Let me take you back to the week before the August Bank Holiday over 12 years ago. It is 8:30am on Friday 21st August 2009 and I am walking around the North Terminal at Gatwick Airport. Waiting to board my 10:25am Easyjet flight to Valencia. By pure coincidence, it happens the weekend before the European F1 GP being hosted in the city by the sea. I am at an odd end as my order for brand new sunglasses did not arrive in time for my holiday so an impulse purchase of non-prescription sunglasses is required from The Sunglasses Hut. For the record, those sunglasses which arrive a few weeks later are the same my future brother in law does not like. After completing this transaction I wander off to HMV and hear a banging pop-rock song being played. The only keyword I can catch is from the chorus – Stella. It was almost as if I was due to hear this song as the band would make such a big impact in my life for the next decade-plus.
Fast forward to me sitting in my garden office on Friday morning starting work but opening Spotify to review my Release Radar – brand new songs which I should (based on the amazing Spotify algorithm) like. Generally, when I open this dynamic playlist each week, I scroll down the Artist list first to see any I recognise and listen to their songs first due to familiarity. There they were – All Time Low.
People are surprised I like Pop Punk Rock – their expectations are very different. Do not get me wrong I love my pure pop music but my love of the genre came purely by the accident of my birth. The late 90s and early 2000s as I came of age was also the time that we had all these exciting new bands (predominately from the US) breaking on the scene. Fuelled by the American Pie film culture. I would actually pinpoint the film as Van Wilder: Party Liason – the soundtrack for that film if you dig deep enough into IMDB goes up to 300 songs. I spent many an evening hunting them down in obscure areas of the interweb.
In 2010 – yes over a decade ago I finally got to see All Time Low live at Reading Festival. However, in the chronology of this story, it was exactly one year later. From hearing one of their songs playing on a PA system in a small airport HMV to dancing around with people ten years younger than me at the front of the stage.
All the photographic evidence can be found over on FlickR.The band was off my radar from that point, although I would download songs, live albums, music videos. It was a pleasant surprise to discover their latest song Once In A Lifetime this morning as I logged into my work laptop to start the final working day of the week. Of course, the first thing I did after listening to the song in full about five times was to jump over to YouTube to see if an official video had been released. Of course, it had, a few days earlier. Please watch the video in full before you read this final comment. In the early years of my relationship with my dearest wife, she started to place scratch cards into our birthday cards. To date, we have never won anything but maybe, just maybe this is a tradition I should resurrect.