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It’s usually one of the first things to go. I know things are going downhill when I lose my connection to it. The moment I lose interest in music, the moment I am becoming mentally ill.

It isn’t a conscious decision I take when I start to get ill, to stop listening and enjoying music. It’s more a feeling of complete apathy. My iPod sits unused on my desk, Spotify doesn’t get a look in and any music I do hear completely washes over me. It’s like your brain is jammed on a negative loop and very little breaks it. You might hear something that used to make you tap your feet or trigger a fond memory, but its effect is now deactivated, meaningless.

This always worries me. How can something which means so much to me disappear so quickly? I still don’t have the answer to that one, but I think depression is a strange and at times unquantifiable thing. Maybe it just does.

I can only listen to quiet folky stuff or classical music when I’m depressed. Anything with a quicker tempo is just too much. The music which normally really pumps me up, or gets me running to the dancefloor, I have to leave to one side. It’s best to get back to that stuff when it’s flicking my switches again.

However, the moment when the flame sparks again, when I start getting back into music, it’s bloody brilliant. I normally get back into it with feverish intensity, downloading, listening, reading it all comes back. It’s like you’ve got your ‘you’ back. The bit that’s the gas in your tank.

When I open the CD drawer, look at the tapes I have and flick through my reasonably paltry vinyl collection, a whole whirlwind of emotions, memories, sights, people and places comes over me.

There’s the Louise Louise tape. I was 12 when this came out. I guess that’s around about the age when hormones dictate your musical persuasion. The quality of the music is inconsequential; if it gives you a bit of a pubescent tingle, then you damn well buy the music. I remember watching Louise performing ‘Naked’ on Top of The Pops. I was a changed man/boy. If you’re out there Louise, look at Harry. That’s the Redknapp pedigree. That’s all I’m saying.

There’s quite a few Ministry of Sound compilations in my collection. I went through a pretty bad patch in my mid teens music wise. Listening to Dave Pearce’s Dance Anthems on Radio 1 on a Sunday night, I tried to feel some kind of allegiance with the party kids who’d spent their Saturday night in Godskitchen or Cream pilled up to the eyeballs. I, on the other hand, had been at a house party watching how quickly people could eat doughnuts and drinking a few Bacardi Breezers. Justin caught me big fish little fishing to one of Dave’s ‘anthems’ in my room once. Dear oh dear.

There are some questionable holiday puchases too. The Balkan folk compilation that sounded so fitting in a Krakow marketplace doesn’t quite cut the mustard back in rainy England. I think it’s a bit like the dodgy looking alcohol you bring back, good idea at the time but looks a bit lost when you get home.

I have lots of albums I bought on the strength of one song. Staind, The Four Tops, Chromeo and The Datsuns all fall under this unfortunate category. But each album/song evokes something. Dancing in a scuzzy indie club. Watching Peter Kay with my family. Psyching up for a trivial football match.

However, there is also plenty of music that reminds me of good times at festivals with thousands of people. There is also some music that is private to some degree, that I discovered on my own via the radio or in a record shop. There is some music I have laughed to. I have never cried at any music I own. I guess that’ll be a biggie when that happens. The nearest I have come to crying was on a recent trip to Anfield, listening to the Kop sing You’ll Never Walk Alone. I’m not a Liverpool fan, but the slow, lilting melody and the booming, rousing swell of voices is truly something to behold.

The brilliant thing about it is that I know that I’ve still got so much more to find. It’s like a never ending quest. There will be always new artists to listen to, more stories to read and more gigs to go to. How great is that? I think everybody has stuff out there that they’re a bit of a geek about. But that’s what gives everyone a story to tell. Isn’t it great to see the look in someone’s eye when they’re talking about their favourite football team, the author that changed their lives or the place that captured their heart?

What inspired me to write this entry was a moment I had a couple of days ago. I was tucked up in bed, looking out at a snow dusted Wales. I had spent most of the day downloading music videos off the Blogotheque website. The concept behind the videos is to take the artist or band out of the conventional gig venue to a live performance and into more unusual settings, from tube stations to dilapidated warehouses.

I watched these two videos on my iPod and was just blown away. This is music at its best. Rage, protest, ire, desperation, heartbreak and loss all have their place at the table. These can all be expressed proficiently through music. But music is best when expressing hope, community, love, passion and joy. So go on then, sing for your supper and dance up the bobby dazzlers you bright young things!

“I’m so blessed to have spent that time
with my family and the friends I love
with my short life I have met
So many people I deeply care for.”