The first album I ever bought with my own pocket money was Take That’s Greatest Hits. Being only seven when it came out (in 1996), I had only ever really been introduced to music through my parents or ‘Top Of The Pops’. No prizes for guessing how I got into Take That. . . that’s right, my dad was their biggest fan! Seriously though, I was a pretty broken-hearted seven year old when I bought the album knowing that my favourite band to dance around the living room to (they still are) were breaking up. I’m not at all ashamed of my ridiculously mainstream pop choice of first CD. Everybody loves a good boy band. Especially when they grow into a really great man band!

The album that changed my life was definitely Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”. My dad had it on vinyl (from the days before CDs!) and it really opened my eyes to the wonders of music from the years gone by. Until then, I’d only really listened to what was on ‘Top Of The Pops’ or the radio, with the odd, older tracks a novelty at weddings and parties. As we owned a soundsystem with a record player, CD slot and tape deck all in one (until 2000!) it also led me to discover and appreciate more vinyl from 60s and 70s including giants like The Eagles.

Having been to so many gigs, it’s hard to pinpoint my absolute favourite gig moment but one that’s definitely up there is REM in Balloch Park on 18th June 2005. Seeing such a big band play so close to home was amazing and they had great support acts too: Feeder and The Zutons (when Valerie was just a song about a Scouse lass). Being held in a country park, the atmosphere was close to that of a festival with breathtaking views of Loch Lomond and the added bonus of so many friends and family dotted around the park. A brilliant day out for some tipsy Scottish teenagers!

My favourite band ever would have to be the almighty Queen. Freddie and Co were just fabulous! So many hits. So much talent. So consistent. So groundbreaking. So ahead of their time. Yet so timeless. You get the picture . . .

There’s not much shame in my musical taste but if you wanted to call me on a guilty pleasure I suppose I’d say it was my love of boybands. From 911 to N*Sync, Busted to Backstreet Boys, I loved them all! Well, except maybe New Kids On The Block (before my time) and Boyzone. There’s still loads of boybands on my iPod and I absolutely love it! From the well loved “Back For Good” to more obscure tracks from once-upon-a-timers V and 3SL. Life wouldn’t be complete without a bit of cheese and some pretty boys serenading you (sort of) telling you “What Makes You Beautiful”!

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