Friday, 13 June 2014

This is (not really) the end, beautiful friends

Strange how our lives turn out, innit? Mine started somewhat ominously. Born out of wedlock to a young music-loving woman who worked for a newsagent and sang in a band. Unable to give me the kind of life she felt I deserved, she put me up for adoption whereupon I was taken in by two of the most wonderful, loving, caring and honest people that ever walked the Earth whose own musical tastes inspired and influenced my own. Years later, as a fanatical music-lover I would work for a newspaper and play in a band. Anyone believe in fate? Or is it merely coincidence?

In 43 years, I’ve come a long way, yet stayed the same. Whether my love of music came from my birth mother, or my mum and dad it matters not. I’ve carried it with me, for better or worse, and am showing no signs of letting it go just yet. While so, so many people my age have pretty much given up on music (in terms of discovering things that are new to them) and source their entertainment from dreadful commercial radio stations, I continually trawl the internet looking for that next record that will change my life – the next ‘Document’, the next ‘Doolittle’ – or the next band that will make my jaw hit the floor in sheer excitement and awe – the next White Stripes, perhaps. I’m not finished yet – there’s still so much to hear! How can anyone possibly declare that “music’s crap nowadays, it was so much better in the 50s/60s/70s/80s” (delete as appropriate)?

l-r: Frank Turner, Shonen Knife, Drenge, The Joy Formidable, John Otway

Just because you grow up, doesn’t mean you have to ‘grow up’. If I want to jump into a sweaty mosh pit, why the hell shouldn’t I? So far this year, I’ve seen Frank Turner, Shonen Knife and Drenge. The Joy Formidable and John Otway are lined up. It’s not nearly as many gigs as I used to go to back in my so-called heyday, and if I had the finances I’d go to a lot more, but it’s significantly more live music than most people ever bother to expose themselves to in their lifetime.

Does that make me a better person? Hmmm, maybe not, but I feel so much more enriched and fulfilled for those experiences. At least when I’m down in the dumps (which is quite often) and pissed off at what life has dealt me, I can look back on some of the stories I’ve told on this blog and tell myself: “You know what, my boy? You’ve actually had quite a lot of fun and some amazing experiences. Now stop moping and put some music on, you grumpy old bastard!”

And so we reach the end of my story. Don’t worry – it’s not the end of the blog, I’ve still got plenty to say. But over the past six months I’ve told you about the significant moments in my life and how music has played its part. And now? Well, music continues to pump through my veins as strongly as it did all those years ago when I discovered my mum’s ‘Music Explosion’ compilation album; when I got my first record player and Abba’s ‘Super Trouper’ for Christmas; when I painted a stripe across my face and jumped around to Adam And The Antswhen I attended my first gig; when I attended my first festival; when I had a job writing about music; when I played in a band; when the White Stripes changed everything; when I took my eldest daughter to her first ever gig – I still can’t stop myself being thrilled by music. The fire burns as bright as ever and long may it do so.

Now, do excuse me, there’s the new Boris album to listen to…

Quicksilver – Boris (from ‘Noise’)
End Credits – The Wedding Present (from ‘Valentina’)
Coming next:
My ongoing series of gigs, songs and albums will continue, and there's a special Glastonbury mini-series to come next week. But I still have a supply of topics to write about, some articles already written and a number of ideas in embryonic stages. While you’re still interested in reading, I’ll still post. 


  1. Replies
    1. Dammit I thought I switched accounts. Ah never mind...

  2. A record by a new band to change your life you say....Well that will be the new Glass Animals album 'Zaba'. Oh. My. God. - Keep up the good work - S-WC.

  3. Congrats Robster! A very good post that made me think of musical education. It's good to follow you and it's inspiring me.