One of the most notable things about backpacking is how little time you dedicate to things you’d normally spend hours doing each week at home. For me these things included baking, running/exercising, internet shopping and browsing any medium necessary for new music. Before I left for Australia I would spend hours on my laptop poring over various webpages, reading about music, listening to music and ever-increasing the diversity and volume of songs in my iTunes catalogue. You could find me on my days off poorly attempting to tidy my tiny walk-in-cupboard (bedroom), speakers blasting, continually clicking the ‘related artists’ link on Spotify whilst sipping a nice hot brew. Or, in the kitchen staring lovingly into a framed picture of Mary Berry whilst baking up a storm and rockin’ out to Pirate fm and Radio 1 in the form of rhythmic whisking. Normally I’m all over YouTube and Spotify like a rash, and don’t even get me started on what happens during and after Later Jools comes on; outright demands for absolute silence in the house followed by the immediate ‘Googling’ of favourable new artists, or more often than not a quick trip to the BBC Jools site to find out what the actual names are because that little overlay at the bottom of the page isn’t on anywhere near long enough!
(Talking of #Later it just so happens that the latest series -no 44! – has just started. Bang tidy!)
When you have no laptop, no television and no way of easily streaming or purchasing da tunes however, music is suddenly much less accessible. You go back to the pre-technology days where radio is your only friend. I vividly remember sitting in my Australian friend’s car – not long before I was due to fly home – hearing them announce the new Coldplay song. I wasn’t massively keen on their previous stuff (though I’m starting to rethink that having listened to Mylo Xyloto in full since – how did I not grasp how brilliance of Every Teardrop before?!) so I didn’t pay too much attention, but then this song came on and I thought, hold up.. this is something special; dare I say it, magical?? (…sorry) After my friend parked up I made him wait in his car so I could listen to the whole thing!
Six weeks later and they popped into Radio 1 for a surprise Live Lounge performance which you can listen to here 🙂
Having the radio was a life-saver in Oz. When I got back home and looked up the current Top 40 there wasn’t much in there I didn’t recognise. I say that – I still didn’t recognise a lot of the artists but as soon as I saw some of the song titles I immediately heard the melody/chorus in my head and realised I did know them. A lot of the music I listen to doesn’t get much, if any, radio play though. Think Warpaint, think dead and gone bands like GoodBooks, The Hours (oh how I love The Hours). I can stream or purchase their stuff any time I like – I can even get 7″ vinyl off eBay or Amazon (most of which I’d never find in a record store). It was the lesser known bands and my indie Kings and Queens that I was deprived of; this is where the purpose of my blog post comes in. I must have seen Franz Ferdinand advertised on Vevo at some point whilst enjoying a rare YouTube moment in Australia, or maybe their song played on Triple J (Australia’s equivalent to Radio 1) because somehow I found out about their new single – or new at the time – Right Action. I am a bit of a Franz fan; they’re one of the bands that hasn’t been ticked off my bucket list yet. I watched the vid for their new single on YouTube and got excited because it meant a new album was on the way, however not for a while and consequently I forgot all about it. They somehow cropped up again today though and I’ve since been listening to their
new old stuff and am loving it! I found Tonight to be a little disappointing, especially after You Could Have It So Much Better which sounds as fabulous to my ears now as it did almost a decade ago when it was first released. That was back in the heydays of my Sony Walkman. My prized possession.
After remembering Franz and revelling in Right Action I noticed they’d released other songs off the album and as most of you well know, once you start watching one video on YouTube you have to watch another.In fact you can pretty much write off the next two hours. Amongst the ‘Official Videos’ – by the way how cool and non-parent-friendly is the Evil Eye video? – were some live performance videos.
And that’s how I found this little gem.
I’m sorry but if you don’t think this is absolutely fabulous then there is something undeniably wrong with you.
I urge you to listen to it through a good pair of headphones or speakers, otherwise those spectacular drums will be lost on you and you’ll have no idea what I’m raving on about.
Despite loathing being back in chilly England, I have missed the enjoyment one gets from listening to a new album or great song for the first time and then whacking it on repeat until you’ve overplayed it so much you’ve almost ruined it for yourself.
It’s great being able to get excited about music again and it’s great to be back in my homeland, surrounded by the best music!