PAUL MOLLOY is something of a psychedelic pop gentleman around town. He wielded six strings in a later incarnation of The Zutons, who of course gave us that song for Amy Winehouse to conquer just about everything with.
He’d come up through the Liverpudlian scene ranks, having previously being a member of both cult buzz Mersey guitar band The Skylarks, and the underrated The Stands, who had a way with an indie-country beauty – check out “I Need You”.
Of more recent times he’s found himself a home with The Coral – and if you haven’t got your groove on to them, well, arches brow; along with drummer Ian, he has a little side gig with Serpent Power, who know a thing or two about acid rock with a cheeky wink; but he’s also just released a rather lovely debut solo album, The Fifth Dandelion, which we reviewed here and of which we noted, “[it’s] as fine a set of psychedelic pop as you’ll find anywhere. It’s west coast, but the west coast of Timebox, not Jefferson Airplane.”
Paul’s taken time out from being a 21st-century paisley pop gent to take us through the music that’s made him tick; the soundtrack to his life. You’ll find a lovingly compiled Spotify playlist come the conclusion. But: gear! Read on ….
Hi Paul. What’s the track that influenced you to start making music?
Chucky Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”, followed closely by “Tutti Frutti”, by Little Richard – shown to me by my Dad on a television programme. Motown also: The Four Tops ‘I Can’t Help Myself’ – an early favourite.
Tour bus favourite?
“I Still Believe”, by Tim Capello, from The Lost Boys soundtrack – or one of Ian’s brilliantly cheesy comps that everybody loves after a few drinks.
Saturday night tune?
“It’s Your Thing”, by the Isley Brothers.
And a Sunday morning record?
Bobbie Gentry; Glenn Campbell, and I’ve been enjoying Take A Picture, by Margo Guryan.
The first record you ever bought?
Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits, when I was 9 or 10 years old.
The cover version you would love to play?
I’ve covered a lot of tunes. One of my favourites is a demo I made of “Up On The Roof”, with Neville Skelly. It’s lovely; need to finish it one day.
The best cover of all time?
Very hard question! From the top of my head I’d say I love “All Along The Watchtower”, Hendrix’s cover of Dylan; Dion’s version of “Both Sides Now”, [originally] by Joni Mitchell; “Baby I Love You”, by the Ramones, their cover of The Ronettes, and “Twist And Shout” – The Beatles covering the Isleys.
My musical discovery of lockdown?
Elia y Elizabeth [two sisters who briefly lit up Colombia’s charts in the 1970s before leaving the biz entirely to become teachers].
My musical rediscovery of lockdown?
Ronnie Lane’s stuff and Small Faces’ second album.
The best song I’ve written?
I don’t think I’ve written it yet.
The best cover version of your music?
I haven’t heard a cover of my music yet! An Italian friend is meant to be sending me an Italian version of “My Madonna”, but I haven’t heard it yet. No Serpent Power covers have surfaced yet either.
The song that I remember most from my childhood?
A strange mix of “Let’s Dance”, by Bowie, and the aforementioned early rock and roll greats; via “Karma Chameleon”, by Culture Club, my Dad singing “Games People Play”, by Joe South and “The Long And Winding Road”; teaching me to play a basic version of “Cavatina” from The Deer Hunter; Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”; “Born to be Wild”, by Steppenwolf; “I Just Called To Say I Love You”, by Stevie Wonder, which my Dad sang to my Mum – and every Who and Jimi Hendrix song and [Pink Floyd’s] The Wall. There’s one in there. Can’t decide, sorry!
My favourite track made by friends?
“Next Time Around” by The Fernweh, “King of the Dawn” by Sundowners, “Above the Portuguese Cafe” by Marvin Powell, “Tap,Tap,Tap” by We Are Catchers, “Caravan” by Nick Power, “Firebird” by Ian Skelly, “What A Day” by James Skelly … all of those.
And by the band that should have been/should be bigger?
The record in my parents’ record collection that attracted attention?
George Jones records – loved by Mum. With his picture. A great singer. I always thought it looked somebody had took a plane to his head.
The words of this song inspire me …
“It’s Alright Ma”, by Bob Dylan.
The best record ever?
Too hard to pick.
The record that makes me sad?
“If You Could Read My Mind”, by Gordon Lightfoot. Too beautiful.
The record that gets me on the dancefloor?
Any rock and roll or soul.
The best record I have ever written/ever recorded?
I’ve not done it yet.
Paul, many thanks.
Paul’s The Fifth Dandelion is available right now on digital and vinyl formats; it’s really very cool, trust us. You can use the tinterweb to order one here.