OPINION: You are never too old to listen to new music

North Devon Gazette

So, I’ve been recently struck down with Covid, thankfully I have not been that ill but I have totally lost my sense of smell and taste. Apart from that being really weird it’s got me thinking about our taste in music and how it shaped us as children and where it takes us as adults.Â

As I’ve mentioned before I was influenced as a child by the music my dad listened to and as I got older defended it against some of the music my mates were into. I refused to let certain styles of music into my world and would sometimes get into heated debates about the validity of some music styles. Oh, the naivety of youth!Â

As I got older and explored more music, my taste developed and evolved, which took me on different explorations into all the different genres of music. I started discovering new bands and going to live shows. I realised that I was not only finding my musical groove but it was also influencing how I dressed, I was connecting with lyrics and felt part of something.Â

Music is magic.Â

Another significant moment for me was getting a black and silver iPod classic 80gb in 2007 and spending hours and hours burning on all my Cd’s and spending hundreds of pounds on new music, 79 pence a track!Â

I was amazed how I could carry thousands of songs and albums around and play it whenever and wherever I wanted, wow! I am aware that I am now sounding like a boomer, as my kids would call me.Â

Is it still possible today to go on a musical adventure and work hard to discover what you like and where you are in the world of music? Of course it is! It’s all there to get, cheaper and easier than ever before, perfect for the music consumer, but harder work for the musicians and artists.Â

I love going down the musical rabbit hole on Spotify and YouTube, I’ve found loads of new music from all over the world and closer to home, but having friends and family in the music business I totally get how this access has made it complicated and challenging for artists.Â

I sometimes wonder if The Beatles or Beastie Boys would have the same impact and success in today’s world? Would the trends, fashion and influence have time to build and develop, or would it not take hold and burn bright then burn out?Â

I was amazed and excited during all the lockdowns how music and musicians adapted and diversified, using live streaming services to connect to their fans as touring was impossible. I saw some brilliant live streams, which allowed more access and insight into the world of music than ever before. I was happy to pay for access to these gigs without live audiences and become a patron to see exclusive content or get some merchandise. There were so many local bands that got it sorted very quickly and were connecting through YouTube and vlogging, eventually the bigger bands caught up.Â

So, thank you to all you musicians and bands out there and a reminder to the rest of us, in these uncertain times, to support music and the optimism and positivity it can provide. Thanks to all the venues that have worked so hard to get us back in, let’s hope we can be resilient in this next bump in this weird path the world is on.