I’ve been into music from a very early age. My grandparents, especially my granddad were always listening to something, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole were two of his favourites. My mum was a massive Tina Turner and Rod Stewart fan. Like most people I first loved pop music, I once got my mum to record on VHS a New Kids on the Block concert that was on MTV.
I can still remember the first time I got a CD player, it was for my 10th birthday in 1993 and I got Now 26 to play on it. From then on my CD collection just grew and grew. I used to love listening to the radio or watching the music channels on Sky. It was around the age of 14-15 that my taste in music started changing. It was also around this time that I also started watching more ‘grown up’ films I guess.
Clueless has an amazing soundtrack and introduced me to No Doubt. The Matrix Marilyn Manson, The Craft – Portishead, Romeo and Juliet – The Cardigans. Films from the 90s really have great soundtracks. The first ever music video that I saw that wasn’t pop was Korn – Freak on a Leash and I was hooked pretty much straight away. It was on MTV and the music awards or something like that were happening. We didn’t have the internet then so the next time I was in town I bought Kerrang instead of Smash Hits.
I grew up in a small town in North Devon, we didn’t have HMV or anything like just a little independent record shop but that shop was amazing! It sold clothing as well as CDs. I used to go in and buy badges and patches to put on my bags. I remember going on a school skiing trip to Austria when I was 16 and I spent most of the journey there and back either listening to Korn or Marilyn Manson on my discman. A boy on the coach was a big Manson and Rammstein fan so he let me borrow some of his CDs to listen to.
Once I finished secondary school and went to college I entered my teen goth phase. I dyed my hair and wore a lot of black. Although to be fair I’ve never left this phase really. I still dye my hair and wear a lot of black. I went to my first ever festival and gig when I was 17, it was Reading Festival 2001. The entire weekend ticket cost £85, not the £200+ it costs now. I went with two boys from college and that was it. We had a great weekend. The lineup was amazing and I managed to get right to the front for Marilyn Manson. My weekend was made right there. I continued going to Reading for the next 3 years, until Download Festival came along and stole my heart. Festivals are a great way to discover new bands, and see your favourites.
Download Festival started in 2003, it was just a two day event then. We went every year up until 08, when we decided to spend a ridiculous amount of time on a coach with a bunch of strangers and head to Rock Am Ring in Germany instead. After that year out we’ve been back to Download on and off but since Clementine arrived we haven’t been the last two years. I also went to Ozzfest in 2002 for the day which again had an amazing lineup.
I have a box that I like to keep my tickets, wristbands and set lists in. It’s really nice to be able to look back over them every now and again. My oldest ticket apart from my Reading wristbands is the top one in the picture below. It’s for System of a Down at Brixton Academy on 21 November 2001.
I couldn’t even count the number of gigs I have been to, it’s a lot. When I lived in Devon we used to go to London, Exeter, Bristol and Birmingham for a lot for gigs, since moving to Surrey – London was the obvious choice. Although we also came down to Brighton for some. Even whilst I was pregnant I still managed to go to six gigs. I saw 36 Crazyfists, Coheed and Cambria, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Fall Out Boy and John Newman.
Since having Clem I’ve continued to go to them. I love live music, and even if I’ve seen a band many times I still get excited every single time. One day I hope to take Clem to a gig or a festival. She is pretty into Taylor Swift and other pop music.