I’m quite a nostalgic guy. I sometimes find myself often looking over my past, mostly through the means of papers, tapes, photos, bits and bobs. I probably have more of these things to look through than most people, I kept ridiculous amounts of, well, everything.

With the old family home soon to be leaving our hands and going back to the council, the last belongings I left, packaged up and lifted into the loft, have started to come back with me to Glasgow in bits and bobs.

Cassette tapes? Crates of tapes. I can’t even begin to document how many tapes. I brought back one crate last year. I had to choice select some to bring back when I was down in London in February, halving the biggest crate of them all into a smaller, more manageable pile. Yes, there’s more to come back. *sigh*

There are some good points to bringing these things back:
1) buying high quality (and now obsolete) blank cassette tapes costs a fortune and I still have a 4-track cassette machine which is still more preferable to lug about than an entire PC, monitor and soundcard… So I can re-use them (after they’ve been digitised of course…)

2) As I digitise them I get to rediscover my teenage musicality (or lack of) amongst forgotten songs, odd experiments and guitar riffs that go nowhere and multiple, fucked up takes of the same… damn… song…

The bad points?
1) Too much stuff to store for an eternity in a tiny flat. I don’t think the neighbour above would appreciate me sawing a hatch into their place and using their living room as a loft space…
2) There’s not enough time in a decade to go through all this stuff. There really isn’t.

Another startling and unnerving fact I could take from my music/noise (depending on how you look at it) is that I was much more creative in my younger youth, and much more experimental. That’s if you consider fifteen minute sound collages and putting radio noise through guitar effects pedals to be a good use of creativity.

As well as the music, there was a folders and folders worth of teenage angsty/unrequited love lyrics (oh dear) and some sparse dabbles with writing stories (I daren’t have called it fiction in those days, I had no dream to become a writer, I just wrote!) On top of that there was boxes of photographs, negatives and unprocessed rolls of film. Those came back last year and I’ve still not had the chance to go through them. I was once a budding photographer and yes, I kept everything.

Why? Am I a hoarder? Should I be on a TV show where some unqualified twat tries to help you get to the bottom of the ’emotional issues’ that lead to this ‘inability to let go’?

I dunno, lots of people have lots of stuff. It’s all part of the modern disease. We rely on things to prompt memories. The system works quite well, it’s why people write diaries, take photographs, buy cheap trinkets to bring back home from holidays. I find that looking back, especially on the person I was as a teenager is an oddly voyeuristic experience. I look at the mementos from that era as that of a completely different person, someone I forgot. Most times it brings on a warm smile, sometimes a surprised, gleeful grin, other times a moment sits uncomfortably with the person I grew into.

But I’m all for consolidating my past. I accept it, look back to it and learn from it as best I can. Look back and laugh whenever possible.

I’m thirty one years old and I’m guilty of nostalgia. I’ve been guilty of it for many years and I always will be. Shoot me. Life is short, but sometimes it takes some looking back to realise how far you’ve come. And when the notion takes you that nowadays you can’t sing that well you really should refer back to that tape of a band practice back in 2001 when your voice is BOOMING completely out of tune from the magnetic coating… louder than a drum kit, bass and two guitars. And realise, “At this moment in time, I’m fucking Pavarotti compared to me twelve years ago…”