Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8er Boi’ single was released in 2002, when Sean was 10 or 11 years old; The Darkness’ ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ came out in 2003. Sean really loved both these tracks in an innocent time before his musical taste began to mature, and the latter was probably a stepping-stone to the liking he developed for guitar rock and heavy metal not very long after.
I remember him telling us earnestly that ‘Sk8er Boi’ (which I mention in my song ‘The Heat of Love’) had a great story … he always liked songs with stories to them. The premise of Avril’s hit (which reached number 1 in Ireland, but nowhere else) was ‘He was a punk/She did ballet/What more can I say?’ (quite a lot, as it turned out).
The Darkness were a strange band … Justin Hawkins, the lead singer, was gifted vocally and as a guitarist, but (as far as I could see) they seemed to start out as a parody of glam/heavy rock, or of themselves, and then had nowhere to go, as nobody took them seriously (calling their second album One Way Ticket to Hell … and Back probably didn’t help). It might have been a better career move to postpone the ‘irony’ for 20 years or so, like Status Quo.
‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ is still irresistibly catchy, though.