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by Louise Wilson
26 May 2023
Mark Griffin's Political Spin

Mark Griffin's Political Spin

What was the first record that you ever bought?

The first record I ever bought was (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? I don’t know what birthday it would have been, but I got an Our Price voucher and bought that album.

What song will always get you on the dancefloor?

Anytime I’m on the dancefloor, it’s not voluntarily! So, probably Wham, I’m Your Man, because my wife absolutely loves George Michael. I don’t have a choice in the matter, really, when that song comes on. Alternatively, it would be Shake It Off or Dance Monkey or something that the kids will get me up for.

Did you have a first dance at your wedding?

Yeah, it was Everlong by Foo Fighters.

An unusual choice.

It was the acoustic version, so not quite full-on thrashing electric guitars. My wife and I started going out and were married within 12 months of the first date, so Everlong is that reflection of a whirlwind romance. And I still love the song.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

I’ve only ever done karaoke once. It was in the early hours of the morning in a bar in Lanzarote. I think it was Semisonic’s Closing Time. I was doing the guy who owned the bar a favour, clearing it out for him so he could close up and get to his bed. That’s the one and only time I’ve ever done karaoke.

Never to be repeated…?

I mean, who knows? Another late night appearance in a bar – not in this country where people might recognise me.

What song would you want played at your funeral?

I probably would want How Great Thou Art, my favourite hymn, the Elvis version.

What song is guaranteed to make your cry?

There’s two songs that will make me cry. One is You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers. It’s quite an emotional song anyway, but I went to football with my dad for years and years and he died when I was 22. It’s always going to have that association. It’s guaranteed to make me cry and I think people probably wonder, if they’re standing next to me at the football, and see a tear run down my face.

The other song is Athlete’s Wires. My daughter was born really premature, she was a pound when she was born. When my wife was in labour so early, the doctor said, “I’m sorry but she’s got absolutely no chance, she’ll be stillborn or pass away minutes after she’s born.” But she was born, and I just looked at her and she looked at me, and I just knew – there was such a fight in her eyes – she would be ok. And she is, she’s six now and absolutely fine. I didn’t associate Wires with that at all, but I found out later it was written about the lead singer’s premature daughter. And that line in it, “I see it in your eyes, I see it in your eyes, you’ll be alright”. I just… I saw my daughter and saw how much fight she had.

What music would you associate with your childhood?

Growing up, probably The Jam. My dad was a big Jam fan, always had the Jam playing – Eton Rifles, A Town Call Malice – all those political anthems that have probably driven me to being in politics, a forced political music education.

How about a song you hate but always get stuck in your head?

I’ve got three young kids, I don’t know how many nieces and nephews, so it feels like for the last 15 years, no matter where I am, Baby Shark is getting played over and over and over.

What’s a record you are embarrassed about having in your collection?

I’ve got a couple of dodgy purchases. I bought Baby Come Back as a single, but it’s a classic – I’m not sure I am embarrassed about it.

What was the last band that you saw live and who was it with?

I went with my wife to see Pete Docherty, last Tuesday. He is doing a solo tour just now. My wife and I love The Libertines, and he did a gig in Glasgow. It was really good. He went through all his back catalogue and almost told the story of his life through music.

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