As Jaime Nanci gears up for a special gig covering songs from his favourite artists, he picks his top five songs ever for The Outmost.
Dress You Up – Madonna
What kind of Mary would I be if I didn’t have a Madge song in my top five? This one stands out because when I was eight my babysitter showed me the art of recording onto tape from the radio, pausing and rewinding and pausing and rewinding and slowly transcribing the lyrics to a song. I had this written on the back of a Weetabix box and it is probably the first song I sat down and learned the lyrics to. Then I would dance around in front of the mirror singing into a hairbrush, obviously. I do a slowed-down bluesy version of this with my band in our set.
Yes – Mc Almont and Butler
What a song! David McAlmont’s voice is supernatural on this single. His gangly dancing in the video, and his androgyny, blew my mind when it came out first, and I still regularly throw it on full blast on a sunny morning. I can’t help having a smile on my face as I sing along.
Montauk – Rufus Wainwright
Is this the first song about gay parenting? I’ve been a Rufus fan (and a Martha fan, and a Kate and Anna McGarrigle fan) since his first album, and choosing a favourite of his songs is like picking your favourite star in the sky. But I was really touched hearing a man singing about gay marriage and gay parenting. Michael (my hubby) and I have zero interest in having kids, but I am so happy that the option is there. I see some amazing LGBT-helmed families becoming more and more visible, and this song is testament to that. It’s not an angry war song, it’s just an ode to a kid with two dads. Beautiful.
The Tide is High – Blondie
Blondie reminds me of being a kid and idolising my Aunt Margaret. She had a huge Debbie Harry poster on the wall in her bedroom, and was always singing Blondie and Kate Bush as she did her make up. This particular song gives me goosebumps too because it is on the soundtrack to one of my favourite films, Longtime Companion. I watched it late at night when all my family were in bed, and it was one of the catalysts to my coming out. I was still reeling from the film weeks later and spilled the beans to my best mate, Sinéad when she asked me about it.
Mandinka – Sinéad O’Connor
It was a mind-blowing experience to see this bald Irish punk girl with the face of a doe-eyed angel belt out Mandinka in her two-piece army fatique suit on the TV show, The Roxy. I was 11 and thought all Irish music was diddly-eye or Bagatelle. They weren’t playing this at the community centre disco! Sinéad has a love-her or hate-her personality, but how can you not love the power of this voice? There is no denying she is the greatest vocalist to come out of Ireland in the last 50 years.
Jaime Nanci sings ‘Torched Songs and Recovered Treasures’ at Odessa Club on Friday, June 13, 8pm, book tickets here
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