The Jazz Emporium

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Guest Post by Hannah: Nineties Baby!

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I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day who admitted to being a James Blunt fan back in the day. This revelation had me weeping with laughter, as he is undoubtedly the most unlikely fan ever, though personally I struggle to understand how anyone could be a fan of the  unique ‘foxes in mating season’ shriek that Blunt’s got going on. But this admission made me think about all the music that has influenced me over the years, and how this undoubtedly played a massive role in developing my style and character, regardless of how much I would like to pretend that I was a Janis Joplin fan all my life and never once owned a Busted single…

My early musical memories are a real mish mash. Of course like most girls growing up in the nineties, I was an avid fan of the Spice Girls. Ahhh, such charisma! What girl power! I had just about every piece of poorly produced chinese merchandise made where the Spice Girls were concerned. The influence ‘Sporty Spice’ or Mel C had on me may not be apparent in me now ( For starters, I detest sport. Mainly also the fact that I don’t own a single piece of ‘casual wear’ or anything that vaguely resembles sports wear.) but back when I was a nipper, I was obsessed. Hair tied up in a high pony tail and my beloved pistachio green track suit was how I rocked the sporty spice look. I was less impressed by the other girls and their super short dresses and buffalo trainers – which rumour has it are becoming popular again, heaven forbid. I did a bit of you tube reminiscing and had a wee chuckle to myself about how oblivious I was to the sexual subtext of practically all their songs ( 2 become 1? Not even trying to be subtle, but nevertheless I had no idea) but my god did I love those tunes.
This one being my favourite.: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YriinrRGug t]
The rebellious, care free attitude! Sporty Spice’s backflips down a dining room table. Gosh, did those ladies know how to live.

Next up was of course, S Club 7. Oh the shame. Though I cannot notice anything in myself now that was borne out of my love of S Club, they definitely were a big part of Noughties Hannah’s life. Again, my favourite was Jo – the fiesty tomboy one. Who would later go on to be the fiesty, tomboy racist one. Bleurghhhh. The horrible moment when your childhood idols fall from grace… I have vague memories of discovering a couple of them were smokers and being mightily saddened. And also of passing a copy of a redtop paper only to see a scantily clad S Club lady which had me shaking my head in disgust for a very long time. Mmm, bootcut jeans… I largely bypassed the god awful music of Steps, Aqua, B*witched – the world’s worst culprits for double denim dressing (closely followed by nineties Justin and Britney – of course). Though who can forget their seminal work, ‘C’est La Vie?’

Finally, the band I remember being absolutely infatuated with aged eleven…

Holy wow. Guns N’ Roses. These men were undoubtedly my first proper crushes. Axl Rose and Slash, semi naked, wrapped in skin tight leather trousers swigging from bottles of Jack Daniels and singing about kicking a heroin habit. I was in love. Of course, looking back it was quite a peculiar fascination. An eleven year old girl drowning in an ‘Appetite for Destruction’ hoodie who was able to tell you everything you could possibly want to know about those Metal men, apart from deciphering the anagram of ‘Axl Rose’ after my elder brother pointed out that it wasn’t his real name… Still, those grubby, anarchistic musicians became my life and I spent a huge proportion of my time imagining dating one of them and the rest of the time proudly wearing my hoody until my mother could smuggle it into the wash. Nowadays my musical tastes are far more refined, more Aretha less Aqua, though you can still catch me jamming to a bit of Destiny’s child when I think no one is watching. It is quite hilarious the impact music has on your younger self and being able to chart the changes in your life by music. Of course, I still love me a bit of Guns N’ Roses every now and again and can still remember a huge number of lyrics – but it doesn’t have the same effect on me that it did 7 years ago.

And whilst I would rather not admit to having seen S Club 7 in concert*( I can’t bring myself to call it a ‘gig’ because they never did gigs. Though I detest the word concert.) I won’t shy away from the fact they were a part of my childhood.
Now, I leave Jazz readers with what I think is one of the funniest songs from the (bad) nineties…

And in the words of which ever band member it is singing the chorus, ‘you gots to keep it real, you gots to keep it raw.’ Words for life I am certain.

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