The other day I was nominated by my friend Nick to take part in the ‘Seven Days of Music that has inspired…’ challenge that has gone viral on some social media sites.
I’m not usually into that kind of thing and you won’t find any video clips of me floating around the technological ether with a bucket of iced water over my head either, but this particular idea got me thinking… who and what has inspired me from a musical perspective?
Honestly, I didn’t know where to start… it felt like trying to tidy up my bedroom when I was thirteen, so thought a good place would be the first-ever professional concert I experienced.
It was June 22nd, 1984, and my friends Julian and Roy, who ran our famous local mobile disco 'Negative Earth', had bought me my first-ever ticket to a music concert which was an hour and a half drive north from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire to the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England. I was so excited and couldn't believe my luck when we walked into this huge amazing arena and discovered that we were four rows from the front!
That, however, didn't last long because as soon as the gig started, I was up on my feet and drawn to the front of the stage by some invisible magnetic power within the first few bars fo the song. I stood there soaking up every moment as if I was in heaven, looking at everything, the sound vibrating through my body, the lights, the musicians, all these people... and it sounded immense!! I had never experienced anything quite like it before!
The absolute sense of joy and inspiration stayed with me for months… I think it was at that moment I realised just how powerful, inspirational, cathartic and outright bloody wonderful live music can be!
Stevie Wonder, Birmingham NEC Arena, England
There isn't any available footage of the concert but this video will give you a feel of his vibe.... talk about sending the benchmark high... I mean really high!!