Episode 010: Peter Hellicar — Top 5 Bands

Pete by Leo Sharp

If you’ve listened to episode 010 of the Looking Sideways Action Sports Podcast, you’l know my guest Pete Hellicar (above) has lived a life of restless, magpie-like creativity for over three decades.

Pete is an artist and skateboarder for whom music is of central importance, whether through his own work or the influence of artists who’ve inspired him. Here, he picks his top 5 bands:

  1. The Beatles

“I’ve offended some people when I say I prefer The Beatles to the Stones.

The Stones were/are a blues cover band with only a few really interesting songs to their catalogue. They have never really moved on from the 60s, their best albums being some of the first were they sound like a raw R&B band.

The Beatles, on the other hand, evolved from the blues and R&B to become something completely transformed. They changed/invented pop music and created a whole new landscape of musical production, writing and sounds”.


2. Super Furry Animals

“Just listen to The Man Don’t Give a Fuck, Hello Sunshine or Mountain People to get a feel for the hybrid nature of SFA. They’re a fabulous band with breadth, scope and the hard wonky electronic edge. Lilting, poignant lyrics and beautiful melodies”.


3. Bill Callahan/Smog

“A song writer of unparalleled skill and emotion. He has that dark edge, both musically and lyrically. From his eponymous catalgoue, I’d recommend Dress Sexy At My Funeral (above) and Cold Blooded Old Times as starter points. The albums Apocalypse and Dream River are two fabulous first listen slabs.

As Smog, I would recommend Knock Knock and Dong of Sevotion, two albums that really showcase Callahan’s approach and sound”.


4. Django Reinhardt

“He’s a gypsy jazz guitarist with a flair, style and approach that always fills me with energy.

His work with Stéphane Grappellii as the Quintette du Hot Club de France is such an unlikely combination yet is an invigoration listen.

I’ll See You In My Dreams (above) and It Had To Be You are beautiful arrangements. Both Django and Stephane play beautifully together”.


5. Wendy Rene

If you’re a fan of Wu Tang you’ll know Wendy Rene. Her tune After Laughter contains the classic sample used in Wu Tang’s Tearz.

Largely unknown during her lifetime, she was a small time start in the 60s Memphis R&B scene. Check out the record Wendy Rene — After Laughter Comes Tears. It’s a great album and works a treat on a Sunday morning. Soul by the bucketload”.


Click here to check out the exclusive Looking Sideways mix Pete put together to accompany his episode.