The final couple of awards to chuck out….
The tracks released in 2016 that has been randomly selected by my iPod more than any other this year
- 50 Days before the Hun – Future of the Left
- Mixer – Nap Eyes
- Cupid – The Big Moon
- Babel – Arbor Labor Union
- Honey – Public Access TV
The WYCRA best live bands seen in 2016
Merry Christmas everyone.
Morning Badger here – I’ve edited todays piece as well to say that this was written around Mid December so well before the events of yesterday – thanks for all the comments yesterday. I spoke with SWC last night, and right now “its work in progress” still. I don’t want to push it, I’ve told him to take as long as he wants, its only a blog, it doesn’t matter an awful lot to be honest. I think he will be back, he just needs a bit of break from it. Anyway….
So if all goes to plan – this is the 365th post we’ve done – exactly a year. Wow. To celebrate that here are some awards that we are dishing out. Its a bit silly but let’s give it a go….
The WYCRA 200 Awards
The song downloaded the most in a single day…
- What Time Is Love – The KLF
2. Tailights Fade – Buffalo Tom
3. Soon – My Bloody Valentine
The WYCRA 200 song that has been randomly selected the most on the Ipod since June 1st
- Not Superstitious – Leatherface
2. Waiting for the Great Leap Forward – Billy Bragg
3. There Goes The Fear – Doves
The WYCRA 200 song that has been randomly selected the least on the Ipod since June 1st
- Someday – The Strokes (not picked once)
2. Time of The Season – The Zombies
3. Nothing I Ever Do…- Tandem Felix
Number One – Welcome to the greatest musical moment in the world
Shine A Light (Unreleased Mix) – Spiritualized – Chosen by SWC (but agreed by Badger) – Taken from ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’ LP (1992)
This is going to be deeply personal, so I’m going to pretend that no one reads this. I’m going to pretend that over the last 199 days, people have given up listening, caring or being interested in what sits at the top of this list. A list that has over the last 100 days got progressively more personal for us both, through Badgers tears at his father illness, via both our weddings, Our Price Girl, getting arrested, graduating etc. If you are still reading, Well Done. And thank you. We got this far because your comments, whether they be via email or on the page, whether they be good or bad have mattered to us. I’m also sorry because the next few hundred words are pretty sad, and whilst number ones should be happy and memorable, this one is filled with hatred, regret and guilt. Oh and I ran it past Badger and JC before I published it, and they convinced me to tell this tale.
So it came down to Spiritualized…Anyone who knows me will have guessed that they would have been at the top of tree, but anyone who really knows me will have guessed that it was going to be this particular song.
The eagle eyed amongst you would have noticed that I have barely mentioned my mother on these pages, my dad is regularly mentioned, Christ I even placed his favourite two tracks in the Top 65.
My mum left my dad when I was 5. I came home from my Nans to find my dad on the sofa with a knife sticking out of his side. My brother aged 6 was by my side and my sister aged 2, thankfully was asleep in my Nans arms. Folks, that is literally the most people I have ever told that, even if there are only five of you reading. Dad was hurt but not critically, he has a few interesting scars which he likes to get out at parties if things get boring, he once told a vicar that the scars were as a result of shark attack off the coast of Florida. My dad has never been to Florida, and the closest he had been to shark is from watching Jaws in 3D.
I know why my mum stabbed my dad, I’m not going into that though, is that ok, its really not relevant.
Six days later my mum was arrested and spent some time in prison and after that she vanished from our lives, we neither cared or thought about her again. We owed it to my Dad not to. We grow up fine, my dad met someone else, then someone else, then finally he met the right lady and to this day she is still there by his side. We also had our grandparents by our side, we were lucky enough to see them nearly everyday.
Fast forward 28 years, I am now 33, and I live in Exeter, I have a great job, a nice house, a great wife, I want for nothing. But in July 2008 a very strange thing happened. I am in London on a three day training course, one of those days means I have to spend an afternoon in Leytonstone, a small suburb in the East side of London. As I was walking back to the tube station, a woman and two children were coming in my direction, and guys, this is where this story goes a bit weird, because that woman was my mother. Right there, on a day when I just happened to be there (as it happens some years later my sister let slip that I would be there, because the night before I’d been to my sisters house and told her where I would be), it was very odd.
She stopped dead in her tracks and said my name. After 28 years, just like that she instantly recognised me and if I am honest I recognised her too, or at least I think I did. It was difficult, I’ll leave it at that.
