The young boy gazed in adulate awe at the selection of fine, succulent produce on offer. He was reminded of his slightly odd obsession with raw radish and duly placed one of the rogue, pointless vegetables into his mush. As he chewed slowly on his pilfered, mustardy snack he gazed wistfully through the outdoor furnishings […]

The young boy gazed in adulate awe at the selection of fine, succulent produce on offer.

He was reminded of his slightly odd obsession with raw radish and duly placed one of the rogue, pointless vegetables into his mush. As he chewed slowly on his pilfered, mustardy snack he gazed wistfully through the outdoor furnishings department of the impressive Sainsbury’s.

He lamented the seasonal changes garden furniture ceaselessly endured and pondered the idea that this particular department acted as its own microcosm, intrinsically linked and yet ultimately detached from the world around it. Or at least he understood the notion of retrospect enough to think: “I don’t understand the relevance of this just now, but perhaps in the near future I’ll be able to use this nugget to make myself look interesting and witty.”

Just cresting the dizzying heights of the formidable Black & Decker strimmer display he could see his raison d’going-with-mum-to- Meadowhall. He ceased his attempts at untying the family pack of radishes in his sweaty grasp and shuffled forward.

The diverse collection of CD s in the übermarket’s music department was impressive and no time was wasted. The hunt was on…and abruptly ceased by Sainsbury’s deft alphabetising skills. The boy’s long-suffering mother fished in her purse and produced two week’s worth of pocket money which was eagerly snatched by radish stained hands.

With the transaction completed and the thrill of buying his first album all but gone, there was nothing left but for the boy to indulge in the fruits of his mother’s labour and take his first tentative steps on the path to musical enlightenment.

I think, at the time, I expected a little more from All Saints’ ingeniously titled debut album All Saints, but everyone has to start somewhere and to be fair it was the logical progression from my first tape purchase, ‘Naked’ by “the white one from Eternal”, Louise.

Foundations are key to building a reputable music taste and go a long way to explaining the ‘house’ analogy I’m about to start waffling on about.

Think of your taste in music, if you will, as a house (N.B. don’t get confused and start thinking about your taste in house music because that is somewhat of an oxymoron). Without good foundations the facade can be a tad wobbly and uncertain. However, if the facade is shiny and new all the time it can lack character and become boring very quickly.

However, openly embracing fads like pebble dashed walls makes the house seem dated and laughable. Trying to update a heavily fad-laden home could cost you dearly. Contractor fees for an evaluation alone can reach upwards of £3,000.

It’s worth pointing out that at this juncture I’ve just started talking about actual houses and this bears no real relevance to my initial point.

Your taste in music is 100% your own and very much a personal thing. But music is by its very nature a shared entity and your taste will always undergo overly aggressive scrutiny.

Finding a balance between what you like and what others would term ‘well gay’ is intrinsic to developing a matured taste. I would quite happily spend my days listening to Glenn Miller and trance if not for the fear of being labelled a floppy wristed mincer.

So what does one do?

Your collection of upfront future bass music is very impressive. You have a Boomkat account and you’re going to Bestival. You’ve done all the hard work and are now a very credible neo muso. It is now that you get to enjoy the metaphorical radishes of your labour.

You could rather comfortably amble along listening to your favourite Fleetwood Mac songs (or Rumours, if you will) and let Stevie Nicks’ dulcet tones be your own personal salvation, but then you’d be missing out on one of life’s most precious moments. Everyone who has belted out the lyrics to ‘The Chain’ in a five-man strong choir of their closest and most inebriated peers would agree that it’s pretty damn precious. And by precious I don’t mean kittens and dogs cuddling each other while they nap.

So I lied. Your music taste is not your own. It’s the property of anyone who cares to listen and it’s only because you took that initial plunge and bought that embarrassing first album that’s it’s now something worth sharing.

It’s finding out that everyone else’s real taste in music is the same as yours that makes the wretched odyssey of the muso worthwhile. The sharing of that palette between like-minded individuals makes you realise that the foundations are incredibly similar but the variation in the facade is wonderfully diverse.

Knowing all the words to ‘Never Ever’ by All Saints is still well gay though.

Tom Belshaw.