The message is in the music for Richard Rose

6th February 2004 at 00:00
Best band ever

The Manic Street Preachers (bassist Nicky Wire pictured) are the only band in my adult life (so far) to combine energy, beauty, adrenalin, bookishness, politics, anger, honesty and intelligence. They changed the way I think about the world and myself, the books I read, the records I listen to, the people I talk to and respect. I would never have started a magazine or set up a record label without them. I also like The Darkness, Cooper Temple Clause, The Virgin Suicides and Miss Black America. I like guitar-based punky pop, particularly if it's got ideas or politics in it.

Starting from school

I teach a lot of kids' bands. I want to pass on a love of writing as well as a love of music. I get them thinking about why they're in a band, and what they want to say with their music. The best known are The Hammers, who started in Year 5 at Histon. They're in Year 10 and they play all over, including on Blue Peter.

Best book ever

I'm reading Michael Moore's Downsize This, and re-reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, because I was arguing with one of the boys in a band I manage about it. But the book I go back to again and again is Wuthering Heights.

It's so complicated in its structure and imagery: all the windows being opened and shut and the fires lit and extinguished. I don't know how someone who had such a sheltered upbringing could have written such a fantastic book.

Best on stage

Bertold Brecht was a great dramatist and The Threepenny Opera is a work of genius. I liked Patrick Jones's recent play The War is Dead, Long Live the War (with music by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers).

Best on the web is good for happening alternative pop music. Our own website,, is pretty darn exciting and you can read about us and our CDs on it.

Richard Rose, 38, teaches Year 5 at Histon junior school near Cambridge four days a week. He set up the R*E*P*E*A*T label nine years ago, through which he promotes young bands and gigs, releases CDs and publishes a fanzine and website. He was talking to Karen Gold

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