Emily got to partake in her very first Record Store Day today. I’m immensely proud of the great British tradition of independent records stores. Where I grew up in Yorkshire, the coolest place to buy your music was Jumbo Records in Leeds. Then, when I was in Wales during the school holidays, I’d ask my grandparents to take me to Spillers Records in Cardiff. My grandad was a huge musical influence on me. There wasn’t a thing he didn’t know about big band orchestras and swing musicians. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Matt Monroe we’re played constantly. Whenever I hear a band standard, I’m immediately transported back to my childhood.
Because there was always a musical backdrop to my upbringing, I’m keen for Emily to have the same. When I was pregnant – and my hormones were raging – I’d spend hours playing music to the ‘bump’. I became obsessed with the idea that after she was born, she would instantly recognise the soothing sounds of Kat Power, or the Eagles, and be overcome by a wave of serenity. Needless to say, after she born, I was so completely overwhelmed, stressed and way too busy to remember to play her anything most of the time, and when I did try it, it seemed to have little effect!
Now she’s a little older though, she really reacts to music. One of my favourite things to do with her is to jump around the kitchen dancing. She’s obsessed with singing ‘Love is an Open Door’ from Frozen, the struts her stuff to Beyonce and she head-bangs to Courtney Love!
With her newly-acquired interest in music, we headed to Spillers Records today to soak up some of the atmosphere and browse the rows of vinyls. She was so well-behaved! Wide-eyed and taking it all in, she even had a bit of a boogie to the DJ playing on the first floor.
When we got home, we danced again, this time to my new copy of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’, bought on her first Record Store Day visit. It might not have been a song I played to her when she was in the womb, but we’ll certainly dance to this one over and over for a long time to come.