Monday, 5 February 2018

Head music

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the addition of a new blog to my blog roll over by there on the right. OK, so you don't need to be that eagle-eyed - for some reason its thumbnail is bleddy HUUUGE! Dunno why. Anyway, I want to draw your attention to it because it's focusing on two things very close to my heart - music (obvs!) and mental health.

On occasion I've briefly mentioned my struggles with depression. I had to think about using the word 'struggles' because it makes it sound like I expect some kind of sympathy or respect for it. I don't. But you know, some days facing the world is really fucking hard. People piss me off far too often and I really just want to crawl into a corner and not come out until the darkness passes. It's better than it used to be - I can control it now, thanks in part to medication, but mainly the love of my family. Believe me, MrsRobster is the best therapy a messy head like mine could ever hope for. Only she can make me laugh out loud when all I want to do is die.

Anyway. Music. That's the other thing that keeps me going. It has for almost all of my 46 long years. There have been countless songs that tackle mental health in all its ugly forms. Bowie, Black Sabbath, Kanye West, Manic Street Preachers, Ellie Goulding, Amanda Palmer, Pink Floyd - the list of artists who have tackled the subject is vast. Yet still so few people understand it, or want to understand it, and it remains a largely taboo topic.

My Big Mental Head is a new blog that combines music with mental health issues. Connie and Hannah, the young ladies who run the site, call it "a safe space for musicians & their fans to talk about mental health". There's certainly plenty to write about. I'm not really in the habit of plugging other sites (aside from those run by my good friends over in the blog roll) but will you please drop by My Big Mental Head and say hello? I really hope they make it work and it helps people discuss their experiences freely.

Here's some tunes. You probably all know Kristin Hersh's story - about her mental health history. Since the age of 16 she has been in the grip of mental illness. It hasn't so much informed her music as much as made it exist. She claimed songs just arrive in her head fully formed and won't leave her be until she's written them down. In this article, she explains how she has been misdiagnosed more than once and recently found out the root cause of her illness. It's a fascinating read. I love Kristin Hersh. Her music is understandably uncomfortable, but she's so humble and funny.

And here's a song by The Wombats from their second album 'This Modern Glitch' from 2011. It's all about singer Matthew Murphy's own struggle with depression and the medication he took. I kind of lost track of the Wombats after this album, but the songs I've heard from their new forthcoming record sound pretty decent.


  1. An excellent post and a worthy addition to folks blog rolls Robster
    It will be added to mine when I get back from my travels

  2. Nice one Robster. Always helps to talk about it. That's the downside with being British sometimes, to keep it all to yourself.

    As to the music. Music is the future, music is the past, to live without my music, would be impossible to dooooo.....

  3. Great stuff Robster....really good post from yourself and I'll be another that adds them to my list in due course.