Stewart Darkin
This is me - Stewart Darkin


In my youth, I was drawn to the colourful melody of Oliver Postgate’s Ivor the Engine theme tune, although that was quickly usurped by the seductive psychedelia (and bubble writing) of Sesame Street. After a brief flirtation with The Theme from Mash, next to catch my eye was the dressing up required to be in Dexy’s Midnight Runners or the Human League. I was seven, I got over it.

In 1987 (kids) something called Sally Cinnamon happened and nothing would ever be the same again. Ole Sally sashayed in with the confidence of someone who’d been there from the start and stole our hearts. In 1989, Madchester blossomed and I had a fringe.

Then I moved to Manchester and fell in love with its (OK, I admit it) slightly tiresome but wonderful musical heritage all over again. That said, I still think it is Yorkshire that has gifted us the most complete album of the last twenty years, but that’s just my opinion; no need to make it yours.

Right now, I am supplementing the indie and punk with the distinctly Human League-ish synth pop of my youth that a noughties recession has seen fit to resurrect. It’s a heady brew. Imagine Jamie T and Little Boots playing Hungry Hippos for money at Alex Turner’s house, with Pete Doherty refereeing.

Despite substantial and compelling evidence to the contrary, I am a grown-up who wants to read (and write) grown-up things about music and culture. Loving something that is supposedly uncool and saying so, and being convincing, is so much harder than just slagging off everything except New Order.

Maybe, as the one-ties dawn, my musical odyssey will complete its orbit and I‘ll find myself writing about the evocative, haunting and transcendental nature of the Ivor the Engine theme tune. I do hope so.

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