There’s been a meme running around Facebook for the last while to do with 25 random facts about yourself. I hate doing meme’s at the best of times but something my brother said struck a chord with me. Listening to certain songs provoke such strong memory recall that it’s hard not to think about one particular time that you listened to them. And so in that vain and with it being a Friday night and I’m at home on my lonesome with the kids asleep in bed I thought I’d share those memories.
The soundtrack for the rest of this entry can be found here is you have spotify. I hope that works as I can never get Spotify playlist links to work on this damn laptop.
1. Bucks Fizz – The Land of Make Believe
This was quite possibly the first every single I bought. I don’t ever remember choosing it but aside from a few compilation albums it’s the only one I remember owning before I inherited my uncles singles collection from the 70′s and early 80′s. Put quite simply this song terrified me. If I got up during the night to go to the toilet or to get a drink the first thing I would do would be to look out the window and check there was nobody at the bottom of our garden waiting for me.
Shadows tapping at your window
Ghostly voices whisper,
“Will you come and play?”
Those lines had me running up and down the stairs at night terrified of what might catch me for years.
2. Whigield – Saturday Night
My very first holiday abroad without my parents was to Santa Ponsa in Majorca when I was 19 years old. It opened my eyes in a lot of ways but one of my main memories was of loving a song but being unable to find out who wrote it. I spent most of that holiday trying to track it down until one day I was sitting around the pool with Graham and Shug sipping on an ice cold pint of beer when I heard it being played from one of the apartments above us. A couple with twin daughters had bought a tape with Saturday Night on it and it was the third track on the A-Side. I hunted all over town for that tape and finally found it on the last day in a small newsagent. I’d found the song that had been haunting me! When I reached the apartments the twins were fighting as although they’d only bought one tape themselves they’d copied it so they’d both have their own. They only had one case though and so in what I thought at the time was my good deed for the day I gave the other girl my case. It wasn’t until I got back to my room that I realised the tape didn’t have a track listing on it. To this day I still have no idea what the song was called.
I promise there will be some good songs in here. Honest.
3. Green Day – Welcome to Paradise
When I left school I went to on to attend Glasgow University but like the home boy I was I never moved into the city and instead commuted every day into the city by train and then out to the West End on the Underground. The journey into Glasgow itself usually involved getting train at stupid o’clock in the morning and sitting with Alison Noble and a few others before we headed our separate ways once we hit Central Station. I never managed to listen to any music until this point and every day as I walked down Union Street towards St Enoch Station I’d hit play on my Walkman and the tape would jump to life. Just as the train filled up at Buchanan Street Station Welcome to Paradise would kick in. In my half asleep wee world all I could hear was the song and to this day I can still smell the trains whenever that song comes on.
4. Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5
Yet another holiday song. There is/was a bar in Benidorm called Sinatras which has a tiny dancefloor but is where we would end up at some stage of the night almost every night we were there. Why does this song stand out? Well we had got into a bit of a routine of a few beers and tanning a litre of vodka before leaving the apartment every night and this night was no different. What was different however was my brother and his friends were in town on holiday for a few days overlapping my own stay. We had no idea what the other was up to but on this night we fell into the bar and as this song came on my brother and his friends appeared from the other side of the room. I have very vague memories of downing drinks with Scott and Masson but seeing my brother for that first second always comes back when I think of that song.
5. The Prodigy – Breathe
If you’ve ever lived in East Kilbride you will more than likely have attended Crystals nightclub in one of it’s many guises. To call it a nightclub is doing other real nightclubs a disservice but we won’t go there. ANYWAY, Breathe always brings me back to my many drunken nights in there. Whenever the song came on myself and Barry would clear the dance floor and basically scream the song at each other. We’d go home each night covered in bruises from pushing and hitting each other during it.
This is going to be a long post!
6. Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You
I don’t every remember owning a microphone but somehow one day we started recording ourselves singing to our favourite songs. We were 19 for feck sake not nine year old girls. Everyone picked a song from my CD selection and we recorded our attempts. This was my song. Everything went well until my brother found the tape. I don’t sing karaoke any more…
7. Green Day – King For A Day
And our second entry for fun punksters isn’t that famous a song and fits into another holiday story. This time we were in Tenerife staying in a lovely apartment in Los Christianos and a couple of days before I flew out Green Day booked a one off gig to happen whilst I was on holiday as something to do between their festival shows. I went to the local travel agent to try and get a flight there and back in the hope of getting a ticket from a tout on the night. It would have used up all my spending money but I was going to do it and the only reason why I didn’t was because the only flight I could get home landed 10 minutes before the gig was due to start.
