Thursday 26 October 2000

Street Vibes Six. I want it. Craig David. I want him. Destiny's child. I love them. Kiss FM. It's the only station. It's official. I am no longer any kind of indie. I am --

What am I?

Fifteen. Red curly hair dyed black. I crimp it every morning before school. I savour the hiss and the smell of the steam. In lessons I run my fingers down its zig-zagged planes. I like things with fringes along the bottom. I tie scarves to the strap of my army surplus bag and hope it'll be a windy day so they'll trail behind me. I am known at school by the tinkle of my bangles. I am a wiiieeeerrrrrr--do.

(I am not weird, of course. Not really. I am a middle-class girl from the suburbs of London. I go to a good school, where I do well. I still have to fight my parents every Sunday to get out of going to church. The previous year I bought all my music from the Top Ten section of Our Price. But now, I feel wiiieeerrrrdddd. Different. Both cursed and special.)

I celebrate my cursed specialness by listening to The Cure. The Cure, by this time, were a bunch of thirty-year-old men still in bumper boots, tight black trousers, and horrid nests of backcombed hair. Robert Smith was my one. He was everyone's one. In his eyeliner-smeared eyes I saw sanctuary. I wanted to drown myself in his red-hole-lipsticked mouth. (Yeah, yeah, this is the kind of crap I wrote in my diary at the time. I had special curly handwriting I taught myself by copying the typeface on the Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album. I still use it for birthday cards. God.)

Recently I had an argument with my boyfriend over Placebo. Number six million in our list of Stupid Rows About Music. (The best one was the big screaming one we had in Bethnal Green Macdonalds about how many tracks there are on a double album.)

I insisted that I would have loved Placebo if I were a teenager now. He said I was being too harsh on myself, that teen me would have had far more integrity, would have liked Belle and Sebastian, Pulp, Daphne and Celeste, Dusty Springfield - anything but Placebo. Bollocks. I couldn't tell him that I know for a fact that I would have loved Placebo because...because...I secretly love them now.

But I am no longer any kind of indie. I am---

I won't be buying Placebo's new album.

I am going to buy Street Vibes 6.

I don't need Placebo. I don't need Brian Molko like I needed Robert Smith, to prove that I am special, chosen, different, not just another one of three girls at home, of a thousand girls at school.

Now I know I'm different. I know I'm a freak. (That's why I'm a freelancer. I bet if you correlated a list of those who were 'different' at school with those who work in a freelance capacity, there'd be a seriously big intersection in the Venn diagram.) And, since I am a freak, I no longer have to listen to freaky music. I don't need any more proof. I don't need to hear strange things any more. I have no desire for my state of mind to be mirrored in my music taste. I like normal, happy, dancing music.

And that's why I want to live in Kiss FM world.

I love Craig David. I love Spiller. I love The Architects. I love Destiny's Child. I love Stardust. I love all those songs that use bits of other songs, so even though you're hearing it for the first time, it's like an old friend. I love the way they plunder: from classical music, from Eric Clapton, even from Sir Lord David Bowie, with a teenager's utter lack of respect.

I love the way all the songs are about sex, nightclubs or dancing. It's so gay and wild. There's no place for gloominess or moroseness in Kiss FM world. Kiss FM world might be shallow and flippant, but it's never dull or self-pitying. And that's the kind of place I want to be. That's the kind of person I want to be. I am--

'make the body move
you got to let the body groove'


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