Laugh Tracks 2011: The playlist

The music comedians walk on to

This year, as usual, we asked Edinburgh Fringe comedians to tell us what music they came on stage to, and why they chose it. Now we’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of all that we featured – plus more that we didn’t have space for over the duration of the festival. Click here to listen to the playlist – and below the comics explain their choices:

Rob Deering: My default walking on music has often been David Shire’s theme from The Taking Of Pelham 123. Like all the best music – indeed, all the best things in life – it’s exciting, enormous and slightly ridiculous.

Matt Forde:D:Ream: Things Can Only Get Better. I still get goosebumps when I hear the opening bars and remember Labour sweeping to power in 1997. My show charts my love of politics, sport and drink from that era until now.

Chris Ramsey: The Letter by Joe Cocker. I wanted to pick something that had a reference to my show, and was upbeat. It makes me feel up for it and really happy... so on the off chance that the entire crowd hate the show, I will be blissfully unaware.

Steve Hall: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by The Andrew Sisters. It's an old walk-in music favourite going back to the Klang days. Hearing the same tune every single day of a festival usually makes me want to track down the songwriters and devastate their faces. This is one of the few songs not to elicit that psychotic Pavlovian response.

Gareth Richards : Brick by Brick by the Arctic Monkeys as I want to break the audience down and build them back up again (with jokes and songs).

Deborah Frances-White: You Can Leave Your Hat On by Joe Cocker because my show is called How to Get Almost Anyone to Want to Sleep With You and one of the things I recommend is to wear a hat. I walk down the street in a bowler and at least five times a day a man will say to me, ‘nice hat’, for which I read ‘nice tits’, which is something he can’t say, unless I’m wearing the hat.

Guy Pratt: I have Stravinsky's Rite of Spring because it makes everyone shut up and pay attention to the fantastic Miles Jupp recorded intro that I then come on after.

Sammy J: Mozart's Requiem in D Minor, to get people settled.

Matt Green: In Motion from The Social Network soundtrack, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It's upbeat and exciting, and reflects the theme of the show. Plus it's on the poster (if you look hard enough!)

Jessica Fostekew: Gnarls Barkley's Smiley Faces, because it's exciting and energetic and Cee Lo Green's voice smells of parties! And it's about how lovely it is to see people smiling and laughing, but that it's not always easy to be happy, which is massive relevant to my show, innit.

Wendy Wason: Sweet Talkin' Woman by ELO. The music I like to come onto generally has something to do with the show and I also like it to be upbeat so I can have a wee dance backstage

Dog Eared Collective: The Armenian Superhero by Henry Jackman and Marius De Vries. What better way to kick off life-changing comedy than with an ode to Armenian heroes. Think on this - a sketch show with the brains of Kasparov, the speed of Agassi and the balls of Cher. Amen(ia) to that.

Kate Smurthwaite: Foxglove by Mayhew. I interviewed them for Leith FM and they gave me their demo CD which I loved and started playing as my intro music. Apparently they've now been signed and are doing very well, though I don't think it's completely down to me.

Tiff Stephenson: Let's Push Things Forward by The Streets. It's upbeat and I like the sentiment.

John Scott: Mishto by Gogol Bordello. They are a gypsy punk band. Mishto is a Romani word it means ‘good, well, happy.’ Which I hope we all are at this year’s festival. I also chose it because I have travelling heritage on both sides of my family.

Sally Anne Hayward: Blondie’s Heart of Glass. Because I have been accused of being cold but more importantly I LOVE Blondie. I used to go to sleep at night with a picture of Jimmy Destri. But then I also used to love Alex Higgins and Jimmy White.

Diane Spencer: Change by the Lightning Seeds. Nice punchy beginning, upbeat and the first line is 'The world is full of fools, who never get it right',which I feel is a mild disclaimer.

Matthew Crosby: Juan Luis Guerra’s Visa Para Un Sueno. I picked it because it’s upbeat. However I’ve recently been told that the lyrics (in Spanish) are about the difficulty Dominicans face in emigrating to the US. So I guess my show has a political message, too.