The night of the gig I locked myself out on the veranda whilst the other guys got ready for their night out. I took my entire Green Day collection out with me and played every album and b-side as I worked my way through a bottle of Aftershock and as I found out the next day the best part of a 12-pack of beer and about 48 fairy cakes. The aftermath of that night is where I gained my online username of Bobzilla from so you can guess the destruction and mess I left in my wake that night.
8. Biffy Clyro – Hope For An Angel
The first time I heard this song I was standing in awe after hearing a band that I’ll come to later in the list. I’d never heard of Biffy Clyro at the time I stood almost front and centre in King Tut’s and knew from the moment I heard them that I was going to remember the gig for a long time. You see a lot of local bands that think they are God’s Gift to the local music scene and get nowhere. Simon, Ben and James would almost sneak into the gig through the crowd and put on the most amazing shows. Whenever I hear this song I can remember trying to work out who was singing what part. That might have been down to the fuzzy beer brain though.
9. Moby – Go
The very first CD I owned was the album this track came from. I had to borrow my dads hifi as my own didn’t have a CD player in at at that point in order to listen to it but I stole every second I could. I still remember sitting at midnight after everyone had went to bed with my dads headphones on after I’d snuck back downstairs and putting this track on repeat. I remember thinking at the time that this kind of music was going to change my life. I didn’t realise it then but it did but not in the way I envisioned. This was the first track that I every loved for the feelings it stirred in me rather than the comical novelty songs I’d enjoyed before then.
10. Westworld – Sonic Boom Boy
I couldn’t even tell you who sung this until a few days ago. The song has stuck in my head for decades though. As a child everyone used to sit and tape the Top 40 Chart Show on a sunday night but seeing as I was just a child the tapes were used over and over again all except one that just happened to have this song on it. The tape was played that often however that the tape stretched and for years I actually thought the changes in pitch and tempo were actually parts of the original song. Even now when I hear it as it should sound my mind automatically puts in stretches.
11. Faithless – Insomnia
My clubbing credentials are horrendous. We could never be bothered with the busy clubs like The Arches or Archaos when I first started heading into the city for nights out. We went a few times but we just never enjoyed it. With this in mind we always ended up the biggest dives in the city as nowhere else would let our drunken selves in anyway. One such night we ended up in The Lime Club where myself and Paul looked after the kitty and with every round bought would treat ourselves to cheeky shots from our own pocket at the bar. Put politely we were mangled by 1am. Then this song came on. Until that point I never danced. I tried it once and someone compared me to a granny ironing a shirt and so I gave up after that. This song however had me up dancing for it’s entire eight minutes and those eight minutes felt like the entire night. By the time the chorus came around for the second time our hands were in the air chanting along.
12. The Day I Snapped – Start Again.
This song sticks in my head for reasons beyond my knowledge. Forget that I came away from the gig trying to convince Rab to try out for their bass player as that gig was the last for their current guy. Forget that the guy that got the gig was also a friend and forget that since then I’ve became friends with their drummer. This is the band that were playing before Biffy at Tut’s that night and I don’t think they hit a duff note the entire set. I didn’t walk away from the gig singing Biffy songs. I walked away singing Start Again and Jennifer 8.
13. The Prodigy – No Good (Start The Dance)
Everyone thinks of The Cathouse as a mostly rock or punk club and in all honestly nothing could be further from the truth. They’ve long had a ‘tradition’ of playing dance tracks alongside their normal setlist fodder as well as chart and RnB stuff. There would always be a section of the night though when DJ Billy would try and kill those that liked to dance. The Blade soundtrack would come on and get folk on the dancefloor and thats when the marathon would start. Then the strobes would kick in and the smoke machines would start and opening sample of No Good would start up and you’d be in your own wee world. This is the song that made me realise that I love to dance even if I need to be completely drunk to do it in public.
14. Zero 7 – Somersault
Some who know me and who were at my wedding may think my first memory upon hearing this song is of our first dance. You’d be wrong. When I first started staying over at Vonnie’s flat in Glasgow she would put this album on when we went to bed. I’ve long enjoyed listening to relaxing music to help me get to sleep but I’d never heard this band before. Whenever I hear this song my first memory is of lying in bed in the front bedroom of that Govanhill flat barely being able to hear it staring at the orange street light outside and listening to the world go by underneath it knowing that I was safe in that room with Vonnie.
