Throughout my life, most of my friendships have been forged, or at least fuelled by music. When music first became truly important in my life as a teenager, my friendship group gradually shifted, moving away from those I had played football and computer games with, to those whose musical taste I shared. My closest friends from University are those who I spent the weekends at various techno clubs around the country with. Even the close friends I’ve made since then, usually through work or other friends, have been at least partly made through going to gigs or clubs together.
If I see that someone has similar taste in music to me, it immediately piques my interest in them. This was true when I was a teenager, spotting a group of girls in the year above heading to school covered in Hole and Smashing Pumpkins regalia, making me immediately want to get to know them. It was true last week when I saw someone at work in a Jeffrey Lewis t-shirt and made a mental note to try and chat to him when I got the chance. Of course, I no longer (if I ever did) believe that just because someone shares my taste in music that I will get on well with them. In fact I used to work with a guy with exemplary music taste who turned out to be one of the biggest fools I’ve ever met, but I still tend to believe that shared musical taste is a good sign.
Before Frida was born, my wife and I went to NCT ante-natal classes, partially to learn about the birth and early stages of parenthood, but primarily to meet other people in the area going through the same experiences as us, as we had only recently moved back to Leeds. We’ve been pretty good at keeping in touch as a group with the other people who attended the class, and get on well with them. However, the experience has made it sink in that most people we meet for the foreseeable future will be parents of children the same age as ours, and that will be our connection, not taste in music, or taste in anything else for that matter. After spending most of my life with people for whom music is a central part of their life, it will be strange for me if that is no longer the case.