Midnite Mixtape Massacre - Slyder - Last Great Dreamers Print E-mail
Written by Slyder   
Sunday, 20 April 2014 03:00


Last Great Dreamers are back, and set to release their second album, 'Crash Landing in Teenage Heaven', in September, the long player featuring eleven previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1995 and 1997. What better time, then, to catch up with Slyder, the band's guitarist, and ask him to compile his ultimate thirteen song mixtape?

"Whenever I’ve been asked to pick a top ten bands or albums or whatever, it’s always frustrating, I can never fit them all in and always forget some so for this I’ve decided to try and pick tracks that have meant something to me growing up and been inspirational to me over the years in some way as a musician, I hope you enjoy!"

1.) 'The Slider' - T. Rex (from the album of the same name)


My first memories of music other than what my parents listened to was from mid-seventies Top of the Pops. As a four to five year old I caught the tail-end of Glam Rock: my favourites were Suzi Quatro, Alvin Stardust, Mud and The Sweet. I don’t really remember Bolan from that time but re-discovered him years later in my early teens. As I became a bit obsessed with T. Rex a friend of mine used to call me Slider after the T. Rex album 'The Slider'. As being in a “Sleaze” band generally required a sleaze nickname I decided I would adopt Slyder with a Y. I was a bit embarrassed years later when I was introduced to June Feld, Marc Bolan’s widow, she was lovely though realising that I had taken my name from her husband’s iconic album, she was interested in looking at my thumbs which she declared upon inspection to be good “guitarists thumbs”.


2.) 'Hanging on the Telephone' - Blondie (from the album 'Parallel Lines')


The post punk/new wave era from about 1978 was when I was first started buying singles with my pocket money each week. I loved The Jam, Boomtown Rats, the Buzzcocks etc. Debbie Harry was and still is beautiful and one of my first crushes at the tender age of eight. I got this single for Xmas 1978, there are numerous others I could have chosen, I’ve always fancied covering 'Call Me' or 'Picture This'.


3.) 'Sixth Form Girls' - Saxon (from the album 'Strong Arm of the Law')


After New Wave, metal took over, I loved a lot of pop and rock music at that time like Madness and The Specials, etc, but there was something about metal that won me over. I got 'Wheels of Steel' and 'British Steel' for my 11th birthday and at the end of 1981 went to my first gig agslyder-last-great-dreamers-midnite-mixtape-pice 11 with my brother, two years older than me, to see Saxon at Portsmouth Guildhall. It was quite overwhelming not only to see my first live band and my heroes I’d only read about in the flesh but to experience the atmosphere and the gathering of thousands of like-minded metallers. My brother and I went to see Saxon again 10 years later at The Marquee, this time I was now a rock musician and had played on the same stage a dozen times but it brought back special memories.


4.) 'Lady' - Adam & the Ants (B-side to debut single, 'Young Parisians')


I saw Adam Ant for the first time only a few years ago in an intimate gig in a country hotel near Southampton, unbelievable to be seeing this pop/punk icon so up close and personal in such an unlikely setting. With family again, this time my sister who was a huge fan in the early '80s, it brought back memories of celebrating 'Stand & Deliver' entering the charts at number 1. I was over the moon when Adam played 'Lady', a song I had rediscovered in my wife’s record collection on the B side of the 'Young Parisians' single. It became a favourite record to get out after a night out. Apparently it’s about a transvestite Adam met at a party in Paris. I love the great rock n roll riffing and rude lyrics, a perfect 3 minute pop song.


5.) 'Tragedy' - Hanoi Rocks (from the album 'Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks')


I remember seeing Mike Monroe in Kerrang as a young metal kid and being uncertain of his gender but after hearing Hanoi Rocks at a friend’s house I was converted and it wasn’t long before I was crimping my bleached hair and borrowing my sister’s make-up. I joined a goth/glam band called Scarlet Tarts when I was 16: we were basically pretty crap but thought we looked cool. I had more chiffon scarves tied on to me than Mike Monroe’s mum. We covered 'Tragedy', a song I loved after hearing it on a live set on The Tube. I soon collected all Hanoi Rocks' albums and knew every lyric, I guess, for a teenage boy perfect songs about love, heartbreak, drinking, singing…my introduction to sleaze rock n roll that would change everything.


