Wednesday, 1 July 2009

On Discovering Indie Music

It all started with a couple of heads buried in sand and a little chanty song about soup! I became obsessed with this song, which I heard on a television advert so cryptic that I didn’t even know what it was for - probably something on BBC3 anyway (we don’t join the digital revolution until 2011; currently we have just three and a half terrestrial channels). As it’s not possible to link to the advert, here’s an “artist’s impression” (OK, no artist, just me with felt pens):
Some time later, a man with cheese and a man wearing a shiny suit appeared, and another song exhorted me to “Watch the Mighty Boosh”! The Wonderspouse’s response was “Aren’t they your soup men?” so I went off to investigate.

A visit to HMV furnished me with a box set of this “Mighty Boosh” and I set about watching, in order, specifically, to locate the bit about the soup! YES, there it was: middle of series 2, longer, more majestic and even soupier than on the advert. My life was now complete.

I had also fallen head-over-heels in love with the Mighty Boosh, which meant watching all the DVD extras, including an interview with some people called Kasabian. Soup man 1, now positively identified as Noel Fielding, told Kasabian that he’d listened to their album 24 times in a row. Wow, I thought, wonder what it’s like then? So it was back to HMV for a bit more research!

I should now point out that, until that moment, I had completely ignored all of HMV except the “Classical Music” section. Although I wasn’t completely ignorant of all other music (I do watch television, and I once dated a cellist who liked Rock), the “Rock and Pop” section was a pretty alien place to me, and I’d spent most of my teenage years listening to Schubert!

With some trepidation, I put the Kasabian CD into the player, opened my ears and waited for the world to end!

And end it did. The world where “Pop Music” was something “other people did” ended that day. I started buying a magazine, NME, which was initially completely incomprehensible. I ventured out of my Radio 3 comfort zone to explore a new world of listening possibilities. CDs that didn’t have little yellow “Deutsche Grammophon” logos started trickling into the house.

That might have been it, but the Mighty Boosh struck again: they had a Festival! I knew I didn’t do festivals. They were loud places where you got everything stolen, took drugs, got very ill, and had to live in a tent. I hate tents. But this was THE MIGHTY BOOSH, so how could I not go? Further investigation revealed it was a one-day no-tent festival, so we decided to brave it.

It was one of the best days of my life. The first day I ever heard live rock music! We bought t-shirts, ate yummy food, got slightly sunburnt, and danced into the night. Here’s what to:
Since the festival had been so good, we decided to follow it up by going to some gigs. Gigs, like festivals, were dangerous places (we reckoned), but we couldn’t be proper Indie/Rock/Dance fans without going to gigs, even though we thought we were a bit old for it, and we’d stick out like sore thumbs in a mosh pit full of incredibly hip youngsters. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

So it was that we emerged, buzzing, from the Astoria after seeing The Charlatans; we waited until 10.38 on a Sunday evening for The Kills to do a fabulous set in Coventry; we drove through dense fog to spend a night revelling in Pendulum’s marvelous soundworld; we discovered the fabulous Boxer Rebellion and have been stalking them and some of their support acts (Moscow Drive, Inlight, Pure Reason Revolution, and Red Drapes) ever since; and, finally, on the 13th June 2009, we saw KASABIAN, right in the middle of the moshiest mosh pit ever, singing our hearts out and having the time of our lives.

So, classical girl to indie chick in 12 months! In the process I’ve also lost 18 inches off my hair, acquired an electric guitar and bass and become a fan of skinny jeans. We’ll be going to at least 5 gigs/festivals in the next few months, and I now understand (almost) all of the NME! I still love classical music, but these days Mendelssohn has to share his shelf with Muse!


  1. Almost understand NME? I must work harder to be more incomprehensible.

  2. I understand NME almost all the time, except, of course, the album ratings, which leave me frequently baffled :-)

  3. It's OK Brennig - I'm still sufficiently naive that I can fail to understand your writing whenever necessary! ;)

  4. I love your indie journey! I especially love that it started with The Mighty Boosh! YAY! I am soooooo into the Boosh!! x