When I was around six years old, I recall my father liking Montovani, my mother enjoying the Shadows and my brother having a strong preference for the Rolling Stones and Ramsey Lewis. I, at the point, didn't really have a clue ...certainly non of the above floated my boat. In fact, it was a piece of music I heard while out shopping with my mother that starter my musical ball rolling. We'd visited a Sheffield music store, Wilson and Pecks, and my attention was drawn to an enjoyable sound. I remember asking my mother what it was and, enthused by the fact I appeared to be taking a liking to music, she bought me the LP. It was a classical LP called Dance Macabre.

My new LP had given me a taste for music. We had a Dynatron record player and everything we played crackled with a fairly muffled sound. The stylus was full of fluff, but the sounds were exciting. It was the start of a what was to become my biggest passion.

The seventies

It was only a short time after that first LP when I started to buy my own records. The classical music interest didn't last long. I was soon discovering a world of glam rock. My first single was T-Rex's Get it on, followed by Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side. Then I heard Ziggy Stardust and soon became an avid Bowie fan, searching out everything he had ever recorded. At school the well-off Bowie fans used to talk about the great stereo effect where Mick Ronson playing guitar came through one speaker while the sound of Bowie's guitar was louder through the other. I never enjoyed that sound experience.

Bowie lead me to Brian Eno, to Roxy Music, to Robert Fripp, to King Crimson, to Faust, to Kraftwerk, to Neu, and to Tangerine Dream. Towards the end of the 70s I was listening to almost anything German and so, it seems, was half the bands in Sheffield. The Sheffield music scene, towards the latter part of the 70s, gave rise to some great bands, such as Cabaret Voltaire, ClockDVA, Vice Versa (who went on to become ABC) and Human League (prior to the girls joining).

It wasn't just Enoesque/electronic music that appealed. I had a wide collection of music from Indian Classical (introduced through Ravi Shankar). Minimalists (Steve Reich and Philip Glass). Kate Bush (I was in love with her). And, not forgetting the hippy bands such as Gong and Hawkwind. I was going to one or two gigs at Sheffield's City Hall every week.

The eighties

Gary Numan and Tubeway Army replaced my love of Bowie as he drifted off into that horrible era of Scarey Monsters, Lodger and Tin Machine. The 80s saw my drifting from the safe realms of new romantics and gay/bland pop to darker industrial music and anything electronic. Tangerine Dream continued to deliver, but bands like Throbbing Gristle and This Heat started to catch my attention. I also had an embarrassing enjoyment of new age music and bought loads of flute, piano and harp music from the New World label. Eno continued to deliver superb album after album, but it was one band that took pride of my collection - Popol Vuh. I discovered this German prog-rock band while watching the Werner Herzog film Nosferatu and ended up roaming the country's record shops for their hard to find vinyl.

The nineties

CD singles and the Future Sound of London pulled me into the world of electronica and dance. What was really pleasing was to hear old favourites, such as Steve Hillage, reappearing with bands like The Orb. This combi brought 70s hippy music into the 90s with drum machine beats and trancy sounds.

Around 1995 was a great time for me in terms of music. It was the time when the DJs started to become rock stars. Sasha and Digweed delivered some awesome dance collections, such as the Renaissance Mix. Even Tangerine Dream tried to get in on the scene, which is ironic considering they were arguably the god fathers of this genre! Oh and we can't forget the mad bird Bjork and her one-time partner Tricky. Both playing off beat rhythms with unusual vocal treatments.

Towards the end of the decade I'd stumbled upon Locust, a very different style of music from Mark Van Hoen and the legendary Peter Namlook on the now very sought after FAX label series.

The millenium

By the year 2000 I'd started to feel bored by the ambient scene and took a brief step into drum and bass. In my mind LTJ Bukem lead here, but it all started to become repetitive very quickly, so Indie paved the way for a more strummy and melodically musical selection including Elbow, Doves, some Coldplay and more recently Hooverphonic. I also discovered Porcupine Tree and No-Man, both fronted by genius Steve Wilson, and the Icelandic band Sigur Ros who've now become quite big in the UK.

The twentytens

This decade was my Post Rock period. Following a visit to the City Hall Ballroom during the 2013 Tramlines Festival. I had one of the greatest discovery weekends ever. It was a two day rock event and band after band impressed me: Amplifier, Anethema (Acoustic), Enochian Theory, iliketrains, maybeshewill, Pineapple Thief and The Enid, Maybeshewill, Esben and the Witch, Nordic Giants and Her Name Is Calla. I bought many cds from the Gizeh record label.

PJ Harvey, Ghostpoet, Goldfrapp, Lets Eat Grandma, Wolf Alice and Olafur Arnalds were all regulars on my play list.

