The Vinyl Countdown with Seb K Akehurst of Jolly Bearded Promotions

Kicking off our new feature ‘The Vinyl Countdown’, Seb K Akehurst picks 10 of his favourite tracks and shares why they stand out amongst many memories. Turn the volume up because there are some absolute rock classics in here with a few surprises lurking in their midst…

When writing this list, I was asked by a friend, “Which one had the most impact when you think back to when you first heard it?”
My answer: “They all have in ways, I know it sounds like a cliché answer but they all remind me of when I started discovering new music and it just hits you in the feels. You know how that was? It’s a mixture of excitement and glee; you have another band, another artist to discover, watch their videos, and if you’re lucky see them live.”
My friend’s response: “It’s not cliché if it’s true.”

Well, here’s my Top 10 list (for now), accompanied by some honourable mentions.

1. Artist: Pearl Jam – Album: Yield, 1992 – Track: Wishlist

This one was the first track I thought of when I started this list. I was going through a lot and I was recommended this song by a stranger whom I met in a part-time job. It came up as I was playing Eddie Vedder’s solo album Into The Wild soundtrack. Really brings back to that chat we had about, life, work, and music. I see it as a bittersweet tune if anything but we are all entitled to our own opinions.

2. Artist: Led Zeppelin – Album: The Early Days, 1999 – Track: Whole Lotta Love

Another album my dad hasn’t seen since I got hooked on it, just listening to this on a great set of headphones will get the adrenaline pumping! Also, it’s LED ZEPPELIN! I need to say no more.

3. Artist: PAIN – Single: Party in my Head, 2021 – Track: Party in my Head

I discovered this band in the midst of the lockdown of 2020/2021. Upon discovering them, I found this song and fell in love it with to the point it inspired me to get creative and paint a denim jacket, which can be found over on my Instagram! Definitely on my list to see or, if I ever got the chance to, do photography for them.

4. Artist: Ted Hawkins – Album: The Final Tour, 1994 – Track: There Stands the Glass

A track that would remind me of my folks, one of the many albums they would play when I was young. This track like all on this disc has so much emotion yet entertainment to the crowd lucky to be at the performance. It’s sure to make you smile as you hear Ted talking to the audience.

5. Artist: The White Stripes – Album: Elephant, 2003 – Track: Seven Nation Army

A track from when I tried and failed to be in a band, was one of the only tunes I could do on bass. Gives me fond memories of annoying neighbours and growing our hair out. Simpler days.

6. Artist: Rage Against the Machine – Album: The Battle of Los Angeles, 1999 – Track: Sleep Now in the Fire

This is just a tune, like all my choices it’s hard just pick one big one. Yet, back in 2010 I was very lucky to see this mighty four live. I remember it down in Dublin and the bass alone vibrating the arena we were in! I had a choice: two tickets to that show or one to a four day festival, however I went with these guys. How could I not, still very much do not regret that decision.

7. Artist: Ludovico Einaudi – Album: Le Onde, 1994 – Track: Tracce

I remember back before the days of iPods, iPhones, even Spotify! My dad had this really crappy mp3 player on which I could only get two tracks to play. No loud riffs or lyrics just total bliss when this track or any others were on. After that car journey, I found that album and since that discovery I have found more alongside it, however it will never compare seeing him play live.

8. Artist: HOW – Album: This is a Raid, 2014 – Track: Animal

This song has a special meaning as it’s from the first band I photographed when I started doing live music photography. I’m very fortunate and thankful and when I get this album cranked up it always brings me back to rolling, diving and climbing the stages to capture their performance.

9. Artist: Jimi Hendrix – Album: The Ultimate Experience, The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1992 – Track: Purple Haze

This whole album is fantastic! Alas with 20 tracks it’s hard to pick only ten or this case just one! Yet, another track from my youth that I’m happy to say once my dad chose to play this album he never got it back.

10. Artist: ZZ Top – Album: ZZ Top’s first album, 1970 – Track: Brown Sugar

Taking it way back when, to my 16th birthday, I was given this ‘Greatest hits of ZZ Top’ from my aunt and this was just a track I fell in love with when playing it. Still got the album and definitely will be passed on to my child someday. RIP Dusty and thank you!

A few honourable mentions:
Rammstein – Mein Teil
AC/DC – Touch Too Much
David Bowie – Space Oddity
Black Stone Cherry – Blind Man
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Iron Maiden – Brave New World
Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful world
Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
Avenged Sevenfold – Strength of the World
Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac – Green Manalishi
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can’t Stop

With all listed, honestly I could go on forever…

Seb is a Belfast based artist, photographer and founder of Jolly Bearded Promotions; you can catch up with him and listen to his Vinyl Countdown on the links below – drop us a message if you’d like to share your own playlist!

Seb K Akehurst – Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

11th January 2022