08.11.2023 | “I Know I’ve Been Taught to Take the Blame”

Lyrics: “Better Man” – Robbie Williams, 2000

Every once in a while it’s good to remember that other songwriters wrote lyrics I could relate to even before Frank Turner came into my life. He did and does it best, of course, but I had found songs with words that rung true to me before him. Robbie released that song in 2000. Where / who would I be now if I had considered therapy back then already? What a waste of time in a way. Anyway….

New Sound Experience | Back in October – before this bout of COVID – I was determined to take part in NaNoWriMo. To be able to focus more on my writing I decided to replace my old slightly broken Over-Ears Headphones and after some researched ordered a new one. Active Noise Cancelling and all.

Closeup photo of my new headphones.
My new headphones

It took till today that I finally unpacked it and set it up. Definitely a nice experience. I’m not sure if the active noise cancelling is something I actually needed and I so far I haven’t really noticed the difference from “normal” to “active noise cancelling”. Maybe because my volume is usually turned up high.

Sad Music Moments | Earlier today while I was finally doing some admin in my finances (like moving my income tax refund to a saving account) I was listening to a mix on TIDAL and the opening chords of Frightened Rabbit’s “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” came through the new headphones. I had to pause what I was doing, because I haven’t listened to Frightened Rabbit in too long and it’s such a good song. Even though I’ve never been a proper fan or knew all that much of their music, it still breaks my heart that Scott decided to leave this world.

For reasons explained further down this evening I sentimentally went on Google Maps and looked up the area around the multi-function arena I knew as the Stockholm Globe. I then saw what it had been renamed to and my heart felt heavy once more. Again, I’ve never been a proper fan, but I liked some of his stuff and it’s sad to know that Tim (aka Avicii) also decided to leave this world before his time.

Collage of screengrab of the Avicii Arena logo and a screenshot of the arena on google maps
Avicii Arena

Robbie Williams | I don’t watch a lot of TV at the moment except maybe put on vintage Gilmore Girls as a background sound for other stuff. Probably while switching that off again I came across this brand new (as in released today!) limited series / documentary

Robbie Williams documentary on Netflix

I’m usually not into these kind of celebrity documentaries, because how candid and real is the content after all? It is the version the director and/or subject of the documentary wants us to see and I sometimes – maybe unfairly – think that it’s all a bit phony and maybe just a means to an end to promote the new album / film or whatever.

Having said all that I tuned in the first episode and I will watch the others over the next few days. I admit I always had a soft spot for Robbie among all the guys from all the boybands of the 90s. I was a bit too old to be a fan of either band, at least neither ever really caught my interested. But I liked that goofy kid in that band. I didn’t directly follow his career after the band broke up, but I have quite vivid memories of buying the “Angels” CD single (!!! yes those kind of things) in a mall near the Globe in south Stockholm in the winter of 1997/98 during my term abroad. (Hence the check if the mall is still there etc).

For a while I followed Robbie’s career when it took off, bought the CDs and all that. I did and still do love quite a few of the songs from that time. In his lyrics he sometimes was quite open about his mental health struggles like in “Better Man” and “Strong” and that was something I could relate to. Quite a bit of the documentary so far has been him being confronted with “behind the scenes” film material from the early days like him being off his tits for most of the recording of the first album. At least that’s what it seemed to me. Material from the time around his (first?) stint in rehab and all that. It was painful to watch even for me and I’m not involved in any way.

I’m curious to see what the other parts will focus on and to go on a sentimental journey back through the last 2.5 decades, because that’s how long he’s been around as a solo artist. We’re soooo old.

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