Sean listened to Oasis quite a lot … one more part of the soundtrack to his life, and mine. His favourite tracks were the ones in the clips below. We bought Stop the Clocks, a compilation double CD, some years back, and used to listen to it in the car. It was one of those that we all liked; good melodic songs from a guitar band.*
I have a vivid memory of driving down our road on a sunny evening in the summer of 2009 with Sean in the passenger seat and our neighbour Andy in the back, on our way to play Astroturf football, with the irresistibly upbeat ‘She’s Electric’ on the CD player. A happy time, with no worries and no notion of what the future held.
‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ reminds me that Sean was quite keen on both … part of his philosophy of living life to the full. He never smoked (nor swore, for that matter) in front of his mum or me, and we found out only quite recently that he had been smoking for a few years (there are various photos of him with a cigarette). I disapproved strongly, and pestered him to quit. I think he would have, as he was quite health-conscious. He was in a social scene where a lot of people smoked; he would have moved on. He had been talking to his mother about making changes in his life.
He enjoyed a few ciders, although I never once saw him noticeably drunk … I think he could drink quite a lot without showing it. He was always perfectly lucid after nights out, but of course some of the time he was staying at his apartment or with friends, and may have got drunk then. No different from my behaviour at that age, in any case, and regarded as perfectly normal here. Drinking was often associated with singing, in the Irish manner … Sean liked to sing, again like the teenage me.
‘Wonderwall’ reminds me of the 1994 World Cup, when Sean was almost three. We watched some matches in the next-door neighbours’ house, and had a few drinks; Andrew, a talented child, was playing ‘Wonderwall’ on the guitar and singing it at the age of six or so. His sister Olivia, a childhood playmate of Sean and Susanna, visited us this weekend; it was great to see her after more than 12 years.
‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ reminds me of bus trips with the Cavan rugby under-16s in 2006–07 – it was one of their anthems. ‘Songbird’ reminds me of sitting in this room with Sean … it strikes me as very ‘un-Oasis’; I amused him by having to ask him several times over the years who it was (getting forgetful in my old age).
*Sean was a kind of guitar bigot, and disliked keyboards … I tried to get him interested in Rory Gallagher, but it didn’t take – I suspect because there was a piano on some Gallagher tracks. He told me that, as he put it, he respected Gallagher’s work; but he never listened voluntarily to Gallagher as far as I know. One of our few musical incompatibilities.