The twentys

The first part of the 20s has been interesting. I fell upon (late) a great band called Low, sadly the amazing singer died in 2022. Other stuff on my radar: Just Mustard, A.A. Williams, Holy Fawn, Hekla Fell, Nils Frahm.

A selection of favourite albums

  • a-ha Minor Earth Major Sky
  • BabyBird Ugly Beautiful
  • Beck Mutations
  • Bjork Homogenic
  • Brednon Parry Ark (bloke from Dead Can Dance)
  • Brian Eno Music For Films
  • Cinematic Orchestra Motion (closest thing to jazz i like)
  • David Bowie Outside (less respected but made me like Bowie again after everything shit from 79 onwards)
  • Delays Faded Seaside Glamour
  • Divine Comedy Regeneration (Dont like this band but this album was the one exception)
  • Don Slepian Sea of Bliss (meditative)
  • Dot Allison Afterglow
  • Dubh Chapter Silence Cunning & Exile
  • Elders of Zion Dawn Refuses to Rise
  • Fields Everything Last Winter
  • Goldfrapp Seventh Tree
  • Hydra Spooky Weirdness
  • Ian Brown Unfinished Monkey Business
  • iLikeTrains Progress Reform
  • Jon Hopkins (excellent chill before he found fame as a dj!)
  • Kate Bush Aerial - A sky of honey
  • King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King
  • Kirsty Hawkshaw O_U_T
  • Kraftwerk Trans Europe Express
  • Lana Del Rey Born To Die
  • Leonard Cohen The Songs of
  • Lets Eat Grandma I Gemini
  • Locust Playing With Time
  • London Grammar If You Wait
  • Longview Memory
  • Loop Guru Duniya
  • M83 Saturdays = Youth
  • Manson Little Kix
  • Marillion Brave
  • Massive Attack Mezzanine
  • Mouse On Mars Vulvaland
  • Neu Neu 75 (Best intro to Krautrock)
  • Nitin Sawnhey Beyond Skin (asian fusian)
  • Opus III Guru Mother (great 90s dance)
  • Peter Namlook Air (fav from Fax label)
  • Peter Maunu Warm Sounds In a Gray Field (The only "new age" music I still like)
  • Pieter Nooten - Michael Brook Sleeps with Fishes
  • Pink Floyd Dark Side of moon
  • PJ Harvey Let England Shake
  • Placebo Without You Im Nothing
  • Popol Vuh Einsjaeger & Seibenjaeger
  • Porcupine Tree Voyage 34 - The Complete Trip
  • Puressence Only Forever
  • Radiohead OK Computer
  • Sigur Ros Von (more rocky - before they became big)
  • Sky Cries Mary A Return to the Inner Experience
  • Slowdive Souvlaki
  • Sneaker Pimps Becoming X
  • Sundays Blind
  • Talvin Singh OK
  • Terrace of Memories Projekt (dark mood music)
  • Tricky Near God
  • Vangelis Blade Runner
  • Virgin Souls 162
  • Wire 154

Favourite tracks

  • Babybird - Too Much : Between My Ears There Nothing but Music
  • Beloved - Sweet Harmony
  • Billie Eilish - I Love You
  • Boom Boom Satelites - On The Painted Desert : Out Loud
  • BT featuring JES - Every Other Way : These Hopeful Machines
  • Damon Albarn - This is a Low
  • Duffy - Stepping Stone
  • Elbow (ft John Grant)- Kindling (Fickle Flame) Tin (The Manhole)
  • Elbow - Switching Off
  • Elephant Tree - Circles : Elephant Tree
  • Eno & Byrne - Spinning Away
  • Everything - Everything
  • Gary Numan - Little InVitro : Pure
  • Kirsty Hawkshaw - The Bigger Picture
  • London Grammar - Wasting my Young Years : Truth Is A Beautiful Thing
  • Paramore - The Only Exception : Brand New Eyes
  • Patrick O'Hearn - Delicate
  • Peter Murphy - Your Face
  • Plaid - Not for threes : Rakimou
  • Porcupine Tree - Glass Arm Shattering : Deadwing
  • Richard Hawley - The Sun Refused To Shine
  • Still Corners - Black Lagoon
  • The Honeymoon - Summer's Gone
  • Tuatara - State of the Mind : Breaking the Ethers
  • Wolf Alice - Blush

Top 10 David Bowie tracks

  • Sweet Thing - Diamond Dogs
  • Lady Grinning soul - Aladdin Sane
  • Word on a Wing - Station to Station
  • Silly Boy Blue - David Bowie
  • After All - Man Who Sold the World
  • Bewlay Brothers - Hunky Dory
  • Warszawa - Low
  • Sons of the Silent Age - Heroes
  • A Small Plot of Land - Outsider
  • An Occasional Dream - Space Oddity