Cornwall Life - - FRONT PAGE -

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’

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