I'm listening to some Del Amitri as I type this. They're a cracking band, though much-maligned by my first year room-mate at Oxford. This often happens when a singer doesn't simply scream his lyrics over three or four chords belted out at eardrum shattering levels and has the temerity to employ sophisticated lyrics.
I'm struck sometimes by a sad thought. Throughout school and university I didn't really share music with people. There were some folkie types at school, but I wasn't really in with them, and most of the lads were either rappers or heavy metallers - in a vastly watered down and crap version of the old mods and rockers divide.
Everything began for me musically when Mum lent me a Simon & Garfunkel cassette. Within the first few bars of I Am a Rock my tastes had been influenced forever. A couple of years later my music teacher decided that a jolly good way to spend the lesson would be to watch a James Taylor concert. She was right.
I love music. But it's been a pretty solitary pursuit. I didn't often swap records with friends or make loads of mix tapes. And because I was rarely in charge of the stereo when we got together, the artists I love haven't exactly provided the soundtrack of my life.
There are exceptions. My friend James and I have incredibly similar tastes, and we've shared stuff (online, inevitably, rather than the old(er) fashioned way). And music is a lovely bond between me and my Mum.
I'm slowly getting to know some excellent musicians in Oxford through a mutual friend, and that has also led me to the work of Frank Turner
. He has leapt with indecent haste into the Premier League of my favourite musicians.
People often overestimate how awful it is when a stand-up comedy gig doesn't work. (Mostly we just brush ourselves down and wait for the next one.) But it is pretty grim when we screw up in front of friends, family or people we admire. I don't think I'll get over dying in front of Frank and the guys
until they've seen me take the roof off a room. Which will likely have to wait until I'm on TV, as I can't bring myself to invite them back to another gig.
It really has nothing to do with being starstruck - a decade in politics have immunised me against the notion that famous people are a different breed - and everything to do with a perfectly healthy desire to be respected for your work by people that you in turn respect. I hate the fact that some good friends have only seen me be crap on stage.
Anyway, back to music. I'm not bleating. It's good to be a self-starter, and I need to make more effort to introduce my friends to the stuff I love and know to be great, instead of expecting the traffic to come entirely the other way.
I'll do that here. I'm no critic - I am straightforwardly uninterested in art that I don't like - life is too short to endlessly seek pleasure in putting the boot in. Anyway, I'm not a commentator, I'm a star. But I do like writing about things I do like.
I wonder what kind of music the future Mrs Greeves is into. Not rap, that's for sure.