Friday, 12 October 2012

Music is my Radar

Year ago, I would have waved
my hands in a laser light
not dissimilar to this..

As you'll know from the majority of my post titles and the 'Soundtrack' page, music is a big part of my life and, like a lot of us, I can categorise certain parts of it by the music that I was listening to at the time.  

My musical journey started as a child where my parents weaned us on The Jam, the Steve Miller Band and Blondie.  I wanted to 'be like David Watts' and look like Debbie Harry.  Other early highlights include singing 'I Feel Like I'm in Love' by Kelly Marie at primary school whilst doing a handstand, and when 'Hey Mickey' was released by Toni Basil I was thrilled that there was a (somewhat) famous female singer called Toni. See - it's not just a boy's name!

Why would you do this?!
Pre-teenage years I forgot all the cool music that my parents had and dived headlong into an obsessive attachment to Duran Duran (yes, I did practise signing my name as 'Toni Le Bon'...) who were then ditched in favour of Bros.  I am now distanced far enough from those years to confess to wearing Grolsch bottle tops on my shoes to signify that I was a 'Brosette'.  What the hell was that all about?  Did Matt, Luke and Craig have some really lean years where they couldn't afford laces and had to 'make do' with bottle tops to hold their shoes together?  They were singularly responsible for our local pub putting up a sign to say they most certainly would not be giving them to children.  Not unless you looked over 18 and were prepared to pay for a bottle - as our friends sister did.  Result!

By the time that I had worked the "when I grow up I want to marry Simon Le Bon" phase out of my system and started using appropriate devices to keep my shoes on my feet, along came Indie and how my tastes changed.  My school books went from being decorated with love hearts to being covered in lyrics from the Wonderstuff and the Happy Mondays and my Clarks school shoes and smart jumper were switched for monkey boots and a very tatty cardigan.  I felt like a right rebel, and I looked like a right jumble sale. 

Is that a Microsoft team
getting down to my music?
I'm-a kick their asses!
After that, there followed brushes with heavy metal (I wanted to look like any of the women from Heart and almost got knocked out at an Acid Reign gig), Swingbeat and RnB (I wanted to look like Louise Nurding and thought that the lyrics of R Kelly and Bell Biv DeVoe were romantic, until I learned that they are, in effect, a smooth way of saying "oh baby, please get yer knickers off or else I'll shag your best friend") and then on to Hip Hop which gave me the twin adolescent joys of expressing my anger at adults and dancing.  These feelings never completely fade, as evidenced by a room full of white, middle class IT workers in black tie dancing to 'Get Low' by Flow Rida at a Microsoft conference in Washington 3 years ago.  At the time it felt GREAT!  To anyone watching it was probably SH....AMEFUL! 

From Hip Hop I went to rock and then onto dance music.  These last two genres have been my steadfast companions right up to today and I could bore you with tales of bad fashion, raves, gigs, and house parties but the point is that music was, and is, always there for me when I want to celebrate, commiserate, forget, remember or just let off a bit of steam.  I remember our wedding reception as a series of songs, our children were born to music (and a bit of screaming but I prefer to remember Elbow playing....) and if ever there's a chance to leap around in a vaguely rhythmical fashion I'm on it, be it in the kitchen or at a ceilidh.  

So when tonight my six year old daughter got back from her school disco beaming, rosy cheeked, and stating "my feet hurt from all the dancing", it made my day.  She's at the start of her musical journey, and I hope it will be as joyful and interesting as mine (but without the house parties - definitely no house parties).


Soundtrack:  Music is my Radar by Blur

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