Music that changed my life – Rob Conlon


Let me set the scene. October 16th 2004. My eldest sister’s 18th birthday party. The night that is ultimately responsible for changing my outlook on everything.

I must apologise Helena but it wasn’t because of how great the party was. I mostly sat awkwardly in the corner drinking J20s (not everything has changed since then), although you seemed to enjoy it.

As a fresh faced 10-year-old I was forced to make an effort and wear jeans as opposed to my favoured Adidas tracksuit bottoms, with my short hair wet-look gelled into a tidy mohican.

Through the night I’d kept hearing some excited chit-chat about some song I’d never heard of by some band called Arctic Monkeys. It never even struck me how odd that name is.

Later that night there a joyous roar, the dance floor filled and a mass sing-along started: “I said who’s that girl there…”

What struck me was the sheer excitement it seemed to cause amongst my sister’s friends as they recited every word like it was gospel.

“I said he’s a scumbag don’t you know?” The song explodes, and everything changes.

That riff. Simple but genius. Alex Turner, not quite at his tongue-twisting peak, sneering in a fellow Yorkshire accent. My ears prick up. What the f**k was I listening to before this? (My first CD was Westlife – Uptown Girl)

It may have taken a while but from that moment on the trackies were ditched for jeans, the jeans got skinnier, the hair got longer, the footwear got smarter, and I picked up a guitar.

It seems strange to think how the last 10 years would have panned out if it wasn’t for that moment, all I know is I’ve got Turner, Cook, Helders and Nicholson to thank. Oh, and you I guess Helena.

Rob Conlon 


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