Q

Caitlin Moran's musical tribute to Crouch End, London

Writer Caitlin Moran gives us a playlist of songs that remind her of her neighbourhood of Crouch End, London.
This year, writer Caitlin Moran released her fifth book called Moranifesto. (Getty Images)

In a segment we call the q Block Party, we invite guests to pay musical tribute to the neighbourhoods they hold dear to their hearts. 

Today, writer Caitlin Moran takes listeners on a guided musical tour through Crouch End, London, a place Moran describes as "a beautiful, leafy, peaceful, middle-class bohemian suburb in North London." 

Below are Moran's song picks and her reasons behind them.


Pet Shop Boys, "It's a Sin"

"It was an incredibly pivotal song for me at the age of 13 and it changed my life [...] Life is horrible for all 13-year-old girls, really. It is a life of shame. Everything that's happening to you is awful and you feel like Alice in Wonderland, in that bit where she drinks the potion and suddenly you're too big for the building and you feel trapped by it, and you want to escape through the chimney. I knew where I wanted to escape to — I knew that I wanted to live in London." 

Flowered Up, "Weekender" 

"The song itself is an epic, it's 15-minutes long. It basically tells the story of how, when you first start going out, it's incredible and it's euphoric. Then, often, things start to get sour around about three o'clock in the morning. People take too many drugs, people start fighting...the whole thing just collapses in a mess and what was very much what was happening to me. I was going down to London, this child surrounded by adults who'd be taking drugs and drinking and sort of just watching this end-of-days orgy, like despair and devastation happening around me, and I was very scared."

Pulp, "Common People"

"As I moved down to London, I was very aware I was a working class girl working in the media, and that I was some kind of weird freak. I was surrounded by middle class people who did not understand where I came from and 'Common People' by Pulp is about a middle class girl living in London who pretends to be working class. Jarvis Cocker is furious with her and exposes her in one of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard: 'If it all goes wrong/You can call your dad/He can fix it all.'" 

Elbow, "New York Morning"

"The lyrics are about [singer Guy Garvey's] working class grandfathers and forebearers and how they would've had to bang in each rivet [...] he just sees the hard work, the construction, the crushed bones, the bruises, the exhaution of building an incredible city and he manages to make that sound incredibly glorious. He makes hard work seem glamourours and this was the point where I was realizing hard work was glamourous, that hard work was the way out of all my problems and that's why I love this song."

The Lilac Time, "Family Coach"

"This song has enormous resonance for me. It's got very beautiful lyrics. Crouch End is the most perfect place to raise children. I was very aware, even while I was writing a sitcom about my childhood, that I didn't want to give my children the same childhood that I had." 

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