Chris Cox: Spaceman by The Killers. It's pumpingly good and features the words ;it's all in your mind’. Which of course with my show is very true.

Henning Wehn: Preussens Gloria. It's purposeful yet jolly. Just like myself.

Iain Stirling: Hundred Reasons: Silver Because I came second in every new act competition I entered!

Laurence Clark: I come on stage to the song Dem Bones as my show is around healthcare reform in the UK and USA, although I worry audiences may get the wrong end of the stick and think they’re at some sort of evangelical religious meeting. They’ll soon discover otherwise!

John Cooper as Danny Pensive: The Elf by the Barbara Moore Singers and a recorded intro by Arthur Bostrom. I am big fan of library music and Allo Allo.

Matt Kirshen: Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield because: ‘I wanna tell her that I love her, But the point is probably moot’ is one of the clunkiest lyrics in the history of modern songwriting and that alone never fails to make me happy.

Glenn Wool: Anna by Pure. They are an obscure Vancouver band from the 90s. It’s a rocking song and no one will have heard it in the crowd. It used to easier to do that in Edinburgh but since more and more hipsters are into old heavy metal as a post ironic statement about the music industry, you can’t shock anyone with Turbo Lover any more.

Suzy McClintock from Cab Fare for the Common Man: Pictures of Matchstick Men by the Quo. It was covered in the 90s by a band called Camper Van Beethoven, I myself would like to be called Camper Van Beethoven...does that count as a reason?

Ali Cook: A View To A Kill by Duran Duran, cos you always need a little bit of ‘Shazam’ when you're a magician.

Holly Walsh: Break Away by The Beach Boys. Ilistened to this song obsessively in Worthing Hospital after I broke my arm last year. It's a great song to play before I go on, because it reminds me - whatever happens - it's not going to be as painful as smashing my elbow to pieces.

Delete the Banjax: Janglin by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s surreal without being weird and it’s upbeat without being annoying – everything we want to be! Some lyrics are hard to make out, but there’s definitely something about castles, jesters and kings – well that’s Edinburgh Fringe isn’t it?

Andrew O’Neil: It's Not Unusual by Tom Jones because I'm bored of pretending I like heavy metal.

Dregs: Woman by Wolfmother. It is a loud, energetic song that seems to lift the spirits of even the dourest of audience members. Plus Wolfmother seems to encapsulate Max's upbringing quite nicely.

Asher Treleaven: A traditional bullfighting promenade song called La Entradaby the Emereson Ensemble. I feel It provides the exact amount of pomp and circumstance and while many think actual 'jokes' are better to start a show with I feel wrong if I don't get some prancing before the LOLs.

Meryl O’Rourke: She's So Modern by The Boomtown Rats. Mainly because it’s just so fun, but I also find it cute that it claims how now ‘she’ is, when all the references are over 30 years old.

Carey Marx: Bob Dylan's, What Good Am I? The lyrics touch on the sentiment of the show. Though, there's a risk it will make the audience cry and I'll have to work harder to cheer them up

Benet Brandreth: I come on to The theme from Superman. It makes sense for the story and it’s good for the audience to have advance warning of the size of my ego.

Tom Allen: The opening bars of Sufjan Steven's Chicago because it's one of my favourite songs of all time and it's sort of fast and energetic - to wake people up. My show has nothing to do with the place Chicago. I have never been

Tiernan Douieb: Little Lion Man by Mumford And Sons. I'm a small hairy dude. In this show I roar about stuff. It all felt appropriate. That and I want people to think I'm the mane man.

Gemma Goggin: I come on to Brimful of Asha by Cornershop. The show is about boobs - big ones, small ones, famous ones, karmic ones – and ‘everybody needs a bosom for a pillow’ is a suitably uplifting, breast-related track.

Caroline Mabey: The Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra in honour of my cartoon sidekick, Kip the Coffee Pot. It’s a jaunty and toe-tapping, plus it sounds like it’s played on home-made instruments and recorded in a box of sand, which is how I would do my show if I could.

Published: 30 Aug 2011

Live comedy picks

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