Boston Manor’s Henry Cox: The 10 songs that changed my life

Boston Manor vocalist Henry Cox has a dive into his record collection – from Slipknot to The Fratellis…

Boston Manor’s Henry Cox: The 10 songs that changed my life
Mischa Pearlman
Gobinder Jhitta

Jazz bands, lad anthems and causing mischief with doom riffs? All in a life’s work for Boston Manor vocalist Henry Cox...

The first song I remember hearing...Lighthouse Family – Lifted (1995)

“I vaguely remember sitting in the back of my dad’s blue Vauxhall Astra as we drove through the Midlands, and I was looking out the window at the trees and hearing that song. It’s a fairly pleasant memory.”

The first song I ever loved...Slipknot – Duality (2004)

“This was the first song where I was, like, ‘Holy shit! What the hell is this?’ when I was about 10. I have two older cousins who were probably about 16 at the time, and they got me into bands like Reuben, Million Dead and all sorts of heavy shit. My cousin Owen was a huge Slipknot fan and he showed me this music video with thousands of crazy white trash people smashing up a house in America and I was just like, ‘This is anarchy! I need to know more…’”

The song that inspired me to be in a band...Black Flag – Clocked In (1980)

“I worked a million and one shitty minimum wage jobs from the age of about 14 to 18 and this song’s about hating that dead-end life and wanting to get out. Henry Rollins was originally a huge fan of Black Flag and when he saw them live he asked if he could get onstage and sing Clocked In. And he did, so when they needed a new singer they were like, ‘That guy was pretty good,’ and suddenly he was in his favourite band. I remember reading that story as a kid and thinking, ‘That’s so fucking cool – anyone can be in a punk band.’”

The first song of ours that I heard on the radio...Boston Manor – Peach State (2014)

“It was on local radio, and I was like, ‘Fuck yeah!’ I was buzzing. It was definitely a trippy experience. And it sounded different on the radio – I don’t know why.”

The song that reminds me of my first love...Bon Iver – Blood Bank (2009)

“My ex bought me this record and we went to see Justin Vernon [Bon Iver] live. He’d been kicked out of his band, his girlfriend had dumped him and he’d been having medical problems, so he went to a cabin and wrote this.”

The song I’d most like to be remembered for...Boston Manor – Unreleased (N/A)

“Wow, it’s difficult trying to condense your work into one song. It’s too tough to answer and I actually don’t want to, in case it comes across wrong. We probably haven’t written it yet anyway.”

My favourite song to play live...Boston Manor – Burn You Up (2016)

“I love playing this song because it’s so energetic. We usually start our shows with it and that sets the tone every night. We have been soundchecking with some new tracks recently, though, so when we start playing those I’ll probably have a new favourite. Although we’ll have to work out how to play them live first.”

The song that picks me up when I’m down...Ray Charles – Georgia On My Mind (1960)

“This always makes me feel good. I played drums in a jazz band in school and we flirted with a little bit of soul, Otis Redding and Ray Charles. The band Microwave, who are one of my favourites, are from Georgia and they’ve covered this. Their version is incredible, too.”

The song that puts me in a good mood…The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger (2006)

“This is such a stupid ‘Lads! Lads! Lads!’ song. Me and my mates used to joke that it was the ultimate lad anthem and whenever it came on we’d get really lairy – almost always ironically – but it would often get out of hand and I’ve been thrown out of a few clubs and bars for throwing myself around to it too much. I’m not a violent person at all, but when you’re pissed and out with your mates it can sometimes escalate.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral...The Acacia Strain – Tactical Nuke (2010)

“I’ve always joked that this song would be really funny to play at a funeral. It’s basically just one doom riff that gets slower and slower and slower as it goes on and that’s it – there’s no vocals at all. I think it would make the experience really uncomfortable for everyone involved, which I always thought would be hilarious. I used to put it on at full blast when I lived with my friends at university. I had a friend who had to do a dissertation once, but he refused to get out of bed, so I’d put this on in his room so he’d have to get up and turn it off.”

Boston Manor's new album GLUE will be released on May 1 via Pure Noise Records. Check out their raucous set in The K! Pit below:

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