15. Kid Rock – Devil Without A Cause
Benidorm yet again. This time though I was sober. Everyone on that holiday was there for 14 days where as I flew out late to meet them and only stayed for seven days. I jumped in the taxi to take me to the airport and left all my CD’s in the apartment for the guys to listen to. When I arrived at the airport I found my flight was delayed by eight hours and I cursed that decision as loudly as I could without getting myself arrested. Once through check-in the kiosk, for that’s the only shop that was open, had about ten CD’s to choose from and Kid Rock’s album was one of them. That album spent the next six hours on repeat until I got onto the plain. This song is about the only one I can actually listen to now without all that rage coming back.
16. Beth Orton – Central Reservation
My cousin Alan was getting married and as usually happens my mum organises a minibus and my Uncle Sam drives it to where ever we need to go. With the help of my brother we managed to get our table to drink a bottle of aftershock, 13 bottles of wine, 7 bottles of champagne and whatever we managed to buy from the bar. Needless to say almost all of us, apart from Skippy as she barely had any I think, were very worse for wear the next morning. We then had a seven hour drive home from Birmingham to survive. My brother sat looking very green and I curled up in a ball with this album on repeat the entire way home. Beth Orton’s voice to this day reminds me of being severly hungover and this song in particular of that drive home.
17. Die Krupps – To The Hilt
We had just got cable TV for the second time and my brother and I were obsessed with MTV Europe. Here were bands we’d never heard off before from countries we’d never been to playing songs we loved. Almost every day we would catch this video and would find it hilarious. The video was so simple and the chorus perfect for screaming at each other.
18. CJ Bolland – Sugar Is Sweeter
As I mentioned before I like to listen to music to help me off to sleep at night when I get the chance. For years when I got home from a night out my headphones would go on and my hifi would still be playing the CD on repeat when I woke up the next morning. This song was a staple of my post night out music for years.
19. Josh Wink – Higher State Of Consciousness
This is another one of the songs DJ Billy would try and kill us with. This one stands out though because my dad actually liked it. He went through a period of listening to any music he could get his hands on. I’d catch him listening to my Rage Against The Machine CD’s on occasion but one day I found him sitting with his eyes closed on the sofa, headphones on, nodding his head along to beat and dancing whilst sitting down. I don’t think he even knows I caught him.
20. The Toy Dolls – Nellie The Elephant
I’d heard the song on the radio before but never really liked it that much. That was until one night out in Tenerife where we went into the Crows Nest and downed what I’m told was tequila but what I think was actually lighter fluid. Paul had met a girl the night before from Liverpool who insisted we all keep saying Curlywulry to her. Anyway he was to meet her in the pub opposite the place where we were so we all headed over to find an Irish bar playing this song. Everyone, and I do mean everyone including bar staff, was pogoing to this as we walked in. I’d never seen that kind of energy in a crowd before then and to be fair to them even after a lot of gigs they are still up there in the top five.
21. Dire Straits – Brother in Arms
I’m in primary 6 and we are at the school disco. The girl that I fancied all the way through primary school was there and I wanted to request a song for her. This was her favourite song at the time and everyone else seemed to hate it but I loved it. I can still remember the rest of the class running up the DJ demanding he put of Spitting Images Chicken Song.
22. Terrorvision – Alice, What’s The Matter
This was my Computer Lab tape when I was at uni. Between this and a Carter USM tape I thin I just played them on a loop for the entire year. This song remains my favourite from that time though.
23. The Beastie Boys – Sabotage
My first night of Freshers Week and Glasgow Uni had me in the QMU playing pool with a friend and two girls while Slam played downstairs. As with all attempts to get on with the opposite sex conversation moved round and around until we got onto something we could both get our teeth into. One of the girls stance was that Oasis were the second coming. This was before they had any chart success by the way meanwhile I insisted that I’d never heard of them and anyway how could she dismiss the greatness of The Beastie Boys. It was at this point that Sabotage came on the jukebox, I potted the black to win the game and her friend kissed me. I seem to recall shouting “and that’s my point!”
24. The Bloodhound Gang – Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny
I can barely play guitar. It didn’t stop me going along to my mates band practice though. They ran through various songs but they finished they finished with this song. Myself and Dave jumped of the amp stacks while Mark sang/rapped. I think I even managed to play along to the chorus. It probably sounded like shit but that is how I remember that song. Nothing from the countless times I’ve seen it played live by the actual band or from my CD’s but from our version.
25. The Quireboys – 7 o’clock
If you weren’t there I don’t think this wil ldo it much justice but watch this clip. Whilst at our friends wedding The Quireboys were in the hotel bar and very kindly agreed to play a few songs for the happy couple. Until the day I die I don’t think I’ll see a wedding party so animated for the music. In saying that the groom brought along his band for the nights entertainment so it was going to be a good one anyway!