Day 11: A song from your favourite band #30dsc

30 day challenge day 11: A song from your favourite band

Lamb of God—Descending

My favourite band, huh? There’s a tricky one.

In the 80s and early 90s it was Queen. In the 90s and early 00s it was Metallica. In the 00s and 10s my favourite bands have probably been both Opeth and Lamb of God.

I first came across Lamb of God in 2004 while browsing in the (now-gone) HMV store in the Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh. Two of their albums, As The Palaces Burn (2003) and Ashes of the Wake (2004), were on the end-of-aisle display in the metal section of the store.

I bought them both because I liked the name and the packaging was intriguing. They looked like promisingly-good listens. Little did I know just how good.

I raced back to the car. Popped it into the stereo and… wow!

Their next album Sacrament (2006) was outstanding. Definitely one of my favourite albums ever, and a certain contender for being played on Desert Island Discs if they ever run out of guests and invite me on. Lamb of God on BBC Radio 4: now that would be cool!

Day 10: A song that makes you fall asleep #30dsc

30 day challenge day 10: A song that makes you fall asleep


I’m not sure there really is a song that genuinely makes me fall asleep, but there are plenty that I like to listen to while gently drifting off to sleep.

Not that I get to gently drift off to sleep these days. It’s usually more like a violent crash into unconsciousness thanks to two-and-a-half years on the twins parents programme. It used to take me sometimes hours to get to sleep, now I’m normally sleeping within five minutes of my head hitting the pillow. An essential, learned survival technique, I guess.

In my young, free and single days I used to listen to music while going to sleep. I’d pop in a cassette, hit play and hope that I was sleeping by the time the auto-stop clicked the play button up.

Occasionally, usually when Jane and the boys are away, I’ll dig out a portable CD player and listen to something in bed. And as they say that the sound of white noise is good to helping you make that transition into the land of nod for me anything metal and/or industrial normally does the trick, to be honest. Something like Godflesh, for example.

I also find Godflesh particularly good for coding HTML, CSS and JavaScript to as well.

Day 9: A song that you can dance to #30dsc

30 day challenge day 9: A song that you can dance to


Now, this category is a challenge to me. A song that you can dance to. Where do I place the emphasis?

  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.
  • A song that you can dance to.

This was the first song that came to mind—after whatever piece of Scottish, accordion music that I danced the Dashing White Sergeant to in a Scottish Country Dancing competition in Kelso when I was in primary 3—because

  1. One line of the lyrics has Joey Belladonna shouting “WAR DANCE!”
  2. I’ve done that war dance in the audience of an Anthrax gig.

I think that just about covers all four emphases above.


Day 8: A song that you know all the words to #30dsc

30 day challenge day 8: A song that you know all the words to

Ugly Kid Joe—Cat’s In The Cradle

A song that you know all the words to? Is that really supposed to be a challenge? I amaze myself sometimes by singing the lyrics to songs that I’ve not heard for 10 years. Is that information that stored there in my brain preventing me from remembering other stuff? I hope not.

This is another song from 1992—a good year that for me. Ugly Kid Joe rose to fame and this was one of their most popular songs, a cover of the 1974 Harry Chapin song.

This song came to mind because I was talking about it to a friend just the other day. It’s partly because of this song that I try to spend as much time as I do with Reuben, Joshua and Isaac.

Day 7: A song that reminds you of a certain event #30dsc

30 day challenge day 7: A song that reminds you of a certain event

Queen—The Show Must Go On

On Monday 20 April 1992 I travelled down to London for The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at (the old) Wembley Stadium.

It was, and still is, the largest concert I’d ever attended. And it was brilliant! That day I watched Metallica, Extreme, Def Leppard, Gob Geldof, Spinal Tap, Guns N’ Roses, and Queen perform on the same stage (although not at the same time!).

It was the first and last time I ever saw Queen perform live, but sadly without the incredible Freddie Mercury.

Towards the end of the concert I began to get anxious that I would miss the last tube from Wembley Park back into the city; I was staying with my mum’s cousin at Streatham Common so needed to get a train from either Victoria station or Clapham Junction.

So I left early, fighting my way through the crowd so that I wouldn’t have to do the same at the underground station. I walked out of the stadium as Queen + Elton John were singing The Show Must Go On, and I heard the final two songs We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions on my walk to the underground station.

I felt sorry to be leaving early, but I wore an enormous grin on my face and kept looking back at Wembley Stadium lighting up the sky. An incredible experience.