100 Broken Windows


I recently wrote a piece for my new monthly column over at songbytoad.com about the wonders of sharing music.  You can see this here.  Basically, Matthew had prepared a mix cd of Willard Grant Conspiracy songs for me as a sort of introduction to the band.  My piece centred around this idea of sharing music.  I invited people to submit “introducing” pieces about a band they love or want others to hear.  I encourage people to do this now as well.  Send them to me at trampolinemusic@gmail.com and I will post them on this blog.

Anyways, last week I went to meet a couple of friends at a local bar.  When I arrived at the bar, I looked in the window to see if Graeme and Alex were there and sitting in the seats by the window were none other than Rod Jones and Roddy Woomble from Idlewild.  This really should not have been a big surprise to me given that Rod lives around the corner from us.  However, as you may already know, my wife has a massive thing for Roddy Woomble and he was the last person I expected to see sitting in our local bar.  My wife was GUTTED when I told her he was there because she was at home with Roddy and couldn’t come round to the pub.  Just as well though as she’d probably have stolen him and left me in a flash!  I have to admit though, sitting there at the next table to the pair of them I had a real sense of being a little star struck.  And the reason for this is simple.  Their importance to my relationship and I guess therefore life.  Without knowing it, they impacted on my world and there we were sat beside each other in a local pub.  That felt weird.   You see, when I first started seeing my wife, about 10 years ago, I lived in Dundee and she lived in Arbroath.  We used to travel back and forth between the 2 to see each other, travelling along the dodgy Arbroath Road.  It has now been upgraded to a dual carriageway, but at that time it was a single track road notorious for bad accidents and slow tractors!  Anyways, one day she gave me a tape to play in the car.  100 Broken Windows by Idlewild.  I knew the name of the band but had never listened to them before.  That tape never left my car after that.  It was a constant in both our lives, something we shared a real passion for.  Something that brought us together in a special way.  And something that is still one of our favourite albums of all time without a doubt.  It united us.  Brought us closer.  And that is something I love about music. 

A friend commented on my post for songbytoad that a mix tape she was once given brought her closer to the friend that made her it.  I completely understand this for the simple reason that I believe in music bringing people together.  There’s nothing quite like having a normal mundane conversation with somebody, mentioning a love of a band or artist and then all of a sudden seeing a spark ignited and a mundane conversation transformed into a passionate debate.  And its what I love about going to gigs as well.  The coming together of all these people united in their love of the music.  From different places, walks of life, cultures, but all there to share in a common love of the music.  It’s ultimately I guess what Church would be about if the Church achieved what it was meant to be about in the first place.  So I guess I’m taking the idea of sharing music even further with this post.  I want to explore how music unites people.  Any stories?  Let me know.   In the meantime, go and buy 100 Broken Windows by Idlewild.  It’s a real gem.