About Me

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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On the Voyage of Discovery

I have been a music geek for a long time. A very long time. I think that, were it not for music, I would be a very sad individual. Music is with me constantly – in my head and in many aspects of what I do for a living. For example, since the Olympics closing ceremony, I have been unable to get out of my head Take That's “Rule The World”. Yes, I'm a sucker for a well-written and well- performed song.
The thing I love most about music is that it is truly a
journey of discovery. You never reach a point where you can say “I have heard all there is to hear”. No, your voyage of discovery should be constantly evolving.
For instance, your musical journey and mine may have similar musical landmarks on them – bands we encountered at one time or another, but chances are that we found those same bands at different times on our journey.
Now some people are quite snobbish about when they first found an artist, and cannot believe it took others so long to get there. Truth is there is no right and wrong way to find a band, what should be more important is the joy of the discovery.
Many of the artists I am really passionate about are comparatively recent discoveries, and I am lucky to know a number of people who are always on the lookout for something new too. That helps.
Lets see, I came across Muse not too long after their “Origin of Symmetry” record. A fearsome but glorious racket. The first music I heard of theirs was actually the live “Hullabaloo” album, which kicked off with the quite wondrous “Dead Star”. I'd not heard too much as good as that in a long time.
I only found Pearl Jam maybe 2-3 years ago. My brother had been banging on about a prog band called Frost* for ages and eventually I found out why he'd been raving so much.
Other bands like U2, Cardiacs and Birthday Party and a few years back, Paul Steel, I have been following for a long long time through chance discovery. I first heard U2's music when they released the “A Celebration” single between “October” and “War”. First tour I saw them on was the 1983 War tour, with The Waterboys, another wonderful find, opening.
Most recent new musical encounters include North Atlantic Oscillation, Porcupine Tree, and just a few weeks back, Elbow. Right now I'm investigating the music of Richard Hawley, so the journey goes on.
You can never really stagnate in music. At least, you shouldn't.
One of the reasons why John Peel was so popular was that even up til his last breath, he was still finding new bands and getting excited about them. That's the way I like to look at music too. There's always someone new to get excited about.
I hope to be still discovering new sounds in five, ten, twenty years' time, and I am sure I will be talking about those discoveries with just as much enthusiasm as I am now!

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