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Date: 06/06/13

Button saying '10 Out Of 10'

10 Out Of 10 - Reich und Kraft (2009)

Music was my first love / And it will be my last

A cliché, of course, but like all clichés it has coalesced around a kernel of truth.

I simply cannot imagine my life without music. The late Rob Buckman once wrote that when Roy Plomley asked his guests on Desert Island Discs how important music was to them, it was an otiose question because the guest would immediately recognise that without music they would be reduced to sucking their shoelaces for solace.

(I regard anyone who does not appreciate music as being somehow a less-than-fully-rounded human being. This is not to say, however, that love of music is any indication to the contrary; within living memory there are tales of cultured people who would go home of an evening and sit listening to great music and reading improving literature before passing a restful night and going refreshed in mind and body back into work the next day to carry on the onerous task of extermining the enemies of the Reich).

Speaking - rather unfortunately in the context - of Germany, one of the greatest sources of musical enjoyment to me down the last four decades has been the output of Düsseldorf's finest, namely Die Mensch Maschine itself, Kraftwerk. You can read about this in more detail here, where I rhapsodise about the thirty-fifth anniversary of the release of Autobahn.

Up to the summer of 2009, I had only ever seen one 'name' band live, when I had gone with some like-minded fellows to see Hawkwind at the Liverpool Empire. So the invitation to accompany my friends Tez and Wendy to see Kraftwerk at what was then called the Manchester Velodrome (now re-branded as the National Cycling Centre) as part of the Manchester International Festival was only achieved by them buying my ticket without telling me first.

The full story of that remarkable evening can be read by clicking on the 10 out of 10 button at the top of this piece.