It's my birthday today. The last one with a five in front of it unless I happen to live for another 451 years, which seems pretty unlikely right now. I made myself a little playlist of some of my favourite music, which I thought I'd share for your delectation.
I've also been having a look at a few old videos of the False Dots. This is one of my favourites from when The False Dots played at The Purple Turtle in Camden Town.
A very live, full of energy rendition of a night when the band were really on great form. Music has been a massive part of my life. I had the honour to be associated with the Edgware Community Festival yesterday, there was some awesome live music. In truth, the weather could have been kinder, but after the skies cleared yesterday, there was a nice crowd for the end of the festival. It was great to hear some great live music from local artists.
Small community festivals are not and should not try and be Glastonbury. They are an opportunity for locals to enjoy the day with their friends and their community. It is good that Barnet Council are trying to do something. There are plenty of great local festivals and community events, which hopefully will benefit from this new approach. We hope to stage the Mill Hill Music Festival next year, I'm already looking forward to it.
As you get older, birthdays are times of reflection, of times gone by and people who are no longer around. The first birthday I can recall was my 4th. I wasn't at school. Various cousins and kids from up the road turned up. I can remember that the highlight was when mum dished out the trifle. I sort of recall a game of pass the parcel and that at the end my mum said "Never again". She was true to her word. The next birthday party I had, I organised myself when I was 18. It was a slightly more raucous event at the studios.
Another birthday that comes to mind is 2008. I was in San Francisco. Three weeks before, I'd been in Lourdes with my mum, who was 85 and in poor health. It was nice to spend time together and during the week, she visibly perked up. We returned and I headed out to the USA with my wife and children. A week later, we got a phonecall to say she'd had a massive stroke. I was debating whether to fly back in the morning, it was the middle of the night, when the call came saying that she'd died. My family urged me to stay, they made the arrangements for the funeral later in August. We had a rather muted celebration. I wasn't in the mood, I realised that I'd never share another birthday with my Mum. Despite the fact that she was frail, unhappy and ready to move on to whatever follows, my thoughts often turn to her on this day, with sadness. I do miss her, I'd nip up most nights and have a Guinness with her after work.
The last year and a half has been strange, I've never felt less like celebrating and less sociable on my Birthday. I've always loved a big birthday party or a trip abroad. This year, I'd have a can of IPA in the shed with the dog if I had my way, but it seems that is not acceptable behaviour, according to the powers that be in our house. I hope I get my party mojo back for next year, the 'big one'. I'm tempted to hire an open top bus and get it to drive around London with all my friends and family, whilst playing False Dots numbers on the top at key locations. Either that or do a Sex Pistols and hire a river boat to play on. This year though.