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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Music - times and places

I'm sure it is a banal observation - but I'm going to make it anyway: there are particular songs or pieces of music that always in my mind conjure up particular times and places. Take Joan Osborne's One of Us. For me this is a particularly melancholic stretch of the South Circular between Clapham and Dulwich that I once had occasion to drive along from time to time. Oasis' Don't Look Back in Anger is indelibly associated with 1996 and  the  interminable tube ride out  to the faceless suburbs of Ruislip and getting home just in time to watch the latest episode of Our Friends From the North. Pilot's Magic is the 13 year old me on the way to the local chippie after the church youth club hoping against hope to meet or at least get a glimpse of the unattainable beauty that lived just across the road and no clue what to say to her if I did. Be Bop Deluxe's Maid in Heaven is me two years on gradually  realizing that there is intelligent pop music. Me and Baby Brother has me in the fifth-form disco dancing with the  the friend of one of the girls in my class and enjoying a raffish notoriety because none of the cool kids had thought I had it in me. John Martyn's Sweet Little Mystery has me  living under the shadow of the Post Office Tower with a depressed Yorkshireman and a cricket mad Pakistani for flat-mates. The depressed Yorkshireman introduced me to John Martyn so I'm eternally grateful to you Bob wherever you are now. The Bach Double Violin Concerto in D Minor places me in a tiny room in King's Cross, and walking in Regent's Park while falling in and out of love with girls from the music schools who were, quite literally, out of my class when I should have been studying for my finals. And weirdest of all Wichita Lineman has me wandering slightly tipsy through the bright streets of Soho at 3 o'clock in the morning thinking: Ah, so this is freedom, this is the life of a student!

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