My favourite song came from a festival and a friendship - Alexander Brown

Festivals have given me some of my best memories, and also my favourite song which is All My Friends, by LCD Soundsystem.

It’s not that I am certain it is the best song ever, though you’d be hard pushed to convince me otherwise, but it is the one that has the most range.

Want to boogie in the kitchen? Dance to All My Friends. Feeling lonely and want to mope? Listen to the lyrics of All My Friends. Going running and want to rethink every decision you’ve ever made while doing so? Play All My Friends.

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But this is love not one blinded by nostalgia, it’s instead based on it being objectively good, and the song I most associate with one of my greatest friendships.

Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesGlastonbury Festival. Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Joe and I had met at university, where we were friends, but not close.

He was the year above, and we played for the philosophy football team, River Plato.

We got along and then he left, with his absence acknowledged without ever being felt.

He was someone I spent time with but didn’t really know, a background character among my friends.

Then I graduated, and desperate for a job after being passed around news organisations like an unpaid hot potato, I went back into education for a journalism course.I moved to deepest darkest south London for my qualification, he inexplicably lived there out of choice.

Knowing very few people and having little interest in travel, we started to spend time together.

I’d go over and play Fifa, we’d repeat lines from podcasts we liked, and talk about how evil we perceived different political parties to be.

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He welcomed me into his group and home based on nothing but the possibility of us being friends, and we soon became close.

Not only that, we’d play each other music, passing round the aux cord as I would look nervously at the floor hoping I’d picked something cool.

It was then he played me LCD Soundsystem, a band that manages to blend dance, electronica, and post-punk with the devastating lyrics my Smiths obsessive parents raised me on.

I was immediately a fan, but not obsessed, something that changed at the best place in the world, Glastonbury festival.

I had gone with my then girlfriend, he went with his now wife, in an arc that is considerably more depressing written down.

We saw LCD Soundsystem close out the festival while our partners went to see Coldplay on the main stage, which in hindsight was a clear red flag.

Standing front row as the sun set over Glastonbury, listening to All My Friends with a man who could have passed me by, I felt so lucky to be sharing that moment.

I was so aware that I was seeing now one of my favourite bands, with someone I could have missed, at the climax of the best five days of the year.

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It was one of the most moving and beautiful moments of my life, hearing a song about growing up, friendship, and learning to change.

Even now I cannot listen to it without getting goosebumps. All My Friends is my favourite song, and I can’t wait for a festival to make me feel like that again.



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