It’s strange sometimes being with someone for whom music is a nice distraction, but nothing more.
I’d never classify myself as a music obsessive, a trainspotter with all my albums catalogued neatly a la Rob Fleming in High Fidelity (though I remember reading that book in my late teens and loving it. Great movie too).
But a lot of my greatest memories involve music. When I think back even to childhood, I remember the soundtrack. Dancing to Abba ‘Arrival’ in the living room with my mum and nan aged maybe 4 or 5. Listening to Paul Simon on long drives down to France on holiday. My mum’s love for Dire Straits (no explaining that one!). The strange sounds of Euro-pop on holiday. Listening to the fledging Radio 5 and Mark Radcliffe’s show. Being quite tempted to go to uni in Manchester purely on the basis of the music.
Then discovering first acid jazz and then later drum n’bass and classic house. Dancing till the sun came up with a huge smile on my face. No matter what else was going on, music was always an escape, another world, a release.
Now more than ever, I realise how much there is out there musically I’ve barely even touched on. Brazilian, Cuban, Senegalese all grab my attention these days. But I return again and again to the music of my younger days. They weren’t always the best of times, but somehow when I hear those songs again, all I remember is exactly how I felt those nights, dancing under the stars or in a club, without a care in the world for a few hours.