Music: I recently discovered country and blues musician Jessie Mae Hemphill, who died a few years ago. I've also been listening to Precious Bryant. I love Micah P Hinson, Lucas Renney, Villagers and Willie Dixon.
Books: I'm reading Kill Your Friends by John Niven, about a year in the life of A&R man Steven Stelfox. Seen from the perspective of the world's record industry in the 1990s, it's told through the eyes of this character who's just the worst. The drug-taking, orgies, back-stabbing and lack of morals. I'm also reading a blues dialect dictionary called Barrelhouse Words, by Stephen Calt. It's good for looking up various words you often hear in blues songs, such as 'jelly roll' and 'head rag hop'. I'm reading Ulysses and Us: the Art of Everyday Living by Declan Kiberd, an inspired reclamation of Joyce's great novel.
Opera: The first opera I saw was at London's Royal Opera House, which was The Barber of Seville. The main soprano was in a wheelchair, and the main tenor had a cold, so he was miming whilst someone on the side of the stage was singing for him. It was bizarre. I then went with a friend to see Lucia di Lammermoor at the English National Opera, which was brilliant. I think opera is something I'll have to keep trying.
Television: I watch box sets of television series including lately Mad Men, The Sopranos and Band of Brothers. I also saw Jazz – a Film by Ken Burns, about the history of jazz in America. But I don't watch much TV because I hate the adverts.