Sound Effect – Phil Taggart

Phil Taggart is one of the youngest faces currently tearing up the schedules at BBC Radio 1. Taking over Annie Mac’s three-hour Sunday slot in February, he’s become one of the station’s most diverse spinners, getting behind emerging artists from across the musical spectrum.

Phil’s passion for music started at an early age: he joined his first band aged 14 and by the time he was 17 was writing for Alternative Ulster magazine. Then, while studying at the University of Ulster, he won the BBC/Skillset Young Broadcaster of the Year Award.

Away from his broadcasting career, Phil runs his own label, Hometown Records, and hosts a club night called Slacker, which has been showcasing new alternative acts including Rat Boy, Cabbage, The Japanese House and Blossoms since 2015.

The first record I ever bought was…

When I was very young I was writing to Santa for ‘good CDs’ and he was delivering a NOW compilation every year. I thought it was time to plunge deeper into a band. I’d seen the Parklife video by Blur on the TV and thought, ‘There’s my band’. I spent quite a while holding the cassette in the record shop in Omagh, longingly looking at my mum, knowing I didn’t have enough money. But this tactic didn’t work. A full-on temper tantrum in the car did though, and I got my hands on the album. Still holds up to this day.

The first song I developed an obsession for was…

I remember my mum telling me recently how her and my Aunty Mary were quite worried that I was running around the house jumping on things and screaming, ‘I’m the firestarter, twisted firestarter’. So I guess it would be The Prodigy.

My favourite cover version is…

There’s an album of covers of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited I got in MOJO years ago, which I cherished but have never been able to locate again. Nirvana’s cover of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World is incredible. I didn’t even know it was a cover until years later. Special mention to The Clash and their rework of Junior Murvin’s Police and Thieves.

The song that should’ve been a hit but never made it is…

Can I just put a full band in? Everybody needs to wake up to Drones Club. They have so many great tunes and are approaching music and live shows differently than anyone else right now.

The last great record I listened to was…

The new Mac DeMarco album This Old Dog is pretty special. There’s barely two days that pass that I don’t delve back into it. It’s a comfort blanket record.

The song I wish I’d written is…

Any song! The songs I write are horrible. I had a phase of drinking wine at house parties in my late teens and playing these really twee, lyrically obtuse songs. Nobody gave a shit, I’m not even sure I did.

The song that makes me cry is…

Daniel Johnston’s True Love Will Find You in the End. Everything about him is unique, he’s a rare and beautiful talent with an unfiltered connection between soul and song. I love him very much.

The song that I know all the words to is…

Buggin’ Out by A Tribe Called Quest. Nothing makes everybody wince in pain and cringe more than watching a Northern Irish man rapping Tribe.

My all-time favourite film soundtrack is…

This is a weird one but it stuck with me. The first Dumb and Dumber movie has such an amazing soundtrack. The whole album is mid-nineties cruising indie rock. The Juno soundtrack opened me up to Moldy Peaches and Dearest by Buddy Holly. So on the basis of both those, the Titanic OST. Her heart did go on.