I love talking music with people. I get extremely passionate about it. There’s not too much which really stirs my soul but music can. Emotive, I suppose is the word. I’ve never been one for remembering band member names but titles and lyrics seem to stay in for years. The aforementioned local pub (see last blog) has a reasonably well fed jukebox, although it’s not as I thought an internet one. I get almost as much of a kick out of surprising people by knowing the songs they’ve put on as I do having people tap along to mine. Given the age range in there and the fact that some of my music would go down like a lead balloon, I do limit my choices though. Not because I’m concerned as to what people would think of me, but more for the respect of the venue and the customers. I guess it’s the wanting to please thing going on. Banging on a good ear worm and hearing people say “Gods I’ve not heard this in years” gives me far more pleasure than slinging on Rage against the Machine and having the local populous glower at me for 4 minutes!

I use my music. It’s cathartic. Often it says what I’m thinking but don’t have the words for, or rather, it’s not that I don’t have the words, it’s that my arrangement of them might well not be as skilled as the version I have access to which is already done for me. Some of it is stupid, some of it deep, but it’s rarely without some form of underlying twang. Bat out of Hell exhilarates me. Mother by P Floyd elicits memories of what my own mother did to me as a child, You Little Thief by Fergal Sharkey.. that’s anger and a massive feeling of injustice, and The Ghosts that Haunt me by Crash test Dummies says I’m not scared to show you me… if you’ll take the time to see/read/listen. The list is endless. The skill on the instruments alone on things like Child in Time by Deep Purple, or the 2cellos versions of songs, or indeed Hellsongs versions of classic metal which turn them into something rather beautiful, (See Run to the Hills as an example), could in the right moment bring a tear to the eye.

I wonder if others are the same. What coaxes what from whom? The Alpaca Weebl tune and Giraffe in my Loft… will never fail to make me chuckle. The Dangermouse intro works too. I grin at Prefab Sprout, smile at Colin Hay, struggle with Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and the memories attached to the loss of an old friend, and then follow it up with Hurt by Nine inch Nails just to underline what I already understand : Everyone I know, goes away in the end. Another Suitcase in Another Hall tells a story I relate to, and 2 Beds and a Coffee Machine / Tell me there’s a heaven tell a story too, of another old friend and their struggle.

I remember the first day I walked into the Cheshire Cat. Wayne and I were suitably merry beforehand and we were heading in there purely because there would be a certain young lady there. We were 18. Highway to Hell was playing by AcDc and it was swiftly followed by Since You’ve been Gone by Rainbow. I was in love. I’d always had a love of music but this transcended it. This was my music, at my volume, with 200 other people who felt exactly the same way. I belonged, and I felt it! This was a place where who or what you were didn’t matter. The music made us all have something in common. It was our frame of reference to everyone around us. Ironic that my version of halcyon days was built on a wall of noise? Possibly. But nevertheless, to me, that’s as I remember it. Since it closed in 97 nothing has really come close asides from the Giffard in Wolves.

So maybe that’s why when I’m plonked in a pub and someone puts music on, that I sit up and listen and take note. Perhaps I’m looking for what this means to them. When I share… it’s almost always something personal of mine. And I’ve chosen to put it on display. “Here is a part of me.” More often than not it is purely for my own enjoyment, (but picked dependent upon the venue.. I’ll not play Spanish Train by Chris de Burgh in the Giff any more than I’d play NiN and Closer in the pub round the corner), but for those who care to listen, they might take something from it too… and that’s what I’m looking for in other’s choices.

They say eyes are a gateway to the soul. I think music is too. I’ve met a few people whose eyes I’ve struggled to hold, either because I find them far too beautiful and it renders me surprisingly shy/bashful, or because perhaps I’m not sure about being quite that vulnerable to that person at that time (or both!), but music can bypass that. And there’s the thing. Eyes can be the gateway to another person’s soul but music.. it can also be the gateway to your own. You can choose to scratch the surface, or go deeper, much deeper, either to share with another, or for your own self exploration.

I guess, it just depends on how much you want to display… to yourself, or others.

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