May 312015
 

Back in 1995 I listened to American punk rock and American punk rock alone. Occasionally there’d be a bit of metal in there from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth or Machine Head (interesting – they all begin with ‘M’). But in general I listened to American punk rock. I was a horribly obnoxious and opinionated bastard of a teenager and simply refused to take any advice from anyone regarding most things. So when my ‘friends’ at school suggested I have a listen to ‘The Holy Bible’ by Manic Street Preachers I just refused to – because, you guessed it, it wasn’t American punk rock; why on earth would I listen to some sheep-shagging band when I could listen to the likes of Rancid or NOFX instead?

Nowadays, I’ve grown up and, while still quite opinionated, I’m not as obnoxious or narrow-minded. Note the presence of the word ‘as‘ 😉 A good friend of mine was talking about Manic Street Preachers a few weeks ago and mentioned The Holy Bible as being one of their best albums and I thought maybe I should listen to that one day… Then, as I was browsing through the £1.99 offers on Google Play Music, I spotted the 20th anniversary remastered edition for, perhaps unsurprisingly, £1.99. So I bought it. What’s the worst that could happen at that price?

holybible

Do you know what? I shouted at my 15 year old self. Metaphorically, not literally… It’s actually a cracking album and I was genuinely surprised – it’s just a shame I’m 21 years too late… There’s not a single song on it that I skip through and, while there are a few slower songs on it, most of them are actually what my 15 year old idiot self would have classed as being ‘quite punky’. There we have it, I used to be an idiot and now I’ve grown up into not quite as much of an idiot! Make the most of it, it’s not often I will admit I was wrong 😉

So, S is for being surprised at how good an album was that I rejected solely for the fact it wasn’t American punk rock.

Jan 132011
 

When I was younger, probably half my current age, I used to know every single word to virtually every single song of every single album that I owned. Some may call this a bit sad, I prefer to say that it was simply quite anal! It had it’s advantages though, it meant me and my mate Neil could challenge each other to pass the time in mind-numbingly boring jobs. One such job was at Multiserve in Shipley (StreetView: the grey building with the zig-zag roof). The job entailed sticking lolly’s to the front of kids magazines; another was sticking packs of seeds onto the front of gardening magazines. I always thought that these things were automated by machinery – well, perhaps they are for real publications, but these things were incredibly obscure. I remember the ‘boys’ magazine that we were sticking the lollies onto featured an interview with, and I quote, “Someone Who Knows Tiger Woods”. I had some crap jobs, but that’s for another blog post I think!

* Top left image from MediaMonkey

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Sep 232009
 

Me & Shaun being 'Metal' at LostProphetsNB: I started writing this aaaaaaages ago – sorry for the delay in posting it!

I had the pleasure of receiving Guest Passes for Leeds Festival for this past weekend. Due to family / home stuff I was only able to make it for one day – thankfully I picked the one day of the weekend when it stayed dry! I set off about half an hour later than planned to go pick up my mate, Shaun, from Wrose. However, I thought it would be a wise move to phone him to confirm his house number and road – I knew roughly where he lived but wasn’t 100% certain. It’s a good job really as I’d completely forgotten that he moved house about 4 months ago to Pudsey

So, anyway, we finally got there after a mix up between J45 on the M1 and J45 on the A1(M) and after exchanging out tickets for the wrist bands headed through to the guest area. Wow, flushing toilets and picnic benches to sit at! Needless to say we were impressed! The first band wasn’t on until 12 so we wandered around the site to get our bearings. It didn’t take too long so we both decided to buy a new belt each from the bargain bucket at one of the stalls and grab some money from the cash machine to pay for them…

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Jul 072009
 

Back in around 1993/4 when I first started chosing what music to listen to I opted for the Metal albums borrowed from one of my older brothers, Nat. Bands like Metallica, Megadeth and Machine Head (funny how they all begin with ‘M’!) regularly assaulted my ear canals while out delivering papers. In 1994 when I got my first CD player (for Christmas) I bought my first 2 CD’s: “The Best Rock Album In The World… Ever” and Green Day’s “Basket Case” single. The latter changed my musical tastes for ever. Punk rock was then, and has been since, my musical preference although I do still love a bit of metal every so often! If you asked me around 1997/8 during 6th Form who my favourite bands were I would have said Green Day, Rancid, NOFX and The Offspring.

So, moving onto 2008/9 we’ve had new albums from each of those bands. The Offspring released “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” at the end of 2008 which was a classic Offspring album – fast tempo’d American punk rock with the odd ballad/slower song thrown in. Next up we had NOFX’s “Coaster” (or “Frisbee” if you bought the vinyl version). This was a return to form, the previous couple of albums were a bit too political and it kinda spoiled the records. Rancid’s “Let The Dominoes Fall” is probably the best album of 2009 (so far) – a great mix of punk rock and ska with Matt Freeman even taking on more of the lead vocals than the last few offerings. Of the four bands Green Day have changed the most. Now, don’t worry, I won’t be going down the whole ‘sell out’ thing cos I honestly don’t think that they have; they’ve just changed their style somewhat. Green Day have a special place in my heart as being the band that got me into punk rock in the first place – as clichéd as it sounds, they changed my life! However, “21st Century Breakdown” is not a punk rock record; that’s not to say it isn’t a good record though! Green Day may have gone more stadium rock than punk rock but they still know how to make good, catchy music – even if it IS five times longer than their previous offerings!

So, in July 2009, if you asked me who my favourite bands were I would have to say, still, Green Day, Rancid, NOFX and The Offspring regardless of how they have changed.