A distant memory surfaced today, thanks to the little explorer. He decided to nick my phone and go on Spotify, choose the School of Rock soundtrack and clicked shuffle play (he’s too clever for his own good) and a track I used to listen to a lot in my teens began to play. It was ‘Growing on me’ by The Darkness (no judging please!) and in that moment; I was 15. I was in my sister’s living room and I was singing away into a hairbrush in front of the mirror – we’ve all been there so don’t deny it. It was so vivid, loads of memories came rushing back. It’s so weird how this happens, so on the way home once he’d gone to sleep in the back, I loaded up a Spotify playlist of 00’s rock songs and happily remembered my teens and sang my little heart out.
The songs took me back to school discos, hanging out at the Triangle in Manchester with the skaters and Emo kids and back to the first massive crush I had. Whenever I listen to the Darkness, it takes me back to those moments. Certain moments trigger other memories and before you know it, I’m frantically trying to find my school Leaver’s book to reminisce even further.
Certain songs remind me of times I’d rather not think about. A lot of them are from the teenager years, some from around 5 years ago and some from around the time my dad died.
There are the songs that remind me of times that I look back on fondly, family holidays, days out with friends and the absolutely awesome time I had on a certain Somme trip when I was 15.
The first songs I really remember being interested in – and this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my family – were by great bands of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I grew up on the Beatles, Yes, Bread, The Clash, AC/DC, the Who, Fleetwood Mac etc etc. Plus my sisters always had Bon Jovi or Guns ‘N’ Roses blaring out of the stereo. My poor mum had no choice, I was a rock kid and no mistake about it. I love a good musical (The Greatest Showman is my latest favourite) and of course pop will always have a special place in my heart but it’s rock and indie that I’ve always felt drawn to.
I love the guitar riffs, playing the air drums on the steering wheel and pretending that I am a rock goddess when driving by myself, or writing, or in the shower or at anytime I think no-one can hear me. I love the feeling you get with rock songs, the raw emotion that you can hear in the really good ones.
When I was younger, making up dances to my favourite songs was a good past-time for me. I also have the strange talent of listening to a song once and knowing exactly the tune so I’m constantly trying to perfect tunes in the car. This talent served me well when I sang the church choir and never wanted to admit that I was crap at reading music, how I managed to pass 3 grades in violin and flute I’ll never know.
Actually, I’ve just remembered two CD’s a uni friend of my sister made for me and it had loads of bands I’d never even heard of. The majority of those bands are standard on my studying/writing playlist. I can remember the first time I heard the songs that made me fall in love with Kings of Leon, Mumford & sons and Frank Turner (who I had never heard of until I met my partner and thought was some weird indie guy who had rubbish music. Turns out I was very very wrong, and he’s one of my favourite artists now. Go and check him out!)
Music makes me happy, to put it simply. I wouldn’t be me without my musical journey, and the very eclectic taste I seem to have in music. It can cheer me up in an instant – My, My, My by Armand Van Helden. It can make me cry – Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls. It can get me pumped up ready for a day at work – there’s a few, bear with me. Peggy Sang the Blues by Frank Turner, Star Girl and Friday Night by McFly and of course Mr Brightside by the Killers!
The happiest thing about music though is just how much my son enjoys it, it gives me great joy to see him rocking out to the greats, and dancing around to the pop hits with his microphone and guitar. Music will keep my family going and it really does make our world go round.