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Soundtrack to My Life

Author: Lisa Soeno

Today marks World Music Day, so I’m gonna take you on a trip down memory lane and talk you through the songs and gigs that take me right back to a certain moment in my life.

My experience of gigs didn’t get off to the best of starts. My first ever gig was The Fugees at Wolverhampton Civic Hall circa 1996. The Fugees were huge at the time but were plagued by controversial remarks that Lauryn Hill was rumoured to have made in an MTV interview. As such, my fourteen-year-old-self and my best mate Lucy were full of nervous excitement on the run up to the concert. Would we even get in to the venue? Wtf should we wear? (Ok so the answer to this was easy. Those crop tops with the daisy necklines that were all the rage. We wore matching ones. Yup). The event itself was a bit of an anti-climax – I can’t even remember whether they played Killing Me Softly – this may be down to my awful memory or perhaps it was just one of those situations where the anticipation was better than the real thing.

Fast forward a couple of years to my first big indoor arena concert. My schoolmates and I got the train to Birmingham NEC to see PDiddy (or Puff Daddy as he was then). It was the time that he was dating Jennifer Lopez and we even spotted her bopping away in the front row. The last train home was around 10pm and if it hadn’t have been for the more conscientious of my friends we would’ve missed it (thanks, Perfect Nat, for making sure that I didn’t get grounded).

In 2001 I tootled off to Uni, and four years later I emerged with a law degree and an appreciation of indie music thanks to the lovely rabble of mates that I met whilst studying. “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun” {The Libertines} has been my favourite song ever since: my best friend is getting married soon and I recently scribbled it down on the song request card.

It was also around this time that I fell in love with Jack Johnson’s dulcet tones: I spent the first summer of university living in Newquay and can’t listen to Brushfire Fairytales without being transported immediately back to the internet café where I scoured the web for waitressing jobs.

2007 was epic for one reason: GLASTONBURY. The highlights? Seeing Arctic Monkeys play Mardy Bum. Watching Rich’s best mate instigate a full-on mud fight to the backdrop of The Fratellis. Seeing Kasabian, then walking out of the field with tens of thousands of other muddy revellers chanting “Naaaaa, naaaaa naaaa, na-na-na-na-na-na naaaaaa” (that’s L.S.F by Kasabian if you couldn’t tell). The lowlights? Accidentally swilling my mouth out with vodka on the Sunday morning whilst brushing my teeth (it was in a water bottle). And missing Amy Winehouse’s live performance. What was I thinking?!

2008 saw Rich and me take a year’s sabbatical and go off travelling. Countless memories accompanied by countless iPod playlists ensued…Think “I Gotta Feeling” {Black Eyed Peas} en route to a Full Moon Party, “Mr Tambourine Man” {Bob Dylan} on a hair-raising bus journey through Laos, and the whole of Aha Shake Heartbreak {Kings of Leon} whilst campervanning along miles of bleak-but-beautiful open plains in northeastern Australia.

In 2013 I fell pregnant with Lyra, and every time Rich would sing “Good Vibrations” {The Beach Boys} to her through my tummy it would melt my heart. We had a naming ceremony for her when she was 6 months old, and turned up late and flustered, but “In My Life” {The Beatles} and being surrounded by our nearest and dearest had a wonderfully calming effect.

It seems that with kids comes a hiatus in music experiences because, shockingly, I can’t remember the last gig I went to. However, this will change in November, and it’s going to come full circle, because I’ve got tickets to see Lauryn Hill live. I might give the crop top a miss this time though.

What have been the standout songs/festivals/gigs in your life?

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Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
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11 thoughts on “Soundtrack to My Life

  1. Love this post Lisa. My husband and I have are big music lovers and have been to so many gigs and festivals. I love all kinds of music, but I am an indie girl at heart – this wasn’t cool at 13 when all my friends were running round shouting ‘girl power’ and I was drooling over Damon Albarn! Just a few weeks ago I finally saw Sleeper. They have always been one of my favourite indie bands and Louise Werner was the coolest person ever when I was an early teenager. I was not disappointed and love them just as much now as my 13 year old self did.

    Other bands I love are Ash, Arctic Monkeys, Supergrass, Kasabian (who gave me and my friend some of their stash of beer at Reading 2004 – no comment to which one I flirted with), Feeder, The Smiths, Blondie, Amy Winehouse, Libertines.. I could go on all day.

    Over the last few years I haven’t been to many gigs or listened to as many newer bands, but I saw Blossoms recently and I love how catchy their songs are.

    In terms of fashion, I am still massively influenced by Lauren Laverne – I love her festival style and quirky looks.

    After typing this I am now resenting being stuck at my desk at work – I want to be in a field, with loud music, covered in glitter and drinking warm cider.

    1. Claire B – you were way cooler than me. I would have been one of the ones running around shouting girl power! Thank goodness for indie-loving uni mates hey. Love your Kasabian story and will have to keep an ear out for Blossoms.

      Your last line really made me smile. You need to get a festival in your diary!

  2. I find it really interesting hearing other peoples music choices, and love how particular tracks are about capturing certain memories as much as the track itself.

    I’m currently on day 8 of one of those fb challenges where you pick your top 10 albums, and have realised how much of the music I still listen to has come from those final couple of years at school and my time at Uni (in Leeds, which has a great indie/alternative scene). Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand definitely take me right back to that time, whilst really over the top pop like Aqua, the more mellow tones of Blur and Pulp, and the somewhere in between sound of No Doubt definitely has me reaching for the combat trousers/boots and crop tops of my early teenage years (though I too prefer to give the crop tops a miss these days!)

    Speaking of gigs though – my father-in-law has told us about the time when he was at university that his Oxford college booked a little known up & coming band for their ball… and by the time it came round they were massive and in the middle of a tour of the states, but their manager made them stick to their commitment. It was only the Rolling Stones! He saw them play again a few weeks ago on their stadium tour – I imagine it was quite a different experience!

    1. Your father in law saw the Rolling Stones at his uni ball?! Whaaaat?!! Fair play to their manager. Can’t wait to tell my dad this story.

      I’m sure I read recently that the music you loved in your late teens/early twenties will be your favourite music throughout your life 🙂

  3. Great post and I couldn’t agree more with the kids induced musical hiatus! My friend keeps begging me to go to gigs with her and it breaks my heart to turn down Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys but with night feeds and childcare issues I’ve just decided that live music will have to wait for me for a couple of years. I started my live music experience at the age of 9 with cotton wool stuffed in my ears watching Paul McCartney at Earls Court. Seeing him again at Glastonbury, whatever year that was, was fantastic. Stand out musical memory for me this year was watching the royal wedding (weren’t their music choices perfect?) and being taken back to my walk down the aisle as I walked down to Stand By Me.

    1. Natalie, your comment gave me goosebumps – Stand By Me was by far and away my favourite part of the Royal Wedding.

      And I am so envious that you got to see Paul McCartney at Glastonbury! What I would give to have been there. I watched it on TV (doesn’t come close does it?) and Hey Jude with the crowd singing just looked incredible. And to think that was your first live music experience too 🙂

      You’re right…Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian et al will still all be touring a couple of years down the line.

  4. Was lucky enough to see Prince on 3 occasions – what a musician he was! Def the standout gigs for me so far.

  5. Love this post Lise,

    You sent me back on a musical memory journey today! Teenage me is v jealous of teenage you, I wish I had been cool enough to have been at a fugees gig at age 14!

    So excited for November too, apparently she is playing the whole of Miseducation, still one of my fave ever albums. (Please, please wear a crop top) x

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