David McTague


1. Record & Guitar.
A record.  A guitar.  Music.  Magic. They’re here to symbolise music as an integral part of my life.

2. Bag.
My mobile office. I carry this pretty much everywhere, and it certainly contains a few essentials. This particular specimen is a few years old now, and hails from Marrakech.

3. Flat cap.
I call it my flat cap but I think it’s technically a ‘newsboy’. It’s brown corduroy and I wear it a lot.

4. Ashtray.
This is something I’ve just had for ages. Pretty much since leaving my parents house, so it’s symbolic of that I guess.  Time has moved on, people have moved on and places have moved on… and this ashtray has been along for the ride. I still use it now and again.

5. Mellowtone flyers.
I had to include them here as I’m always carrying them, and leaving a trail around. In this digital age I think it’s really important that we still retain some tangibles, so we never stopped printing our flyers. We use lots of different illustrators, but always monochrome artwork.

6. Ring.
Many years ago I tried on a ring, that was owned by my girlfriend at the time. A slender, square, silver ring; one that fitted my little finger perfectly.  And I didn’t take it off.  It was really thin and broke a few years later, so I had it copied using silver from a ring from the Oman my parents had given me. I wear it every day. If for any reason I don’t have it on it feels very strange…

7. Pencil.
I like to write in pencil.

8. Diary.
I like to have an old paper diary.

9. Computer & Phone.
I guess these days they speak for themselves as essentials.

10. Notebook.
An essential for anyone who wants to get anything done, in my opinion.

David McTague
July 2017

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My essentials for Stereographics by David McTague
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Nick Ellis

My essentials for Stereographics © Nick Ellis


1. Guitar ‘The Swede’  – The is the essential item in my life. It gets played everyday and has been used at every gig i’ve played over the last 6 years. It has travelled thousands of miles with me. It’s strong, loud and never goes out of tune. I once hit someone over the head with it when they tried to steal it while I was busking, and afterwards, still, it stayed in tune. I picked this guitar up in Stockholm, Sweden one Summer when I was busking around Europe. The Swede is not just a guitar, it is a voice. Or, maybe it’s a weapon?
2. A blank page and a pen – With a simple pen and a blank page, the smallest seed of an idea can become an important work of art. Essential for any thinker.
3. Photograph of my Uncle, Gerrard Parker – This man was the catalyst and inspiration for the greatest journey I ever took: life.
4. Book ‘Journey to the end of the night’ by Celine – Louis- Ferdinand Celine was the pen name for Louis-Ferdinand Auguste Destouches, a French novelist. Not only is this novel one of the greatest stories put to paper, but it’s magic is in it’s style. It broke the mould in the 20th Century. The style of writing in this book paved the way for many other great writers. No Celine – no Kerouac, no Dylan, no 60’s.
5. Love ‘Forever Changes’ – I found this record in a bin when I was 16. I knew nothing about them, went home and put it on. Forever changed. It was the first ‘hippy’ record I ever saw that had both black and white people on. I liked that. They looked like serious fucking dudes. For me, it is the greatest album ever written. Beautiful arrangements, fantastic writing, timeless sounds. A cross between classical and folk. Poetry of youth. The soundtrack of lives lived. There is nothing else quite like it. These guys were so young when they made this, 19 or 20 and the subject matter that they write about asks such big questions for such young minds. There is magic in this record that no other album seems to possess. i’ve never heard anything as good, since.
6. The Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ – I like to fuck to this record and so does every woman I’ve ever met. If you don’t believe me, try it.
7. An English Dictionary – A Dictionary is the only book you’ll ever need. It’s works in a very simple way. If you don’t know what something means, look up the word and there’s your answer. Any other research can develop from there. Essential for any writer, thinker or word-lover. To know words is to understand language, to understand language is to know how to communicate. And communication is the essential thread of life.

Nick Ellis
March 2017

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My essentials for Stereographics by Nick Ellis / Photography by Robin Clewley Photography.
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Dave O’Grady

My essentials for Stereographics © DaveOGrady


Gibson J45 – This is the guitar that I take everywhere, I use for every gig and is my dearest friend.
Hat – I found this hat in a lovely little shop in Amsterdam a couple years, as soon as I put it on..it was difficult to take off, so I kept it.
Headphones – No explanation necessary.
Drawing – This sketch is by Rich Robinson called ‘American Beauty’, it was very generous gift from him a few years ago. I think it is a perfect combination of beauty and ugliness.
1977 Fender Champ w/picture of myself and my mother – I got this amp for £100 on a used good website, I haven’t changed anything..it sounds killer!
Writing book w/ turquoise stone – I am always trying to take note of my thoughts, where better to take them down.
Polaroid Camera – I love this camera, It’s much more special when someone wants a photo with you and you can offer them a actual photo than a stupid selfie.
Howard Marks – Mr Nice was the first book I read for pleasure whilst working on a ship in the north sea one Christmas. A man who has led an incredibly exciting life.
Incense & Pipe – Well…its good to relax.
Oscar Wilde – His writing is humbling.
Scarf – I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. My first emotional experiences were watching St Patricks Athletic win and lose. It’s also where I learned to sing…”Oh when the Saints, go marching in, Oh..”
Vinyl (Eddie Harris) – I never collected anything, so now I collect vinyl…and Eddie Harris is wonderful musician, I was never into Jazz but he grabbed me.

Dave O’Grady
February 2017

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My essentials for Stereographics by Dave O’Grady
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