Today’s lockdown tracks are picked by Sunderland Stroller, Olympian and former Fabio Borini role model, Aly Dixon. When researching Aly I discovered that her best time for a 10k is almost exactly half mine so we steered clear of running and focused on music.
What sort of music was in your house as a child?
I don't recall that much music in the house when I was very young, but my parents would play cassettes in the car, especially when we drove down to Devon on our holidays. I remember lots of David Essex, Cliff Richard, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel. I don't recall getting to listen to any of my choices or my sister’s! As we got a bit older my older sister started to play Bros, Wham and Madonna on repeat. By default they became my favourite artists.
Do you remember the first music you bought?
Yes, I even know how I paid for it! I won a £1 Our Price voucher at a dancing competition at a disco in the bar in the Crowtree Leisure Centre! I think it was some sort of end of school holiday kids camp thing. And I used the money to buy the 7 inch single of Anita Dobson - Anyone can fall in love!!
And I’m hoping your music tastes developed from there…
Well, I was a proper teeny bopper, I loved the cheesy stuff like Kylie and Jason, Rick Astley, then on to early Take That. I actually got to meet Take That at what was then Wear FM when they were promoting their very first single - Do What you Like. I got a record signed by them all and gave it to my cousin. My uncle said that they were rubbish and would never amount to anything and threw it out! I also had a period where I quite liked happy hard-core and would bounce around my bedroom to DJ Sharkey, QFX and Bonkers. I now have quite an eclectic taste in music and will listen to most things from Spice Girls to Iron Maiden to show tunes.
And what would you have been up to back then?
I was quite an active child and spent my evenings usually doing at least one sport or social club - swimming, gymnastics, dancing, youth club, guides… then as a teenager I joined the local running club and that took over.
Music in warm ups always seems to be an important thing for athletes. Is it psyching yourself up or calming yourself down?
To be honest it was used as a distraction tool more than anything. People knew that if I had my earphones in that was me now in race mode and best not to disturb me. I can be a bit grumpy whilst warming up! I used to have a warm up playlist which started slow with House of the Rising Sun by The Animals and got progressively more up tempo and finished with The Stereophonics, Bartender and the thief. I’d also have Heather Small, Proud as a last song if I needed to calm a bit but psych myself up. On the occasions I listened to Proud it reminded me to look back on what I'd done to get there and go out and make myself and my family proud.
How about concerts, do you go to many?
My very first concert was Jason Donovan at Whitley Bay ice rink. It was his Doin Fine tour in 1990 and I remember him singing Too Many Broken Hearts. I’ve still got the tour t-shirt. More recently, I've been to pretty much all the ones at the Stadium of Light, think the only one I missed was Foo Fighters. The Spice Girls was the most recent of course, they retweeted me that night which was cool! And Bon Jovi, sadly the sound quality wasn't great so that spoilt that one a bit but all of the others have been really good.
Who’d you like to come to the Stadium of Light next?
There’re a few I'd love to see come to the Stadium of Light - Rolling Stones, Elton John, Eminem, Ed Sheeran, The Script
And how about dancing? Are you the first on the floor? And what would you dance to?
That would depend on alcohol consumption and sensible footwear! Probably some 90s cheesy track.
If you could be free from lockdown for one day where would you go?
To be honest, I’d go and see my Nana. I haven’t seen her since this all started. And then, if I can go anywhere, I’d probably rewind 20 years and go to one of the big clubs in Ibiza or a music festival like Glastonbury.
And, finally, what’s the best sports related music at any ground you’ve been to?
God Save The Queen whilst standing on top of the podium!
You’re the first interviewee who can claim that one. Those huge international events must be amazing.
They are. I hate the sound of the bagpipes but the pipes playing Flower of Scotland as Scotland marched out to the screams of a home crowd at the 2014 Commonwealth, was proper hair on the back of your neck stuff. That’ll stay with me forever.
Thanks for chatting, keep well and big love to your Nana.