Love Letter To A Record: West Thebarton’s Brian Bolado On ‘Royal Headache’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.

Brian Bolado, West Thebarton: Royal Headache – ‘Royal Headache’

You came into my life as I was running late for class on a Thursday morning. My lack of punctuality was habitual and the week had been uneventful. As I packed my things in the hallway, I heard you singing Never Again out of our bathroom and I stopped to make sense of what I was hearing. It felt like you had thrown a rusty spear into my heart, only to scream and apologise about your poor marksmanship seconds later. I sat there crossed-legged on the bathroom floor listening to you the entire morning.

I’ll be the first to admit our love isn’t the greatest or perfect in any way but, in that moment of time, it was the one I really needed. I fell in love when I least expected it.

You had me with your scrappy guitars, nodding basslines and drums which thumped about like cardboard at breakneck speed. You never gave things a second-thought and I was drawn to your urgency. I was nervous, overthinking everything and you took me by the hand running. You weren’t without self doubt and anxiety either. There were times I’d only just make out what you were trying to say, but I could rely on you to be there.

I adore you and all of your limbs. You’ve got the amazing opening lines of ‘Psychotic Episode’ (“I am the anti-psychotic / I’ve tried a range of hypnotics / I am the perfect advert for living impaired”); your blissful tango of ‘Wilson Street’ before the lament of ‘Honey Joy’ (“When I saw you climbing up a mountain / and I could not share in your joy / I just threw my coins into the fountain”) and the respite of swelling feedback in ‘Girls’.

I love nothing more about you than ‘Down The Lane’ – a joyful number that bops around before escalating into a reprise of unrequited love (”I was number one”). Truth be told, every single time I hear that cathartic chorus, it tears me apart (“Love, love, love, love, love / Tried to be her steady but I don’t think she’s ready enough / And I hurt myself for reasons I can’t explain / And I’ve watched her changing seasons down the lane”).

I’ll talk about you to anyone that’s willing to listen. You taught me the value of substance over surface and it’s real love. I’m so very glad you spilled your heart out and decided jump around in it for me.



West Thebarton’s debut album, ‘Different Beings Being Different’ is out May 18. You can catch the band on tour with the new record this June. Head here for dates and tickets.

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