Music to lift your mood.

by Paul Holmes


So it’s the summer of 1985. I am a Mod, yes a Mod. I wear suits and two tone shoes, I have a Bruce Foxton haircut, only because I was not slim enough to look like Paul Weller. I didn’t wear a Parker, but an Italian Generals overcoat with, this is what the shop keeper said, real bullet holes in the back. When it rained my back slowly got soaked as the rain was absorbed through the holes. I drive a Cortina Mark 5, in three shades of brown, one being rust. It was a great year for music, Live Aid was going down on a hot sultry afternoon. I sat at my friends house and hour and after hour we drunk cheap Kestrel lager, ate crisps and played along with our guitars.

 Me on the right.

 I was the greatest bass player in the world. Well that’s what you believe at 17, the worlds your oyster. There was an advert in NME for new bass player for the Style Council. I thought, I know all of Wellers stuff, I will ace it. I took my £49.99 Argos bass and jack lead and went to Wardour  St.  The queue was like a Harrods sale. A man came out the office and said, “All the people from this point back can go home, we are very sorry.” I was about the 701st person behind that point.

 I tried to attend an audition for the Style Council? How crazy was I? Well actually I wasn’t then. The reason I write this is quite purely and simply it was an amazingly happy time for me. Don’t get me wrong I am happy now and I consider myself very lucky.  Those times during my teenage years I truly believed anything was possible. I really was going to play Wembley, I was going to be the next Mod sensation. Of course it never happened but those possibilities made me feel almost invincible.

The music of that era and a bit before make all those memories flood back, along with the feelings I had at those times. Summers were really hot summers and it snowed at winter. I know I had bad times too, but the memories that flood back when I listen to certain tunes is wonderful. It lifts my mood. I smile and close my eyes and remember learning that bass rift or just simply what happened when I heard that song. A group of us walking down Penge High St, after a good few pints, pretending to be Madness.

 So technology has helped me. Now on my computer, twenty five years later I have all those tunes at the click of a button. As I buy one tune , it reminds of another and as we know buying online can be quite addictive. We do not see the cash parting from our purses and wallets, and soon it all builds up. But boy, is it worth it. 

There has been a lot of research in mood lifting music. It can be group meetings where you all bash a drum and bongos, which I would like to do. Or quite simply putting on your IPod and listening to music. It can work both ways, music can bring you down also, so it’s important to work out your play lists accordingly. If  I am down or lacking motivation I play a song called “Bert’s Apple Crumble,” by The Quik. It barely lasts two minutes but always makes me smile.  Add some AC/DC followed by any Jam or Weller and that’s it, job done.  For the sake of twenty minutes of sitting there and listening to your favourite music, it can quite possibly change the whole day for you.

 I would love to see more therapy groups that use music as a way of allowing someone to express themselves without always having to find the right words. Words always get analysed or mistaken, but a good old crashing chord on an electric guitar and good rhythm on some drums is a wonderful way of getting that negative feeling out there and replace it with a sense of satisfaction and well being.

 So try it, I am sure many of you do.  Find yourself some tunes and blast them out and see how you feel afterwards, I really hope it works for you too. 


Music is a healer! It has seen me through the dark periods of my life, and added colour to the happy moments too! With out music life would have no rhythm! That job that you were after with Style Council was taken by my good friend Camelle Hinds!

I adore this post. So well written and descriptive. Music has gotten me through life. I vowed I would never get a tattoo but I have two simple quotes one from jim morrisson and the other eric clapton. lyrics. That's how much music has meant in my life. If music does not lift my mood buying great records does. Everything sounds better on vinyl:)

I'll stop rambling now haha, just loved your post.


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