Icame of age at a time when boys showed their devotion through the art of the mixed tape. In my case it was less hidden messages of love, more a lesson in indie music appreciation. Not that I minded; with the exception of renditions of Oh Carol, which always seemed to feature, it was a great way to discover new music. I also did my own musical reconnaissance; taping records that could be borrowed from my local library for 35p (I hope the statute of limitation on music piracy is long gone).
I found myself pondering my musical biography when asked by BBC Radio Cornwall’s Tiffany Truscott to appear on her new evening show chatting about my top five songs… A seemingly simple request.
It led me back to a time when music – or rather your musical tastes – was a very serious business. I spent a lot of time at music festivals and gigs listening to thrashing guitars that made your chest vibrate (fortunately the tinnitus has temporary) and taking notes from teenage boys so desperate to shape my musical palate. I was a grunge girl who favoured Doc Martin boots sprayed silver teamed with vintage dresses and a rather shocking shade of red hair. Today you are likely to find me a little more conservatively dressed, at least when required.
And I’ve grown up a little from those days when admitting you liked The Carpenters more than The Fall was social death.
And so to the list. My first thought was recognising how such a request would have made those teenage boys of my youth get busy with a hundred possibilities: what era? What genre? Male or female? British or American?
Of course all that musical snobbery wasn’t a complete waste of energy – I have managed to garner some cool points from seeing Nirvana play live three times, although the fact I don’t have photo evidence seems incomprehensible to the Instagram generation. Thankfully I kept the festival programmes as proof.
So what was on my final list? The fun of creating it has lead to lively discussions among friends. There are at least two on my list that would have led to immediate ostracism by my teenage self. One of the joys of adulthood…
‘I’ve grown up a little from those days when admitting you liked The Carpenters more than The Fall was social death’