SIX OF THE BEST: Richie Harrison | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As the alt. rock artist prepares to release his new single, Best You’ve Had, Richie Harrison offers up an insight into his creative inspirations with a Six of the Best selection of film, music, literature and art…

I never really noticed how much I am influenced by the arts and culture I’m interested in until I started writing songs or being creative. I can see the influences coming out in all shapes and sizes. When I started to realise the influence in my music I noticed that the way I dress, think and do stuff is influenced by the art I surround myself in. I don’t particularly see that as bad thing as many people do. You always see people comparing songs to others. I don’t see it as copying so much but more being inspired by the arts and culture you love. I love being involved in all the process of writing the music, videos, live performance and style. 

My new single, Best You’ve Had, is a song about longing for someone. I don’t really know how I wrote it, it’s completely different to anything I’ve done before and since. It’s quite an 80s inspired song. It’s one that will hopefully get you dancing. 



I always remember the first time I saw this film. It scared the hell out of me and even to this day I find swimming in the ocean a massive deal. There are scenes in the film which I absolutely love, like the scene were Chief Brody is sat on the beach and sees the shark kill a boy. The camera work in that scene is unreal. Also the camaraderie between Hooper, Quint and Chief Brody is excellent. The scene when they are comparing scars is a personal favourite. I watch this film at least twice a year. I even went to the pictures to see it last year.


IDLES: Joy As An Act Of Resistance

This album (along with their debut Brutalism) felt like it was saying the things I was thinking. They’ve never really made anything close to the first two but they are fantastic. I’d highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already. These albums have massively influenced me since watching them on Jools Holland in 2018. A great live band as well.


Ben Elton: Identity Crisis

A fantastic book about today’s society and how ridiculous it is. Funny, clever and a great read. It makes you think and some of the songs I’ve written especially one called Sheep has been influenced by this book.


Baxter Dury: I’m Not Your Dog

I absolutely love this song. It’s one of my all time favourites. I love the way Baxter Dury’s music is so basic and straightforward. I’m not into massively over produced music. I like when you can hear what the person who wrote it was thinking when they wrote it. You can tell Baxter does that. When I first started my musical journey two years ago I went to a studio and got a bit over produced. It was a learning curve. I pretty much wrote all of this song and a load of new songs while I was recording them on Garageband. Then got them mixed and that’s it. They are the only time those songs have been recorded. Some of them will be the only time they are played. I prefer it this way now, feels more authentic.


Oasis: Definitely Maybe

Anyone who was born in the 80s and grew up through the 90s would have been influenced by Oasis. Surely. Not much needs to be said of this album. Fantastic. I always remember sitting in lessons in school with my headphones running up my blazer sleeve into my hand listening to this album instead of doing any work.


Album art

I couldn’t really pick an artist, I do really like Jackson Pollock’s stuff but I really like album art. That’s always been the thing that has been on my wall. I remember when I was about 15, I went to Our Price and saw an album with five blokes sitting on a hill who looked like Oasis so I bought it. It turned out to be Urban Hymns by The Verve. Fantastic album. I do think album artwork is really important, it’s what gets your attention first. I think my favourite album artwork would be Ian Brown’s Golden Greats. I did art at college and you had to pick an artist to replicate a self portrait. I chose the artist who painted that album cover, Ian Wright (not the footballer). I wish I kept that self portrait. I would have used it now. 


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