A FRIEND of mine recently told me I was the kind of bloke who gets nostalgic about what he eat for breakfast that morning.
Naturally I was shocked at such an accusation, having always considered myself something of a hipster, attuned to the zeitgeist and hungry for the new sounds.
However, a quick look back through my columns for this paper confirmed that my friend was right. Apart from last week’s mid life crisis influenced dissection of One Direction’s career, a read through my words shows I am on far more solid ground when discussing the music I loved as a teenager or listened to as a student.
I never thought it would happen but perhaps it’s time to finally admit defeat when it comes to keeping up with what the kids (or even the 25-year-olds) are listening to and despite my mate’s criticism I’m done with apologising.
The more I think about it the more this desire to look back seems unsurprising to me. When I was first going to gigs and buying records there was an obsessive intensity about my music fandom. It was all that matters whereas these days going to a concert seems to be all about booking fees and babysitting.
Thankfully, in-between the dirty nappies and the sleepless nights, there’s still the odd opportunity to wallow in some of this youthful nostalgia and recall a time when I wasn’t worrying about how to get my boiler fixed.
This week’s chance to recall the good old days came with the news that Suede had released a new album. Reformations are 10 a penny at the moment, but I have to say there was something a bit special about the news that Brett Anderson and co had decided to have another crack at leading me down a path full of sexually ambiguous drug abusers living sordid lives on council estates.
Suede burst on to the scene in 1992 and made a hell of an impact on a 15-year-old lad still mourning the fact he was born too late to see The Smiths.
I’d loved the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays but as baggy gave way to grunge and its attendant (Nirvana-aside) hairy dullness, there didn’t seem a lot that spoke to us bored suburbanites searching for songs to save our lives.
Suede filled the gap admirably, mixing up classic English songwriters like Morrissey, Bowie and the Pet Shop Boys, with a glorious glam racket that sounded thrillingly glamorous when compared with the Stone Temple Pilots.
There was also something enticingly tribal about Suede. They were a Marmite band who could still shock with their foppish demeanour, drug-drenched lyrics and Anderson’s tendency to slap his behind with his microphone. The band were good looking and appealed to all the bookish and interesting girls that I wanted to appeal to so naturally I was rather drawn in.
Like all good bands, Suede created their own little self-made world that those on the inside defended to the hilt and those on the outside simply didn’t get.
Anderson’s vision of Britain was dark and depressed full of concrete car parks, dark underpasses and glue sniffing truants. Again, like all good bands, they expanded my world to take in literature and films: I’m sure my first taste of director Mike Leigh’s films or JG Ballard’s novels was through an Anderson recommendation.
Live, Suede were a force and the early reviews on the album have been positive which leaves me thinking: If Suede can relive past glories why shouldn’t I be able to? Now, about that breakfast.