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Have you seen the sound

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Do you ever have a list of ideas you want to try out, but you know quite simply there just isn't the time to get everything done? For most of this year, I have had idea upon idea and am now at the point where I have lots of raw materials ready to be used, all waiting to be made into something spectacular, but there just isn't enough time when you're getting 5 new design ideas a day! Like most crafters, I sometimes have total mind blanks, when I cannot think of anything innovative to do but for quite a length of time now, the ideas haven been flowing thick and fast. At first I thought it was because I am retired and don't have to leave the house for 13 hours a day, cluttering my mind with menial tasks and tedious jobs. This week however a few jigsaw pieces have fallen into place. I put my overload of creativity down to music.

Live Aid 1985 ticket

I recently had the luxury of buying an exceptionally awesome stereo with huge sexy speakers and a sub box that could easily rival any pub sound system. We are detached here, so I can play it as loud as I like. Buying the stereo was an experience in itself, sat like a rock star having various audio tech plugged in, trying to find the right sound. I knew the sound I wanted and only someone who has experienced the big outdoor stage of a summer festival will have any idea what I am on about. I wanted to see the sound!


On a warm, blue-skied Saturday on 13th July 1985 I was on the first train to London with a buddy. She had been listening to the radio when Live Aid was announced and got her two tickets. Notice the number of mine, just 3494 of 80,000!!

Autographed Live Aid '85 program

Once in the stadium, it was a free for all. We chose to stand in the corner by the entrance to the royal box and by the end of the last tune, my program was FULL of autographs from stars. I have 40 signatures in my program, which is still in mint condition with the ticket taped in the back. This is the actual time and day that my relationship and love affair with music started. Status Quo opened, with Rocking All over the World, and even as I write this, the hairs on the back of my neck have stood on end. Now, I am not hot for The Quo, but the memory of jumping up and down with 79,999 other folk all in the same frame of mind, is pure and simply a tribal dance with your brethren. It is easy and natural to regress as one, whilst sharing the love and energy of that live music. You visit an unconscious ancestral past and reach out to all the drum beats that have gone before. I was hooked and the following summer I experienced my second live music show... Glastonbury CND Festival, as it was called back then.

Glastonbury 2010

Looking back now, the emotional feeling connected to live music is unsurpassed by any other experience. Whether it is a small, sweaty club with 400 other people, (100 Club, London) or stood in the middle of 100,000 totally spellbound, (Rammstein, Download) when you see the music, it's the quality of your fellow followers that lift you beyond the normal spectrum. You see the people around you smiling, jumping, shouting along to your god stood stage centre. Your energies combine, (you are all doing the same thing at the same time), you feel the bass notes in your chest, the high notes shrill in your ears and these's goosebumps, lots of them.

Motorhead, Download 2013

Over the years, (one summer we did three big festivals), I have tried to pick my greatest musical experience. It's almost impossible as the artists I have seen are endless: Amy Winehouse, Faithless, PiL, Metallica, Queen, Rammstein, Prodigy, Damian Marley, David Bowie, Paul Weller, The Cure, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Eminem, Bon Jovi and Fleetwood Mac to name but a few of about 300 bands.


The one moment that always lingers, a pinnacle moment, a moment that was so small it would be easy to overlook happened in Milan, during a cultural festival where the city was open for 24 hours. I walked past Milan Duomo, kissed pink by the setting, summer sun on it's marble fascia, when I heard the opening notes to Carl Orff's 'O Fortuna'. Full orchestra, full choir, full-on audio euphoria! Like with Live Aid in '85 I always felt I was meant to be in Milan at that time, at the precise second, just as I walked round that very corner. The fortuitous moment was the first time I got my live music goosies without the interaction of the people around me. It was purely on the power and energy of the 200 strong orchestra and choir, something that no other live music had ever achieved. I could have been stood there all alone, but the exhilaration felt as if I was stood with 100,000. I was speechless, (didn't know the words!), I was motionless, totally spellbound!

Cadillac Three, Electric Ballroom, Camden 2015

This week I cranked up the stereo, put on music I hadn't heard in ages and before I knew it, 16 hours had passed and I had three days computer work done in one. Music has a lot more power than many give it credit for. Just today I read a fabulous article about music therapy, where it has been proven that certain frequencies of music have the power to regenerate sick, red blood cells. I had been fascinated by a scientific paper about the effect of music played through forming ice crystals, which has an amazing affect on their formations and it has also been proven that music has the power to help the brain produce more serotonin (the 'happy' chemical) which aides depression. I have a close affinity with music, I believe it helps me to be creative and with all these new research papers all coming up with supported, positive outcomes just affirms my beliefs. Greece 2,500 years ago knew the power of frequency, vibration and music, so maybe if somehow Big Pharma could be bypassed, music might one day be a healthy, harmless cure for all manner of issues.

Killing Joke, Rebellion Punk Festival 2014

I wholeheartedly believe there is a power to music that everyone can tap into, you've just got to find the right vibe. I love Reggae-Punk, Dark Country (heavy rock/deep south sound), Latina Cuban, New Orleans Jazz, Andalusian Sitar along with Puccini's Madam Butterfly, Gustav Holst's Planet Suite to Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven. My guilty pleasure is Hot Chocolate. My latest new discover is The Hu, (a hard rock/heavy metal Mongolian throat singing band) and of course my fav's, Cadillac Three. To me, the brand new The Hu is as primitive, tribal and deep-soul searching as it can get. When you turn it up, you near enough feel your body rhythms change to the beat of their songs. It's like witnessing the first battle-cry, the first unifying want of a rain dance, or the primordial coming together of a nomadic time and the current era. If you don't scare easily, listen to The Hu, in a darkened room with a single candle stood in front of the speaker. Tell me then, that you didn't see the sound!

2 am Snake Pit Club, Glastonbury 2009





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