This week I celebrated my 22nd birthday. So as I enter the 23rd year of a life soundtracked by a wide variety of music. Some phases have lasted a couple of months and others a lifetime, but regardless of length – the diversity of the music that I have listened to has been incredible. Although I was going to go for just out-and-out celebration music, I think I should probably also celebrate some of the questionable decisions in my musical past. Fortunately for my feelings of embarrassment, any songs I have recorded with a variety of bands, I no longer have available so I don’t need to show you those questionable decisions. Anyway, enjoy laughing at me and maybe even a little boogie in the process.

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

An absolute stonker to start on. One of my all-time favourite songs by one of my all-time favourite bands. Fact: the only song I have ever drunk-posted on my Facebook and left on there.

The Charlatans – Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over

Hometown heroes for me. First vinyl I ever bought, the first band I got to see live with my best friend. Plus, this song was the final song ever played in an episode of Inbetweeners, what’s not to love?

Joy Division – Disorder

What can I say? I’m from just outside of Manchester and was a very angsty teenager (and still am). I did own an Unknown Pleasures t-shirt, and I would happily do it again. This song, in particular, has stayed with me though.

Dr Dre – XXplosive

I mean, just listen to that intro. What’s not to love? This song immediately puts a smile on my face. I went as far as learning to play it on my little sister’s xylophone, but you don’t have to be that geeky.

The Doors – LA Woman

The Doors have been around me for all my life, thanks to my parents and living in a house with doors in it. However, I did get a taste for them myself and was overjoyed when this video was released.

Thought Explode – Bring Your Guns

Speaking of hometown heroes and excitement for videos: I was massively into this Northwich band for a large period of my life, and the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice a young me in the video too…

Frank Sinatra – That’s Life

Franky baby! The great died on my second birthday, sad I know, but guess what: that’s life! A story of the highs and lows of life, with Sinatra’s trademark smoothness – I’ve loved this song since first hearing it on a Tony Hawk game.

Curtis Mayfield – Pusherman

As someone who now loves soul, I find it bizarre to think of a time that I wouldn’t have listened to it. However, it was Curtis Mayfield – and this song in particular – that introduced me to, and made me fall in love with, soul music.

Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)

Arcade Fire are another band that I have loved since forever, and it was this song that finally made the penny drop for me and pay attention to who they were as a band.

Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part 1)

Thanks to my parents (again) Flaming Lips have been ever-present in my life, and this song is one that sticks out in particular for making long car journeys 100x more bearable.

Future Islands – A Dream of You and Me

I’m yet to see Future Islands live, but they are absolutely one of my favourite bands ever and feature alongside the previous two bands for those that I most want to see live. Difficult to pick one song, but this heartfelt number seems to do the trick.

David Bowie – Five Years

Bowie is an icon (duh). I love this man a lot, and there are many of his songs I could’ve chosen, with the song from Extras being a close second. However, there isn’t really any doubt that this one has stuck with me the longest.

Nico – These Days

Velvet Underground and Nico were very important to me, and even now are still on heavy rotation. Although this is a Nico solo track, the fragility of her voice is something I’ve loved since I heard it and it is a worthy selection to represent that entire back catalogue.

Moloko – Sing It Back

Kabal. 50 parties in 15 years. Oscar shows up to the last one. Who else shows up? The absolute legend that is Roisin Murphy and she belts out this classic. Then guess what song I have stuck in my head for the following 2 years…

6th Borough Project – Just A Memory

One of the first disco tracks I got properly into, this song is one that I still turn to if I’m in need of a song that’s going to make me want to dance. The long build-up is well worth it when it kicks in.

Hinds – Trippy Gum

What better way to end than with one of my favourite bands that I have had the pleasure of seeing multiple times live? I absolutely love Hinds and are well and truly worth the accolade of being the first band I’ve ever seen completely by myself. Fortunately, I’ve managed to find friends since that first gig…