This is the Noise That Keeps Me Awake, Garbage and me.


Garbage are my all time favourite band. I have loved them ever since a 12 year old me heard their Bond theme The World is Not Enough on the radio. I bought the single and remember seeing the picture of the band on the inside cover. Shirley looked cool, tough, strong, different.  I instantly needed to know more. I remember rifling through my stack of Now cd compilations. I found one from a few years earlier. It had their eerie ballad Milk on it. I remember putting it on my cd player and being transported. The song was beautiful, weird, creepy, haunting. It was like nothing I'd ever heard. It was love. 

Since then I have followed them closely. I've been lucky enough to see them live quite a few times and have forced their music on everyone I know! (Most of the time with success!) I have pored over every interview I could find. When the band announced they were releasing a book (not long after their 20th anniversary of their brilliant debut album) I was beyond excited. This is a document of the band over the years through photographs and in their own words.


If you are at all familiar with the band you will know they put a lot of thought into the design and look of their artwork. Their singles from their debut album were released in special vinyl packages- including one made of metal, one of cloth and one of rubber. The singles from their second album Version 2.0 were released in special mini disc blister packs. They released their third album Beautiful Garbage in a special edition origami like fold out rose. Each album even has it's own specific font. Therefore it was no surprise that this book would be visually stunning. The design is TO DIE FOR! So please excuse the fact I have included so many pictures in this post but I wanted to include some of my favourite pages. 


Hiding underneath the dust jacket was this embossed logo of their record label StunVolume. I love these beautiful touches. 


This image of Shirley in the matchstick dress was the second image I ever saw of her. The face to the voice. I was an awkward, shy freckled kid who didn't fit in. I looked through the booklet to my Now cd where they had this picture and a brief write up of the band. I remember having to wait for my Birthday until I had money so that I could buy the two Garbage albums that were out at the time.

Everyday after school I would come home, put my headphones on and disappear into the music. It was like my own private hideout. Their music was strange, and creepy, strong and vulnerable. It was everything to a weird kid like me.  

As I got a little older I remember begging my Mum to dye my hair red. She let me. I started wearing black eyeliner. reading about feminism. getting into other bands like Siouxsie & the Banshees, Hole, Patti Smith. If Shirley mentioned them I'd look them up. I bought red lipstick. Studded black jeans. I felt like a badass. Shirley inspired me. Through the music and her no nonsense interviews she gave me confidence. 


Fast forward and I am now 31. I still love Garbage just as much as I did and Shirley is still my hero. I don't dye my hair red anymore- I have my own style (although I still love my leopard coat and black boots), thanks to Shirley I am not afraid to be who I am, have my own opinions or make wrong decisions. I've been through many ups and downs and Garbage has always been there for me. To me they are more than just a band. 

This post started out as a book review and ended up being as much about me as the book. When This is the Noise That Keeps Me Awake arrived it took me right back to first discovering them. It took me back to being an awkward sky kid. A moody teenage goth. A lost early twenty something. This band have been with me for so long they feel a part of me. This book was an emotional experience. Full of connections. 


This is the Noise that Keeps me Awake is full of unseen photographs though the years, honest insight from the band and their personal experiences. There is a full discography, themed cocktail recipes, a list of every gig they've ever played. The book includes details of all their music videos and stories about the making of them. Tour stories, and two of my favourite pages- each band members first single, album, and gig and each band members top five favourite Garbage songs. 

Basically it is a Garbage fans DREAM.

 Another of my favourite pages- some of Shirleys favourite outfits.

Simply put this post is a big gushing mess of love for Garbage and This is the Noise That Keeps me Awake. Although it is highly unlikely the band will ever see this little blog post I want to thank them with all my little black heart for everything and more. And especially thank you Shirley, for your words, your voice, your power, your intelligence. Thank you for never letting me down. 

With love always,
Shell x

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