‘Wild is the wind’ – 10 songs about winter

Sunday 21st January 2018

Home for a day to sort through my books and cull all the ones that bring the least amount of sentimentality. My mother is moving house again and my old bedroom is still stacked to the brim: every Bill Bryson book going, 1,001 photos, my school yearbook, a dozen payslips from my first part-time job, and three copies of the same ABBA Gold compilation (despite moving out 18 months ago). I knew I was coming home to do this this weekend, so had prepared myself for the emotions it brings; the idea of other people moving on and you having to change with them. If it were down to me, I’d have kept every single one of these books and trinkets, as, after a few house moves and a move-out, these are the objects and notebooks that have made the final cut many times before. However, I obliged to help my mum out with the move – I genuinely don’t want the Mighty Boosh box set and stray photos of ex-boyfriends to follow her into yet another residence.

Here are some things that I’ve never managed to to throw away that have now followed me to London.

  1. Some loose papers, comprising my AS Level English coursework typed up, and the first handwritten page of the Very First Draft of my very first play. I kept the coursework because I’ve been looking for it for ages, trying to sum up to my boyfriend what kind of parties my friends and I frequented aged 16. I thank my lower sixth self that I essentially wrote a completely true account of a singular hedonistic Saturday night that was had one weekend, when us small town folk were so unbelievably bored with everything, we did everything going (as the generation that was raised watching Skins, scuzzy nights were the norm). The short story brings way more vivid memories of my misspent youth than any highly-posed photographs do. I kept the first page of my first play because there were dozens upon dozens of rewrites to get it to where it ended up, and it’s nice to remember that everything has to start somewhere.
  2. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. I considered throwing this but a dear friend of mine bought it for my birthday during a particularly rocky year (I was 19 or something and despite it having about 30 words all in all it was such a thoughtful gift). There’s something about not being able to go over or under it – we have to go through it! – that is so immediately comforting.
  3. Wayne’s World.
  4. Wayne’s World 2.
  5. One of three ABBA Gold CDs (the other two are headed for a Peterborough British Heart Foundation, on your marks…)

Anyway, on another note, I’m pretty surprised that spring hasn’t immediately followed Christmas again. The same thing happens each year; I forget there’s at least another 60 long nights and early mornings before things start brightening up. As such, here are 10 songs of the alternative seasonal kind to wind down to this winter *fades in music*… 

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/pocketcup/playlist/4Ivq9tWs6RRv1MDuH687QD

(If you like a seasonal playlist, I did one about ‘Spring’ last year, an arguably better month and – whisper it – an arguably better playlist, too).

Pre-nups and preludes – an intro to a review of Bat for Lashes’ The Bride – 10/7/16

I tend to only write about albums I really love, because, quite frankly, I feel it is worth my time to do so. When I get to a time in my life where I have a spare hot second in the day to write reviews upon reviews upon reviews, only then will I critique things that don’t quench my musical thirst at first – but only then. Anyway, I’ve loved Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan since I was a bat-wing-jumper-wearing, bright-red-hair-donning, teenage witch, so I was already excited about this album from its point of announcement.

It was therefore paramount that I caught her set at Glastonbury last weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much, which is strange because she played at 4pm on Sunday and I’m quite sure I’d only had around five ciders by then. Having five ciders on any other Sunday would make one very drunk, but somehow by Glastonbury’s standards, it seems almost crude to admit not remembering a set after five ciders. All I clearly remember from her set is the dress she wore, which made her look like a dead movie star, and the Virgin Mary iconography on display during ‘Sunday Love’, because: Catholic guilt.

I remember crying during ‘Laura’, a well-known, mass-heartstring-pulling single off her last record, The Haunted Man, because the last time I heard her perform that same song was at Latitude Festival in 2013, where she was playing it live for the first time. In attendance was my friend Rosie, and tears were shed as NK sang it – there are few songs quite so pure-sounding as Laura. It really got to me at Glastonbury because I’d had five ciders that day, it was raining, and the song has been a safety blanket over the past few years, which have been turbulent at times, and eventful at best. Anyway, there I was sobbing, wimpering at this song, when this woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was alright.

“Yes!”, I said. “It’s just this music. I am in love with this music. I am crying!”

“Yes”, she replied, looking kinda pissed off. “I know. They’re my favourite band too” – as if to say, “Can you please stop drunkenly mewling in front of me, I like this band better than you”, which I can only contest with, being so moved by this set to the point of howling on my knees in the mud, while my friend bopped along to ELO 400 metres away.  
Anyway, it’s fair to say that the general consensus of reviews for this record is that it is an excellent one, perhaps one of the best of the year, so my fangirl-influenced adjectives aren’t unjustifiably hyperbolic. 

Read my review of it by clicking the word here: Here.