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Music love

July 3, 2013
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Music has always been an important part of my life. I was in orchestras for around five years, and have been listening to music ever since I can remember. My Dad was a magician, and we would attend the Zodiac Club Christmas parties with magicians, fire eaters and entertainers. I was around three years old when my faux Uncle Freddie asked if I wanted to sing everyone a song whilst they waited to draw the raffle. I sang Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf.

I listened to so many different genres growing up. I moved from Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler (I say moved, I still listened to them but decided to branch out and listen to other music…!) to Peter Andre, to Eminem to Limp Bizkit to Jack Off Jill to Less Than Jake to Greenday to the music that I still listen to today – Strike Anywhere, The Flatliners, Millencolin. It’s one of the reasons Trout and I got to know each other. I remember sitting in the common room with him, earphones in as Trout showed me the album his band had recorded recently. Once we were together we spent the next few years going to two or three shows per week. A highlight was being kicked out of the Hobgoblin for being underage, and watching The Filaments through the steamed windows, which the people inside cleared for us. I named my first car after a Filaments song.

When I was growing up in the punk scene, it was about supporting something so important. It was a huge friendship group, all with a common interest; making things happen that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I was helping out at shows from around 16, 17 and then when I hit 18 I was the only person with a car so it was down to me to do the equipment runs and to pop into Tesco and buy crates of beer, a dozen french sticks, tubs of houmous and pasta salad and bags of salad (boy, we sure did know how to treat touring bands…). I helped out and organised shows until I left for uni at the age of twenty one. The pub was regularly overflowing with punters, and I spent most of my teenage years there – which is why this video is utterly heartbreaking.

I picked Kingston University for two reasons (other than the course and facilities…) – the music scene and the vegan options. The night that I moved into halls I didn’t mingle with everyone else, trying to force conversations and friendships that, realistically, were never going to happen. Trout drove down in his van and we went to see Paint it Black at The Peel. I didn’t drink or smoke, nor did I enjoy going to clubs so it left me a little lonely at first, before I realised it was ok not to want to do all of those things. I made friendships which still exist today, where we baked cakes every Sunday and ate them whilst sipping cinnamon tea. We went charity shop shopping and organised all-you-can-eat cake buffets at University (called Cake ce Soir!). I drove back and forth to Brighton to see my favourite bands, I drove to Guildford to watch bands play in a youth centre – we even drove to Liss for a show a few times!

For Trout’s birthday this year I bought him the documentary Last Shop Standing, and last night we finally got around to watching it. If you love music, you must watch this DVD. It kind of made me want to go out and hug my local record shops. Three shops from Brighton were featured! Although sadly one has closed since the DVD was made. It was interesting to see the progression of the shops, and how they are now seeing a rise and rejuvenation in the way that they sell music and keep afloat. Although there has been a huge dip in sales and so many have closed – in the 80s there were over 2,000 record shops in the UK. In 2009 there were less than 300. The documentary featured a shop that had been open for over 100 years, which sadly closed last year. Nowadays record shops rely on vinyl; it is a product that can’t be made at home and is still hugely popular – especially as they are usually limited edition. Record Store Day just goes to show how vital local record shops are, and should be supported – and that people still really do want to shop in local stores!

Another important point that one of the people interviewed made, was that record shops are vital for the next generation of music lovers. When I was younger I was too afraid to ask the people behind the counter for suggestions or recommendations – but they are there to help! Without them you are relying on Spotify’s suggestions.

Does music play an important part of your life? What kind of music do you listen to?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2013 1:48 pm

    Nice blog, Chrissie. I actually left home so I could see Gallon Drunk (well, I’d been planning to move out of my parents’ anyway, but seeing GD were playing gave me the final push). I used to make fanzines, which was a great way of getting to meet the bands I liked and Dr Robert’s (the now sadly-closed Belfast independent shop) always took a fair few copies of each one.

    • July 9, 2013 7:28 pm

      Thanks, Graeme! I used to collect fanzines, I’ve still got loads of them stored away. That’s awesome that you used to make them!

  2. July 3, 2013 2:43 pm

    Love this post! Music is a huge part of my life, and even more so for James. Live music has become a really passion for both of us. I grew up with Brit Pop and my Dad’s Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix and Beatles records, and from that I’ve grown to love a huge range of music. We really want to buy a proper record player soon as well! I think James would love that DVD so I’ll have to keep a look out. We often go to the couple of record stores in Newcastle, there are 3 which I think is pretty good for up north! At the moment I love female singer songwriters like Laura Marling, KT Tunstall, Regina Specktor + Bat for Lashes, but I’ve also been getting into funk and soul music and some more folky stuff like Mumford & Sons, The Staves and Daughter :-)

  3. July 3, 2013 6:15 pm

    God this IS heartbreaking. My boyfriend is a muscian and we both love vinyl and going to record stores and spending house sifting through music. Ugh. So sad. Will have to watch this documentary soon.

  4. July 3, 2013 7:15 pm

    Really love this post, Christina. I’m so glad I was part of the punk scene growing up too, you’ve brought back so many memories! It’s so sad and quite unbelievable that there are less then 300 record shops left, that’s where I spent most of my Saturdays! Will definitely have to give that documentary a watch x

    • July 9, 2013 7:31 pm

      I know – I feel really lucky to have been part of the punk scene then. I’m not really sure it even exists in the same way, now. You guys would love the documentary x

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