Three months later I am sitting in my sisters house in Gillingham and my mother is going to walk through the door and back into my life properly in about 15 minutes. I am a mess of nerves, anger, guilt, but my wife is next to me. Two days earlier, after I told my wife that mum had asked to see me through my sister – who she had been in contact with for around five years – my sister neglecting to tell me, my dad or brother this – my wife tells me that I should hear her out. So that is why I am sitting there. I sit and I listen, I cry, I shout, I walk out, I walk back in again, I think once I tell her to fuck off.
I also warm to my half brother and half sister, who are kind, innocent, brilliant individuals, completely unaffected by the events of the past. At one point my wife calms me outside and tells me that these children are related to me, and whatever happens in the past, is not their fault. I go back inside for like the fourth time.
I decide there and then that I hate my mother but will give things a go, I can work on hate.
Then mum tells me this, “I have breast cancer” and my emotions go all over the place again, I instantly regret the shouting and the anger and feel like a spoilt child. A day later I am at my dads and I tell him the news. He said that his little scar wasn’t worth the anger and that no one deserves to have cancer no matter what they’ve done. I’ve left a lot of shit out here, trust me, it ain’t important but to hear my dad say those words eased a lot of the worry to be honest.
Three years past, the relationship is awkward but working, its easy as I am 250 miles away from her, mum has moved back to Kent, one Saturday on the phone, she tells me that her cancer has become terminal (and I think you all guessed it was going that way) and that she has about six months to live.
And to be honest I didn’t really know how to take that news. I barely knew the woman, I find it difficult to feel sad, but I feel guilty for not doing so. I feel bad for my younger siblings, but me, I kind of felt like shrugging too.
She died in April 2012, the cancer spread to her bones and her brain. She died three days after her youngest daughter’s first child was born, she never met him. I’m pretty sure that this is a good thing.
The day of the funeral comes and in a small chapel a load of people who I don’t know stand up and say lovely things about her, my younger brother and sister are largely inconsolable, and I am just sitting there looking around feeling odd and wanting to shout ‘Its all Lies’. I find it hard to breathe, I feel hot and faint. I need air. I get up halfway through the service and wander outside. Its pissing down, it always is, isn’t it?
I find a small bench under a beech tree and I reach inside my suit pocket, in there is an ipod nano, at times like this music is often my only solace. I press play on the shuffle and ‘Shine A Light’ by Spiritualized comes on and it sounds heavenly, it sounds angelic. I sit and listen as Jason Pierce sings to me, that sounds odd, right? But I truly believe that fate chose that song, at that moment, it’s why I love the random shuffle. I sit there the song finishes and I realise that I am crying, I realise that these are tears of thirty two years of hate, regret, anger, guilt, forgiveness. Then I smile, take a deep breath and go back inside, hug my family and frankly man the fuck up.
Maybe it was the circumstances, I don’t know, but no song has ever had that impact on me, at any moment in my life, not even close (even the birth of my daughter and my marriage, because I kind of knew that they were happening if that makes sense). It felt like it was talking to me and me only, there on a bench at a funeral, any song could have come on and that one did. For that matter alone it has to be number one in this list. That might sound selfish, but I don’t care to be honest.
So, there we have it. The WYCRA 200 is done. As I am, seeing as I am being completely honest here. Maybe its relaying all the stuff above, it’s the first time I’ve ever written it down in such depth. I love blogging, I love music, I love telling stories about life, experiences, the stupid boy trips and all that but right now I’m done.
All that is left is for me to say thanks, again, its been a blast. I’ll leave you with some more Spiritualized and wish you all Merry Christmas and the very best for 2017, which lets be honest has to be better than 2016. Much Love.
Sorry Badger here – I don’t mean to push in (and I’ve edited this right at the last minute to stop SWC knowing I was going to do this and no doubt he’ll re edit it later) – but I just wanted to say, that those ‘few hundred words’ above are the reason why I wanted to blog with SWC and why he’s my Best Mate, because he’s fucking brilliant, he wrote all that one Sunday afternoon and then one evening when we were round his new house he read it out to me, his wife and my wife, no one said a word for like fifteen minutes afterwards. As he read the bit about the churchyard, I feel like I was in that churchyard under that beech tree. I know its not the done thing to praise our own work, but that is a marvellous piece of writing, you had me in tears, twice, you bastard.
We’ve chatted about the ‘I’m done’ bit, let’s say its work in progress, yeah?