MY CUL­TURAL LIFE

We ask a tastemaker what they are read­ing, watch­ing, lis­ten­ing to and down­load­ing

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Paris-born in­te­ri­ors mav­er­ick Jerome Dodd has mas­ter­minded the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions for the White House, pro­vided props for Roland Mouret’s fashion shoots, and has been sell­ing dec­o­ra­tive an­tiques and cu­ri­ous arte­facts (see 5 and 8) for nearly 25 years. His two Lon­don shops are in­fa­mously chris­tened ‘Les Couilles du Chien’ (the dog’s bol­locks) and he has just opened a pop-up res­i­dence in Lib­erty, which will be open un­til July (@les_­couilles_­du_chien; le­scouilles­duchien.com).

My favourite piece of mu­sic has to be Po­lice and Thieves by Ju­nior Murvin, later cov­ered by The Clash. This track al­ways re­minds me of youth, re­bel­lion and my con­nec­tion to Por­to­bello, Gol­borne Road and the north Kens­ing­ton area where I live and work. The song that makes me feel in­stantly happy is I Love My Dog by Cat Stevens ( 4), re­leased in 1967. It re­minds me of my new puppy Ziggy, but I also en­joy the irony that a cat could write a song about a dog. The mu­sic I re­turn to time and time again is old-school 1970s reg­gae. Hav­ing worked most of my adult life in a pre­dom­i­nantly Afro-caribbean area, the sounds of Max Romeo, John Holt, Ini Kamoze and other reg­gae artists re­mind me of how en­rich­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tures are to one’s own life, and how won­der­fully mul­ti­cul­tural Lon­don is. The book that has in­flu­enced me the most has to be Can­dide by Voltaire (Pen­guin, £12.99). It never ceases to amaze me how a piece of 18th-cen­tury writ­ing can be so cur­rent. The con­cept of try­ing to make the trou­bled world a bet­ter place by start­ing with mak­ing your own per­sonal ‘gar­den’ the best it can be is a prin­ci­ple I try not to for­get. I’m cur­rently read­ing the late AA Gill’s Pour Me: A Life ( 2; Wei­den­feld & Ni­col­son, £20). Leg­end is an overused term; how­ever, in this in­stance, it feels to­tally ap­pro­pri­ate. Over the years I have en­joyed his writ­ing, his ir­rev­er­ent at­ti­tude to the es­tab­lish­ment and his acer­bic re­views. He is a man who will be greatly missed, and this book in par­tic­u­lar is a must-read. My favourite film is The Long Good Fri­day ( 3) star­ring the late Bob Hoskins. I never tire of watch­ing this 1980 gang­ster thriller, which presents a fit­ting vi­sion of Thatcher’s Bri­tain. Hoskins de­liv­ers a stun­ning per­for­mance, and the one-lin­ers are hi­lar­i­ous. But un­print­able! The pod­cast I down­load is Amer­i­can co­me­dian Greg Proops’ The Smartest Man in the World. It’s al­ways funny and thought pro­vok­ing. The last theatre show I saw was the chore­og­ra­pher Wayne Mc­gre­gor’s Chroma ( 6) at the Royal Opera House, fea­tur­ing New York’s amaz­ing Alvin Ai­ley dance theatre. Din­ner at the Opera House fol­lowed by a show is al­ways a treat, but this pro­duc­tion was par­tic­u­larly pow­er­ful and in­spir­ing. My favourite places in the world are Lamu ( 7), Ki­wayu and the sur­round­ing Kenyan wilder­nesses. Spend­ing time in this mag­i­cal place, which re­mains free from the trap­pings of mod­ern life (and cars in par­tic­u­lar), is a joy. Lamu is a cul­tural gem and its coast­line feels like an Africa of times gone by. At the mo­ment I am plan­ning a trip to com­bine scuba div­ing in the Gala­pa­gos is­lands ( 1) with a visit to Ecuador. The only other South Amer­i­can coun­try I have vis­ited is Costa Rica, which was fan­tas­tic.

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