When we asked the brilliant Sky Larkin to put together a special mix for all you Plastic Platform fans out there, we never thought it would turn out like this. For this mix, vocalist Katie Harkin picked performances from bands she's seen live and loved (although the audio is not necessarily taken from these shows). Check out her wonderful stories below, along with the downloadable mixtape.

Smashing Pumpkins 'Tonight Tonight' 2000-11-29 - United Center, Chicago

When I was 8 I visited my grandparents in Cyprus and was exposed to MTV for the first time as they had satellite TV to keep up with Eastenders. The video for 'Tonight, Tonight' captured my young imagination and I insisted on going into town to buy the CD single when we got home. Then aged 14 I went to see The Smashing Pumpkins (in Manchester, a month earlier than this recording) for my first ever gig. I saved my first ever crowd surf for this song, like a virgin meticulously planning prom night.

PJ Harvey 'Snake' Peel Session 5 September 1996

At 18 I went to uni in London mostly so I could go to gigs, and somehow I managed to get tickets to see PJ Harvey do her first ever full acoustic show in the tiniest room at the Royal Court Theatre. Hearing her voice un-amplified was thrilling, the traces of it that spilled off the microphone weren't swamped by the sound of a band. It was part of a series of experiences at that time that galvanised my resolve to make music of my own. I have chosen one of her Peel sessions as it would feel wrong to do a live mixtape without him.

Broken Social Scene - 'New Country' live @ KVRX - March 14, 2003

I went to see a Broken Social Scene at Koko (with a miraculously near-full line up) the night before my university finals. The first direct contact we ever had with our record label was when Wichita asked us to support them on tour a year later - we all already had tickets. Attending their shows in awe, then touring with them a few times felt like stepping through the looking glass. It was hard to know which song to pick as the endless constellations of players made every show different and vital. I settled on this as a studio version of this song has not emerged (as far as I'm aware), it's lightning in a jar from these nebulous collaborators. Oh Canada.

Wild Beasts - Live @ KEXP 2/14/2010 (April 3, 2010)

I spent 20 charmed non-stop months in 2011/2012 on tour with Wild Beasts as an extra pair of musical hands. This was one of the songs I didn't play on, so I'd wait in the wings air drumming and watching the crowd. It would sometimes be overwhelming, as it was a new experience for me to be able to break out of gig focus mid-show and observe the moment and the people we were sharing it with.

Flaming Lips 'Do You Realise' 2010-07-26 Central Park New York

I was a long-time Flaming Lips fan, and when I was able to dance on stage with them when Wild Beasts played the same festival stage in Ireland I shed euphoric tears. Because, c'mon, I'm not dead inside. 'Dooo youuuu reaaliiiise!'

Killer Mike 'Untitled' - Live on Sway In The Morning March 16, 2012

This isn't strictly a live performance, but it is a live introduction, and it really speaks for itself. I saw Killer Mike in a totally rammed Manchester Roadhouse and he also shared this story. A formidable man.

The band play the following dates this April/May:

  • April
  • 8th Birmingham The Bull's Head
  • 9th Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
  • 10th Northampton Ledgendary Labour Club
  • 11th Bristol The Old Bookshop
  • 12th Portsmouth Edge of the Wedge
  • 16th Liverpool Kazamier
  • 17th York Fibbers
  • 18th Newcastle Cluny 2

  • May
  • 26th Leeds Brudenell Social Club

Head here to listen to the entire Plastic Platform mix series.