From about the age of 11 onwards I was obsessed with music. I developed all the usual symptoms: buying too many records, taping songs from the radio, learning the guitar. I progressed along the well trodden path of buying albums rather than singles - spending hours in record shops flicking through vinyl with fellow obsessives - going to gigs, following obscure paths to new music, and playing in a band. The music I listened to between the ages of 11 and 21 probably had more effect on me than pretty much anything else: it affected how I dressed, how I spoke, and who I was friends with; it led me to books, films, and artists I might never have discovered otherwise. For better and worse, it made me what I am today.