My disillusionment with Pop/Rock lasted some time but in the late 90’s I became aware of Indy music and decided it was time to try listening again. I was bought Shine 3 as a Christmas present. The tracks that stood out for me then were Marvellous by the Lightning Seeds, What do I do Now? by Sleeper and Angel Interceptor by Ash. Shortly after that I got Shine 1 and heard Green Day for the first time. It was probably the best Green Day track I could have heard for my first taste of modern punk, Welcome to Paradise. It was fresh, energetic and, most of all, punky. I loved it.
At roughly the same time, we got a Playstation 1 and bought Tony Hawk 2 for our son, Harry. This game had a great soundtrack including You by Bad Religion – again modern and punky. Every time I went into a games shop, I would hear this track. A Sega Dreamcast game would be on and the song started with a “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…” I loved it and asked my son what the song was. I told him it was on the Crazy Taxi soundtrack and sang a bit of it. He told me it was by The Offspring, a West Coast punk band. He then borrowed the CD Ixnay on the Hombre from one of his friends for me. I made a tape of the CD and listened to it endlessly. My favourite tracks were Gone Away and Amazed.
My children were by now developing their own tastes in music. My son was tending further and further towards Metal and Prog and my older daughter was listening to Nu-Metal: Linkin Park, Slipknot, Rammstein, Limp Bizkit. I found myself liking songs like Wait and Bleed by Slipknot, Sonne by Rammstein, One Step Closer by Linkin Park and preferably as loud as my eardrums could take.
I had started going to gigs again. First off, it was Bob Dylan at the Sheffield Arena in 2000. I can remember waiting for him to come on stage but thinking that the longer it took for him to come on, the longer it would be before the gig ended and I really did not want it to end. He was fantastic even though he was nearly 60. My feet were freezing because we were sat in the Arena itself but I loved the gig. There was a good mix of people there too, from their late teens to late middle age.
In early 2003, I took my two daughters and two of their friends to see Inme. I tagged along because I was worried about the two girls, who were 14 and 12. I did not expect to like the band. I had heard a few of their songs, including Underdose, and had not been impressed. Inme were fantastic live and I had a great time. They managed to make so much noise for a 3-piece and the noise was good. I didn’t even mind being the oldest person there. I felt alive again.
In 2004, went to see Yes at the MEN Arena with my husband, son and his friend. This was a similar experience to seeing Bob Dylan, although I did not know as many songs. Again, I really enjoyed myself but I realised that I far preferred the smaller venues.
I was now finally listening to Rock music again and I particularly liked The Foo Fighters. I first saw them on Kerrang! Television. It was the video for Big Me. Melody and humour in one video. I liked it. A little later, I saw The One from the Orange County soundtrack on the same TV Station. This time I was hooked. I think it was the tear falling down Dave Grohl’s face at the end of the video that did it for me. I bought the single version of One By One because it had The One on it. It also had a great version of Danny Says by the Ramones. That Christmas I got All My Life by the Foo Fighters and Nirvana’s Greatest Hits. I had already heard Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are but most of the rest of the tracks on the CD were completely new for me. It was like hearing a child playing really well in a school concert. These bands were the heirs to the music I had liked as a Teenager and they were worthy heirs indeed.
I continued to listen to what I considered to be modern music: At the Drive In, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and one of my favourites Alice in Chains. I also started listening to The Ramones and other bands from the past.
On 14 December 2005, I saw the Foo Fighters at the MEN Arena. I went with my older daughter, Charlie, her friend Emma and my friend and colleague, Natalie. I had rung the ticket line as soon as the tickets went on sale and had finally managed to get through 25 minutes later. All the standing tickets had gone and we were going to be right at the top of the 2nd tier of seats. I didn’t mind, I was going to see my heroes live. The gig was fantastic, even though it was like watching Foo Fighter shaped ants performing miles away. A defining moment of the gig was when they went into The One and Charlie and I looked at each other and screamed. It was a miniature bonding session for the two of us. I spent over £100 in the merchandise shop too. I really do like the Foos.
In late 2005, I rediscovered Punk. We finally went online at home and suddenly a whole world was out there for me. I discovered that my old friends, The Straps, had reformed and were gigging again, mainly in London and the South East. The Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers were still playing and I got tickets to see both bands. First it was The Buzzcocks at Manchester Academy. They were supported by Gear, who I thought were great. After that, it was Stiff Little Fingers at 53 Degrees in Preston, supported by Goldblade. I have written about Goldblade since but that gig was the beginning of my love affair with the band.
In August, I went to Wasted in Blackpool and saw bands I hadn’t seen in years, including The UK Subs and finally, after many years, The Straps. Seeing the Straps on the Friday night was a really special moment for me, especially when Jock came out to the audience and shook hands with various members of the audience, including me. I saw bands I hadn’t heard of too: Outl4w, a young 4 piece from around here, who are fabulous, Viva Las Vegas, who do punk Elvis Covers, Argy Bargy, Deadline and bands I had heard of but had not seen: 999, The Damned, The Cockney Rejects. I saw TV Smith play Gary Gilmore’s Eyes on the acoustic stage (yes, they had an acoustic stage at Wasted). I met old friends, like Dave from the Straps, and new ones. It was a great time and a life-changing experience for me. I felt like my life had gone full circle.
After Wasted, I started going to gigs again. I have seen Goldblade 5 times now, which isn’t bad for a space of 14 months. I have seen The Rejects again and Deadline, The Damned, Anti Nowhere League (who I missed at Wasted because they clashed with The Cockney Rejects), the Buzzcocks again and most recently, Goldblade and Anti Nowhere League in Amsterdam. I am going to Rebellion in Blackpool in August and hopefully Anti Nowhere League in Manchester in October.
This was the end of my original blog about my life in music but, as I said before, things have moved on. Last September, I went to see Kate Rusby, a folk singer, with my husband. She was very good indeed but I was in my second honeymoon period with punk and so it did not really register that strongly. In April this year, though, I joined a Border Morris Team. I have since soaked up folk music and tradition. Suddenly, my interest in Kate Rusby and old favourites like Steeleye Span has grown again. I haven’t lost interest in punk at all – I keep saying I’m going to form a Punk Morris team – and I know it would work, the music would adapt so well to Morris dancing (it would have to be Border Morris, I couldn’t imagine punks waving hankies around). Punk and Morris, that’s me at the moment.
So that’s my life in music. There is plenty I have left out, including Lindisfarne, Supertramp, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Dave Edmunds, Robert Palmer and many others. I frequently finish my blogs with a video and this one will be no exception. There is one video and one alone that I can possibly put on this blog and it is The One by The Foo Fighters. Enjoy.