Jul 082014
P is for... Playing

Generally I’m a relatively shy, quiet person and I’ll (usually) keep myself to myself. But stick a guitar and microphone in front of me and that shyness gets blown out the window. Over the years I’ve played in a number of bands and groups, joined in at countless jam nights, entertained kids at nursery and parent/toddler groups and had many drunken laughs doing bad karaoke. Random fact: my karaoke song of choice was usually ‘Walking on Sunshine’ – but only if they had a pitchshifter and could lower it 2 semi-tones from A to G; otherwise I just couldn’t get

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 Posted by at 6:19 pm
Jul 042014
O is for... Offspring

The Offspring have been a staple part of my musical diet for nearly 2 decades. They’re a band that have changed enough that they don’t get boring but not so much that you don’t recognise them anymore. I’ve followed them through their steady rise in popularity, from smaller venues to playing sold out arena shows in front of 15,000 people. This was around 1999 with their number 2 song ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ throwing them into the public eye. Random fact: they were pipped to the number 1 spot that week by Terrorvision’s ‘Tequila’. Unlike their counter parts

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 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Jul 032014
N is for... Nevermind

I never got to see Nirvana before Kurt blew his brains out just before my 14th birthday. In fact I only started to listen to them a few months before that fateful day. But their seminal album, ‘Nevermind’, is one that I still listen to on a regular basis. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what gives it such longevity, there are probably a lot of better albums out there too. I suppose part of it is the fact there will never be any more music from Nirvana – OK, we had that random track back in 2002, but I mean

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 Posted by at 6:54 pm
Jul 012014
M is for... My

Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay. Well, it is for now at least! They recently hit the news with their emotional manipulation experiments but that’s not what this post is about, well, not quite anyway. When you post a status you have the option of saying how you’re feeling: So I decided for ‘M’ I will use the first 25 Facebook emotions and give the name of a song that I would play to match the mood/emotion. It might be the style of music or the lyrics that form the link, you’ll have to work it

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 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Jun 302014
L is for... Live

Following on from my last post about live music, here’s a list of all the bands I’ve seen live. It’s taken a while and a lot of remembering but I think this is pretty exhaustive. Although I have a feeling I’ve missed a few from festivals or support bands… So, here’s a list of the bands I’ve seen live: 3 Storeys High 4ft Fingers 999 A A Man Down Adicts, The A.F.I. Amen …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead Anti Nowhere League Apartment 26 Art’s Got A Gun Big D & The Kids Table Blink 182

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 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Jun 292014
K is for... Kicking

Fact: you can’t beat live music. Nothing comes close to the atmosphere that exudes from a bunch of musicians playing their hearts out on stage. These days getting to a gig is a rare treat (childcare and money usually being the main obstacles) but from the late 90s to early 00s I was a regular gig-goer. I’ve lost track of the bands I’ve seen live but I might attempt a list for ‘L is for… Live’. We’ll see how my memory is! Lancaster, as much as I love the city, is hardly a hotbed of live music venues. At uni

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 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jun 272014
J is for... Justify

When I used to like dance music no one ever asked my why I liked it, I was just allowed to get on with it. When I saw the light and moved into the church of punk-rock and metal I found a growing number of people would ask me why. Odd questions like “why do you like that style of music?”, “isn’t punk dead?” and “do you like The Verve?” – no, no I don’t… It was like I had to justify my musical taste just because, at the time, it was ‘different’. The most annoying part was, and sometimes

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 Posted by at 4:41 pm
Jun 262014
I is for... Is

My last post was about my band at uni, Space Monkey Three, and how we acquired our name. For today’s post I thought I’d continue that theme… In the last week of uni, around June 2001, we eventually got around to recording a bunch of our songs at the local studio, the Lancaster Music Co-Op. We’d already recorded most practices onto tape just for listening back, but decided we should have a proper record of our work. It was a bit chaotic on the day as Jim’s guitar had been playing up recently – then it decided to stop working…

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 Posted by at 5:55 pm
Jun 242014
H is for... Hello

I started Uni in Lancaster on 28th September 1998. I was nearly 18.5 years old and I was ready to put away childish things (like being called ‘Maff’) and become an adult (called ‘Matt’). During fresher’s week I was chatting to someone at a nightclub about Green Day and got onto the subject of their album “Kerplunk!” and, in particular, the song “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”. Neither of us could remember the first line of the song though. With perfect timing a lad walked past wearing skate shoes, a huge wallet chain and none other than a tatty Green Day

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 Posted by at 9:00 am
Jun 222014

Warning: this might get a bit deep, personal and emotional. I’m not going to re-read it or edit it. It’s straight from the heart and I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a long one too. Music has always been a big part of my life – I can listen to a certain album and be reminded of a specific time in my life. For example, MxPx’s “Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo” reminds me of 1998 as I started uni in Lancaster. Therapy?’s “Troublegum” reminds me of playing pinball on my French exchange trip in 1995.

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 Posted by at 9:00 am