, Little Man Tate are back and enjoying reliving their youth during their second bite at the apple.

In support of CALM, we’re asking a selection of our favourite people to share nine records that they would prescribe for anyone they met and the stories behind their importance. Doctor’s Orders sees some of our favourite musicians, actors, authors, comedians and more offer up the most important records, which they deem essential for living well.

In support of suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). If you or someone you know is struggling, head over to thecalmzone.net for practical support and advice. There are loads of ways to support CALM and their life-saving services. If you fancy making a small donation, £8 can answer a potentially life-saving call.  

Little Man Tate will be performing at the sold-out Tramlines Festival in Sheffield this summer alongside headliners Sam Fender, Madness and Kasabian. To join the waiting list for tickets, visit here.

Little Man Tate name their nine favourite songs

Cliff Richard – ‘Wired For Sound’

Marriott’s selection of Cliff Richard is a first for Doctor’s Orders, but it’s a track which reminds him of touring with Little Man Tate when they were starting in the mid-’00s. Although it’s not a record he regularly plays, whenever he does hear ‘Wired For Sound’, it transports him back to those halcyon days.

“When we were on tour and had loads of time to kill, there weren’t the distractions there is today,” Marriott explains. “There was a CD we had for DJ’ing which had this Cliff Richard song on it because the driver for one of our tours looked like Cliff Richard, and we used to blast this song out, and he loved it. It just takes me back to that time.”

Elbow – ‘My Sad Captains’

Marriott’s next selection comes courtesy of the soothing sound of Guy Garvey with Elbow’s ‘My Sad Captains’. The emotional track centres on the ageing process and appeared on the group’s 2014 album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything.

“Elbow have played a big part in my life,” the guitarist reveals. “When I got married, my wife walked down the aisle to one of their songs, I saw them at Glastonbury on a perfect afternoon, and every time I put them on, I’m transported back.

“This song encapsulates that melancholy view of the world that Guy Garvey has, and I always listen to his lyrics and think where has that come from? Where has he digged into for this? ‘My Sad Captains’ really reminds me of my friends in Sheffield as I live in Essex now so I don’t get to go back up much.”

The Chameleons – ‘Up the Down Escalator’

The next track Marriott selects is ‘Up the Down Escalator’ by the North West post-punk outfit, The Chameleons. This song is close to the guitarist’s heart for sentimental reasons and one that means the world to him.

“I first heard this way before Little Man Tate started, and in an old band, we used to have this promoter called Rick who had this Chameleons tattoo which made me be intrigued by them,” he recalls. “I chose this song because when I kind of had this strange from music when we split up, and when you’re not into it anymore, it’s really hard to get back into it as a punter.

“I’m a teacher now, and this other teacher is a Chameleons fan, too. We went to watch them a couple of years ago, and it took a band like this for me to get out there to enjoy live music again.”

The Wannadies – ‘Might Be Stars’

You’ll likely be familiar with ‘You and Me Song’ by The Wannadies, but you probably won’t remember ‘Might Be Stars’. For Marriott, this song takes him back to his youth and holds golden memories.

“This was a song me and John (Windle) used to have on repeat on a tape cassette when we used to go on holiday when we were like 16 and 17,” he blissfully remembers. “At that age, we did a lot of fantasising about making it or even just doing a gig outside of Sheffield. This song just really reminds me of that time, being young, carefree, and having crazy aspirations.”

Oasis – ‘Slide Away’

If any band bought into the dreamer mindset, it was Oasis, and ‘Slide Away’ from Definitely Maybe is a track that can make anyone feel nothing is impossible.

“Oasis had to be there. I learnt the guitar by playing an Oasis tab book which my sister bought me, and even had an Oasis tribute band play at my wedding,” Marriott recalls. “They played ‘Slide Away’ and it just reminds me of my wife, and the lyrics take me back to that special day of getting married because the band played it.”

Bread – ‘Baby I’m-a Want You’

Bread aren’t one of Marriott’s favourite groups or a band that he’ll often listen to. However, this track reminds him of a special person who is no longer here, and whenever he listens to ‘Baby I’m-a Want You’, he remembers them.

He emotionally explains: “A friend of mine died back in January, he was a really good football friend, and we used to go to a lot of matches together. He was well into his ’70s music, and a massive fan of Bread, so it reminds me of him. They played this song at his funeral, and I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to listen to them, but, now it makes me emotional, and gives me a connection to him.”

The Contours – ‘Just A Little Misunderstanding’

Marriott’s next selection comes courtesy of Motown legends The Contours with their hit single, ‘Just A Little Misunderstanding’. “Going from a few sad songs, this one is really upbeat. I love Northern Soul. My mum got me into it because she grew up in the North West and went to venues like the Twisted Wheel in Manchester,” he says.

“I do a bit of DJing every now and then, I’ve got my decks, and I play a bit of soul, which never fails to lift me up. This one has just got this incessant driving baseline going on. It’s a song which gets me out of a low moment, or if I’m feeling tired or had a bad day, usually quite innocuous things, I stick a bit of soul on, and it’s an instant mood lift.”

Ty Segall – ‘Manipulator’

Ty Segall is the most contemporary artist on the list, and as Marriott previously mentioned, he fell out of love with music after Little Man Tate split. However, Segall came into his life and changed everything for the guitarist.

“I love songs, as a geeky songwriter, which has the same chord sequence all the way through like ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac,” he says about ‘Manipulator’. “I got into psychedelic rock, The Black Angels, The Oh Sees, and that levitation scene during this exiled time. A guy I work with asked me to see Ty Segall in London, which was on the eve of Brexit, and I just loved it without feeling anything negative. He’s such a great live performer, and this song just reminds me of getting into new music again.”

Craig David – ‘Better With You’

Craig David and Ty Segall featuring on the same playlist isn’t common, but ‘Better With You’ is perhaps the most poignant track on the list for Marriott. For many years, he and his wife struggled to have a child, and this song is a reminder of the precious moment they managed to bring a beautiful life into the world.

“My wife had some really awful miscarriages,” Marriott painfully reveals. “The second one was particularly hard on us both, and when she got pregnant for the third time, it was filled with anxiety. It was a really difficult time, but then we had a beautiful girl in 2017, and up until holding her in my arms, I was nervous about everything. I used to spend time curating little playlists which remind me of when she was born, and this song just reminds me of having a kid.”