6.) 'The Kid From Kensington' - The Dogs D’Amour (from the album 'In The Dynamite Jet Saloon')


After the demise of Hanoi nothing came close to that sound until I heard this track. Listening to it now I can’t really pinpoint what it was, maybe the trashy, bluesy, rock n roll guitar and swaggering sleazy vocal but I just fell in love with the Dogs, everything about them was cool and I soon found my style, tottering around in cowboy boots, in my black jeans, silk shirt and velvet jacket, guzzling wine. After travelling up to London to see them a few times a move to the capital was inevitable upon discovering the “west end” sleaze scene. I answered an ad in Kerrang, guitarist Dogs/Hanoi influence, placed by Mr. Valentine, the rest is history!


7.) 'If You Want Blood (You've Got It)' - AC/DC (from the album 'Highway To Hell')


I first heard AC/DC when I was ten and borrowed a few albums from a school friend, including 'Highway to Hell' and 'If You Want Blood', the cover was a powerful image for a ten year old, I wasn’t sure if Angus really did have a guitar stuck through his body. AC/DC inspired my first band with me on biscuit tins and Tupperware boxes on the table football table. 'Highway to Hell' has to be one of my all-time favourite albums and I could have picked any track from it. If you are a young aspiring rock musician this album is like a rock school manual, I first learnt guitar and drums to this record.


8.) 'Toughest Street in Town' - Thin Lizzy (from the album 'Black Rose: A Rock Legend')


From my favourite Lizzy album, with elements of pop/punk, huge drum sound, tons of emotion and desperation in Phil’s streetwise vocal, blistering lead guitar by Gary Moore and cool Clash style key change…this is tough stuff.


9.) 'Never Say Die' - Black Sabbath (from the album of the same name)


I had to pick an Ozzy track; I’ve always loved Ozzy cos he loves what he does so much it’s a joy to watch him live! I went with the late ”Rockin” Ray Ranjid (LGD tour manager), we were both big Sabbath fans, to see the first Sabbath reunion at the NEC the day after LGD split back in '97. This track’s like a celebration and a positive affirmation, perhaps we should have played it before deciding to quit?!


10.) 'Ballad of Mott' - Mott The Hoople (from the album 'Mott')


When I listen to great lyrics it’s usually easy to mould them to my own experiences, 'Ballad of Mott' kinda sums it up for me, “changed my name in search of fame to find the midas touch, I wish I’d never wanted then what I want now twice as much”… “rock'n'roll's a loser's game, It mesmerizes and I can't explain, The reasons for the sights and for the sounds, The greasepaint still sticks to my face, So what the hell, I can't erase the rock'n'roll feeling from my mind”. I shed a few tears listening to this track driving up the M4 to our first (re-union) rehearsal and with feelings of excitement and joy!


11.) 'She’s a Rebel' - Green Day (from the album 'American Idiot')


'American Idiot' is one of the best albums of all time: brilliant songs, storytelling, emotion, light and shade, excellent production and musicianship. I saw the musical American Idiot at Cardiff and thought I wouldn’t enjoy other musicians playing the songs, I was so wrong: the songs and story stood up well with a fantastic cast doing it justice, a modern masterpiece. As with most of the songs on this album you wanna go back to the beginning, turn it up and play it again. Although written about America, 'She’s a Rebel' makes me think of the fiery, passionate, impulsive, often misunderstood and wonderful female in my life.


12.) 'Autumnsong' - Manic Street Preachers (from the album 'Send Away The Tigers')


I’ve loved the Manics since 'Generation Terrorists' and get fed up with people writing off anything after 'The Holy Bible'. Their songs have been an inspiration to me in loads of ways over the years, JDB is my guitar hero with a voice that’s like nectar, so full of emotion. In my humble opinion they’ve matured into one of the best rock bands of all time. 'Autumnsong' seems to be a perhaps a positive message to people whose youth has faded, an inspirational anthem.


13.) 'Something is Squeezing my Skull' - Morrissey (from the album 'Years of Refusal')
Got to 13 already and almost run out of tape, so many more I wanted to cram in: no Redd Kross, NYD, Bowie, Kinks, GnR…maybe I’ll get asked to do another one someday that’s less sentimental?!


Oh well…Mozza, not everyone’s favourite if you’re into metal and a bit of a love/hate character. Outspoken about vegetarianism, animal rights, and politics, no problem for me, I’m a fellow veggie and member of PETA and not forgetting as the founder of the New York Dolls fan club he was responsible for their reforming. His lyrics are full of darkness, struggle, humour, anger, bitterness, poetry. This song is no exception, a huge punk/rock style opener about depression or whatever interpretation you want to make from it from the 'Years of Refusal' LP. If you’re feeling a bit of self-pity “it’s me against the world” there’s no one better than Morrissey to accompany you.