Sean’s music 4 … Kings of Leon

Aaron and Sean in Virginia

Sean started to download Kings of Leon songs on the other computer in 2007 or so – his friend Aaron had recommended them to him. I liked the tracks, and came to regard KoL as a seriously good band. Proper American rock … what could be better?

We bought the third CD, Because of the Times, and listened to it in the car a lot. Later we acquired the first two CDs, Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak … they were Christmas presents to me, as I recall.

All three CDs were excellent (we didn’t listen much to the later KoL stuff, which didn’t seem as good). Because of the Times was mislaid, I think; I haven’t seen or heard it for a while, but those particular songs will always bring me back to a time and place … the magic of short journeys with Sean in the car, listening to them, talking about them and enjoying them together.

He was in the middle of his teenage years and completing his days at school, and those songs remind me of how he was at the time. That’s why the tracks I’ve chosen below are mainly from that album and it’s why they will always have the power to make his mum and me cry, I would say.

Sean and Aaron saw Kings of Leon at the Oxegen festival in 2008 … they stood at the very front of the crowd. Sean absolutely loved it … he texted his mum to say ‘I can die now’, or words to that effect. But of course his musical tastes would move on, as always, before he did die. Sean had a restless spirit.

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8 Comments

Filed under Memories, Music

8 responses to “Sean’s music 4 … Kings of Leon

  1. Rainer the cabbie

    I have great memories of the KOL. Thank you for milk, I bought the album.
    But the KOL didn’t get any proper recognition in Australia until “Only By The Night” made the airways.

    It fitted in with being a late night cabbie and I bought the CD, fell in love with it and pleased a many of adolescent customers with turning it up.

    Best memory is of this Irish Backpacker, going home alone, fairly “happy” though, being in heaven when I nearly blew the speakers with this track :

    The absolute favourite at the time was :


    They went mad for it !

    But the old cabbies best track was this :

    Thanks Brendan, and Sean, for this great trip down memory lane….

    • Thanks, Rainer, for the comment and clips. I admit to being something of a KoL fundamentalist, bigoted in favour of the first three albums. 🙂

      The band became hugely popular in Ireland at an early stage, probably by word of mouth, and headlined the 2008 Oxegen festival, which was huge. They’ll be headlining at Slane (another big one … I saw the Stones, Dylan and Bowie there) next year.

      I think they have great melodies, some quirky lyrics and themes, a good rocking sound and excellent vocals … Caleb Followill has such a distinctive croaky voice. Everything a band needs.

      Another favourite:

  2. Rainer the cabbie

    Oh you purists!
    OK, it was a feat to pack this hilly billy Texas barn sound into rock’n roll and sell it to the world.
    Check out the lyrics in revelry, you may find something familiar. 🙂

  3. Messages keep coming in from people who have heard about Sean. This just arrived on a card:

    ‘Words could not express the sorrow we have for you. I cannot believe that your beautiful boy has been taken from you. There could not have been a star shining in the sky that night or it would not have happened.

    I have the fondest memories of Sean, he was full of life, very well mannered & most handsome. The world had to have been a better place with him in it.

    I hadn’t seen Sean since I left Munterconnaught but looking at Facebook … he looked as if he was full of life and enjoying it, he had his mischievous glint in his eye.

    I pray there is another place we all go from here where at least you can feel that someone somewhere is enjoying his company right now. I’m sure there is.’

  4. Cymbeline

    I like the boys’ attempt at the ‘hard boy’ look in the photograph.

  5. Sean’s friend Aisling F left this message on Sean’s Facebook page last week:

    ‘Day 6- A song that reminds you of somewhere; donegal 2008 with Sean Obrien and all the lads 🙂 Sean wouldnt let us play anything off CC’s ipod except Kings of Leon and Betty Davis Eyes :D’

    [The song is ‘Charmer’]

    His friend Aaron Q (in the photo) left this message on Sean’s page today:

    ‘Day 4- a song that makes me sad. I guess all kings of leon’s songs will now make me sad since they were me and Sean Obrien’s favourite band, but this has a special place in my heart. We got right up to the front for this concert and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. This was the Encore, and we hadn’t heard it yet and I do believe this was the happiest moment of our lives up until then.’

    [The song is ‘Crawl’.]

  6. In reply to Aaron’s comment above, Pauline wrote:

    ‘That’s a great way of looking at it. I believe it’s not over for Sean – he has moved on. I also know he is helping us when we need it. Recently I became aware of a warm feeling around my heart even when I was sad. I think that energy is coming from Sean – I send him love and he sends me love.’

    Aaron then replied:

    ‘ 🙂 Only Sean eh!
    I am as well, and I’m thankful I got to join him on a part of his grand journey.’

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