PLAYLIST: 20 at 20: John Clay

I was approached by God is in the TV to create a list of twenty songs to mark the two decades of their publication. Of course this was going to trigger no small amount of existentialism. 

I could have just said no, but Bill and his team have been so supportive of me over the years and so, here we are.

Looking at my list the obvious and likely scenario has come to light, again, just as I knew it would. There’s such a deficit of music by artists of colour on here. I’m more than convinced that my pushback against praise for discovering new music is not false modesty. As a wise woman* once said, the music industry needs to perpetuate myths about itself in order to survive. If a large glut of company and journalistic output supports white supremacy (however unconsciously) then it’s no surprise that the choices we make reveal the underlying project. I should be careful though, as I don’t like prescriptive language, despite being socialised to use it at every given opportunity. 

As people know, I hate lists as I loathe comparison, it being the thief of joy. Why would I compare candyfloss to a pad thai? They’re both great albeit in different ways. For every artist that I’ve really enjoyed that’s on this list, there’s more than a few I’ve realised that should be on here, I’m sure. I’m probably listening to one of them right now thinking, ‘damn, this is tasty. I wonder if I can resubmit?’ 

I was going to write up a list of honourable mentions. Thing is,  that kind of thing is inherently contradictory to the task at hand.

Another issue is that my experience of shooting videos for songs has inspired my connection with them. I don’t trust myself to relate my love of them to be without reliance on the images that are now a part of their personality. I suspect that a list of music videos would be easier to currate. 

Finally, music of the last twenty years, as good as it has been cannot rewire the soundtrack of my formative years. Why bring music outside of the time period circled for this article into the conversation? Good question…

I’m sure others asked to create their own lists for God is in the TV faced a similar hesitancy in settling on their favourite tracks. How can something created beyond my teenage years hope to garner an impact that would warrant a list? Aren’t lists reductive and reliant on criteria that we’ll outlive at some point? Perhaps they serve as a marker in time. I suppose that’s how I’ve justified completing the one below. 

Since a fair amount of my choices include bands that are without a label/huge management behind them, this zine’s platform might do them some good.

So here it is. Hopefully you might discover something that put a smile on my face and a beat in my foot.

1. Coco Varda – Branches

2. Starsha Lee – ‘Holy Hatred’

3. Fat White Family  – ‘Heaven on Earth’

4. IDLES – ‘Television’

5.  PROJECTOR – ‘Love’

6. Aloha Dead – ‘Dead Lake’

7. Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’

8. The OBGM’s- ‘Same’

9. Twink Privilege – ‘Daddy’

10. St Pierre Snake Invasion – ‘Braindead’

11.Lambrini Girls  – ‘Big Dick Energy’

12. Nuha Ruby – Ra- ‘Erase Me’

13. 80’s Matchbox B Line Disaster  – ‘Rise of the Eagles’

14. A Void – ‘Sick as a Dog’

15. Sistertalk – ‘This is Progress’

16. Legpuppy – ‘She’s Lost Her Soul’

17. Calva Louise- ‘Outrageous’

18. Cold in Berlin- ‘The Power’

19. Hotgothic- ‘Drug Problems’

20. Stash Magnetic- ‘My Future’

*Chardine Taylor Stone


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.