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My PR playlist by Pat Southwell, director of strategy at agency Berkeley PR

21st October 2016


I’ll be honest with you. I used to be a music snob. I played drums in a band. I thought I was cool. But age has mellowed my musical prejudices and I’ve found myself listening to a huge selection of stuff. Not because I desperately want to know what’s new, but because I get drawn into things and want to hear more.

It’s liberating to listen to something and think “I love this” not because it’s the latest thing, but because I just love it. Even if my wife and kids hate it. In fact, especially if they hate it. I’ve been influenced by 6 Music, and then Spotify has indulged those influences, leading me all over the place. I don’t often listen to music in the office. Everyone would hate me if I did. You’d better read on…

1. Bam Bam – Sister Nancy
I lived in Queens Park for years and spent many weekends walking down Portobello Road. This song reminds me of those days where you’d hear it on the stalls. I have a long playlist of stuff like this including older tracks by Lord Kitchener. My boys love London is the Place For Me, which features in the Paddington film.

2. Clair de Lune – Debussy
I love Debussy. This is the most beautiful piece of music that we played as guests arrived at our wedding. It led me to explore more about impressionist and minimalist composers. Not sure I’ve quite got my head around who belongs to what movement, but I also love Erik Satie, which led me to Phillip Glass and even, oddly, Brian Eno. Um, not sure how my brain made those connections.

3. Nantes – Beirut
When my eldest boy was a baby, I used to drive him round West London to get him to sleep. Any parent will know the lengths to be taken in order to gain marginally more kip. We had a CD (yes – it was a few years ago) in the car and this was on it. He now recognises it as one of “his songs”.  

4. What Went Down – Foals
Bloody love Foals. No idea if they’re considered cool, passé or what. But this gets put on when we have parties. It features along with others that always get wheeled out such Let’s Danceby David Bowie. Bloody love Bowie.

5. Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand
Bit of a silly one, this. French pop punk best played very loud and with a stupid grin. Since having kids, we always holiday in France. It’s close, easy and the food is great. Each year I get a playlist of French music to listen to.


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