Podcast Episode 8 - Lucy Trodd on 'Goodbye To Love'

Comedian and singer Lucy Trodd (The Showstoppers!) takes us back to her childhood, as she reminisces about the song that made her change the way she listens to music.

Here's her story:

"Here we are! London - Wilton's Music Hall! I love this place. My friend got married here, and we sang her down the aisle. So that was nice. And I lived in London for 19 years. And three weeks ago I moved to Folkestone in Kent, by the sea. And I've had a lot of time to myself, because my husband is also an actor, and he's in Great Yarmouth doing The Tempest - he does serious stuff. So I've had a lot of sitting in the house by myself. I've got a little boy, but he goes to bed... And I realised that the house I've moved into is almost the carbon copy of ALL my childhood homes.

I didn't see the house before we made an offer on the house - because that's how it works these days. I was renting in London - very expensive - and now I can buy a house, a thing, I've got a thing that I own. And that feels quite smug in that it's really nice, and quiet, and life is slower, and it's like going back in time. It's like being a child again, only I'm the one in the grown ups bedroom, choosing carpets and that sort of thing... 

So I was thinking - it's like having homework this - "Choose your song! And tell people your story!"...

Music is of course important to us all, and I'd like to think that it's very important to me. I worked at The Jazz Cafe for a few years, and I saw incredible artists there every night. At sell-out gigs, I was very smug behind (mimes pulling a pint of beer) - actualy they didn't have pumps... I'll do a bottle opening mime instead. So I saw people like Jill Scott, and Gil Scott-Heron, and incredible jazz musicians and soul musicians. John Martyn, and people I loved but... you were moved by the music, but did it change my life? No, it just made working really fun. And I met a guy there, I met a DJ across the crowded room, and he'd dedicate songs to me... Those were my cooler years - I was thinner and blonder back then. And we went all around Scandinavia and I sang on some DJ tracks, and I was pretty hip... So I was trying to think of a song that meant something from those days. I was thinking of - I don't know if you know Matthew Herbert? He's got a big band, and there was a track called 'The Audience' that I loved. I mean I hope you might go and look these up, because that's an epic dance floor track. But again, that's indulgent and didn't necessarily change my life, or inform what I do now...

Then there was my first ever concert I went to - Bon Jovi, at Wembley... "Woo! We're halfway there...". And the last concert I went to which was Bellowhead, an incredible British folk band - eleven piece I think? And they're on their farewell tour now - check them out if you don't know them, they're mighty, they are who I want to die to, I want that music playing when I die. And that was at The Palladium... 

I can't tell you every song I've heard guys! We haven't got that long... 

So then I was thinking about my wedding song - but we couldn't think of a song that was significant. We got married in a lighthouse, and I had an incredible instrumental piece by Andy McKee, who plays 12-string guitar, and that was nice... But again we were searching for music to be significant. Our first dance was Stevie Wonder 'Sunshine of My Life' - and that didn't mean that much to us, but you know you have to choose a song don't you?

So now in the however many years I've been married - poissibly seven, maybe longer - it hasn't been played that much. And my little boy, he's got into singing and he does a great rendition of American Pie, where he rolls his 'rs' all the time. But again... I'm getting to the point... 

Between the ages of six of and nine, I lived in a massive falling apart Victorian house - I have to say it's falling apart because otherwise you'll think I've come from a posh family. Because people from my area - Dunstable, Bedfordshire - think that I'm quite posh. Whereas when I'm in London, they think I'm quite common...

Anyway, this house we bought in the early 80's fromn a woman called Barbara Butters, who my Dad informed me was a 'horsey' woman. I said that's a bit rude Dad, and he said, no she was into horses. And she left a lot of pictures of horses on the walls. And when we noved in there were servant bells and gas lamps and there was a maid's fire in the cellar. And everything about the house was huge, falling apart and incredibly terrifying. I spent thopse three years, every night, saying my prayers - I went to a Church school back then. My room backed on to the school playing field and the trees would literally scrape the windows at night... And my older sister lived on the floor above - she had a whole floor to herself, that she begged for. But I found out in our thirties that every night she used to creep up the stairs, testing she could scream in case somebody jumped out at her. So she was as terrifed as I was in this house. 

My father worked for British Gas for twenty-five years, and he dug holes in the road. My mum was a hair dresser, so we often had people jus thaving their haircut in the kitchen. And my dad would rescue strange animals, and we would give up worms to feed them - red-necked grebes, and all sorts of strange birds. 

So it was the house of houses for me. I feel like I was given my imagination with the keys - not that I was given keys, but, metaphorically... And we had traditional Vicotrian houses, so you had the dining room which was Laura-Ashleyed, mustard wallpaper and an upright piano. And that was like a free-for-all - anyone could go in there and play a cello or a piano to their ability... Quite low in my case. 

And then there was the front room. Very green - green carpet, green velvet Chesterfield - they exist! Or at least they existed back in the 80s... and my parents, they spent their money on music, so music was obviously something my family thought was a good thing...

And I would sneak down there in the terrified state that I lived in... and occasionally things would fall down from the fireplace, like old birds and ash and stuff, and that would just add to the secretiveness of being in that front room... And I would pull out this album... and I love the image of myself as a child in my school uniform, creeping in, to pull out old people's music essentially. My parents are from that vinyl loving generation in the 70s where you would queue for an album at the record shop, and then you'd walk around with it under your arm, looking cool, like Dark Side of The Moon... Led Zeppelin II... But whereas my generation were more of a 'double-casette from Woolworths'... I seem to remember one of the first albums I purchased was 'Now That's What I Call Music 4'... Featuring hits like The Ghostbusters theme, Tina Turner, Phil Collins... all those guys... 

And now they're on Now 93! But it still has David Bowie on it... So there is some hope for this generation... 

And my sister was quite cool - she'd listen to the charts, she'd tape the charts off the radio - you know how you used to be able to get a casette, and then put in blu-tack or chew up some paper, and then you could re-record over the cassette? My sister used to do that. 

Whereas I snuck in and listened to my parents records... 

Although both of my parents have denied owning this record. And you'll see why...

And I love the image of myself listening to these tragic lyrics, and singing them joyfully as a six-to-nine year old child, not having a clue what they meant but just falling in love with the melody. And that's why I've chosen this track because I feel like it changed the way I listened to music. 

If I like an artist, like Jon Bon Jovi for example - I would just buy THESE DAYS, the album, and listen to that over and over and over. And that's what I still do now - I don't buy all the records, I just listen to one, quite obsessively. 

This house of imagination was where everything happened. It was before the time the burglars came and took away our Amiga 2000 and all our family jewellery and all our sense of security - and then we had real reason to be terrified on a nightly basis... And it was the time before my mum got depressed, and before my dad got pneumonia...

So what lies in the future is a mystery to us all
No one can predict the wheel of fortune as it falls, 
There may come a time when I will see that I've been wrong, 
But for now, this is my song...

And it's 'Goodbye To Love'..."