I'd like to share one of my earliest memories of music appreciation with you.
I think back to the summer of 2003; a five day school trip hosted on the South Wales coast, specifically at Atlantic College (AC) in the small town of Llantwit Major. For those that don’t know, AC is a sixth-form institution based at St. Donats Castle and one of 15 United World Colleges where the International Baccalaureate is taught, instead of standard A Levels.
I was aged 9 in the summer of 2003. It was my first time away from home, my parents and family. The first time I had to do everyday things without any full time aid from my elders. The teachers were helpful, but they weren't exactly the people you would feel overly comfortable hugging, talking about school life with, or explaining feeble worries about who you desperately wanted your girlfriend to be. Maybe they were for some, but I wasn’t one of those kids.
I didn’t enjoy my first few days. I cried most of the time, called my parents as often as possible and wished at every second I could jump on the bus back home. However, I wasn’t alone in feeling this emotion – in fact most of the boys in my year were exactly the same. Five days is a long time when you’re nine, you know.
After 4 days of various activities in canoeing, beach and mountain walking, cave exploring, archery, abseiling, orienteering etc. I didn’t want to leave.
But Thursday evening brought the end via the clichéd school disco. I wasn’t really much of a dancer back then, or a big socialiser, or a music lover. Sitting with my can of Pepsi and Haribo Starmix ensured I was as equally content as everyone else.
Out of nowhere and I say this without any exaggeration, my life changed for the better. I didn’t really know it or understand it 12 years ago but now I do. 'Move Your Feet’ by the defunct Danish pop outfit Junior Senior was the first piece of music I heard in the way that I thought I gained something; heavenly. I instantly loved it, and by instantly I mean it took 5 seconds to get me hooked. The gritty vocal is something we hardly hear on the radio anymore, the funky guitar comping, the catchy and bright horn riff, the bass line groove – all added together to create this highly-likeable cheesy pop song.
‘Move Your Feet’ is one of my goodies, and will forever be one of the pop goodies in my book of songs that changed my life. Whether it was because of when I heard it, or because it's simply a good pop song - it now holds a very strong sentimental value.