So, in response to the five key tracks of my years, I have written the following deep in the Scottish highlands whilst listening to Mark Knopfler’s soundtrack to the wonderful movie ‘Local Hero’. I wanted to add pics and vids but I’ve got no chance here!
Music is a big part of my life and always has been. I learned the piano as a kid instead of participating in sport. Mrs Scollins was my teacher and she didn’t suffer fools. I practiced because I was frightened not to. My aim was to be able to play:
I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats
Tiny Dancer by Elton John
By the time I hit my later teens I could do both. When I was still teaching full time, I played number one at The Holiday Inn in Barnsley on their reception grand piano with the whole staff singing. It was the Christmas do.
I also play the double bass and have two musical high points:
Playing at the Royal Albert Hall when I was 17 with the fab Bury Youth Orchestra
Being part of beat combo Vest and Pants, a radio 2 tribute band who fuse country and punk and call it ‘Cunk’. Being part of a band is ace. I also play bass guitar in a function band called A Flock Of Beagles. Love it.
Coming up with five songs is nigh on impossible and by the time I publish this (wifi willing), it will have changed. Here you go:
1970s. We didn’t have a record player until 1979. I was 8. I was going to choose Do Nothing by The Specials which I bought from Vibes record shop in Bury precinct. I would become a stalwart of that shop for many years to come. The song I am going to choose is Listen What the Man Said by Wings. My Dad loved Wings and it reminds me of him. Even last night when it came on the iPod and played back with digital grace.
1980s. Life’s What You Make It by Talk Talk. From a brilliant album called Colours of Spring. It is sublime. I had a record player to Uni and played this and Tom Waits to death. I still love it. More often now it is part of the playlists that see me on long train journeys. The eighties were my musical decade where I grew out of Madness and discovered Billy Bragg, Joe Jackson, REM and The Smiths.
1990s. Adulthood. Responsibility. And all that jazz. Sometimes (Lester Piggott) by James. Susan’s House by Eels. I love both these bands. They are both brilliant live and have outstanding back catalogues. So they are joint third.
2000s. Leslie by King Creosote. Listen to it. It is beautiful. Kenny Anderson’s King Creosote are my favourite band. That’s it.
2010s. Mathematics by Cherry Ghost. One man Manchester band. A beautiful tribute to the trials and tribulations of falling in love. ‘Meet me on the corner by the fire escape, and I’ll be waiting.’ Seek them out.
That’s my five. I hope you enjoy them.