Like many 14-year-olds, all I did was play or watch football. It was while doing the latter, one Saturday as the nets bulged on Goal of the Month, that I heard a sound so wonderful it felt like it had come from another dimension.
My older brother Graham said it was The Stone Roses' She Bangs the Drums, so I saved up for their album on tape by sweeping floors at Superquinn in Ballinteer. Before long the magic of these four guys from Manchester, the last gang in town, had me hooked, and I became the best customer of Freebird, Record Collector, Comet and Borderline. One week I'm rummaging at a Belfast record fair, the next buying a limited-edition Japanese double-gatefold bootleg in Camden Market.
Each song from this masterpiece is a timeless, uplifting anthem where hope and optimism reign supreme. Ian Brown's vocals get criticised, but that ignores the more significant underlying message or theme; it's like dismissing a poet for poor handwriting. Songs like (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister and Elizabeth My Dear blend a mistrust of power and the establishment with the boundless confidence and call to arms of She Bangs the Drums, Made of Stone and I Am the Resurrection.
It introduced me to almost all my favourite groups. I still play it a lot. It inspired me to learn the drums and guitar at 15 and is the reason I've been writing and singing since my first band, aged 16. – In conversation with Niall Byrne
King Bones, a six-piece from Dublin, have just released the EP My Best Friend