50 Tunes For 50 Years: Cocteau Twins

Like most people I know I grew up with the immortal words “turn that bleeding racket down”, my mum continuously shouting up the stairs as she failed miserably to end my addiction to the Cocteau Twins, the glorious “racket” that soundtracked my teenage years. On a mid-80s Binatone cassette player obviously. And yet regardless of the misery their effects-driven guitars appeared to infer, they were the most joyous of sounds to my heart. Skipping as it did to the immersive soundscapes they created with each and every play.

True, neither I or my friends had a clue what she was blithering on about half the time, love songs, tales of revenge or despair, we’d no idea but it didn’t stop me feeling invincible with every listen. The apparent lyrics “The Honey monster’s got me pooh bear!” a call to mohair-covered arms. My fellow gothic wonders and I hanging out in Colchester Art Centre’s graveyard or that freezing cold squat I still shiver to think of, took Fraser, Guthrie and Heggie to our teenage hearts, their god-like presence ensuring every emotion felt was fuelled by their 4AD dreamscapes. Unrequited love, drunken experiments, midnight dances and dodgy mohair jumpers brought together by the Scottish sonic bliss they created.

For the Cocteau Twins encapsulated everything about those glorious long days of potential, hopes and fears, giggles and oddness. Days of being the kook who found her clan, the queer who was no longer ashamed and the sensitive soul who blushed if you touched her knee but somehow couldn’t quite bring herself to stop wearing those skinny black ripped jeans. Yes to paraphrase one of the greatest albums of all time, my gothic grail overfloweth with happiness as I waxed and waned my way towards adulthood. Thanks to the Cocteau Twins and a gothic few called Anna, Jane, William, Pauly and Jeannine, I found the garlands that allowed me to flower.

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