"My absolute favourite band of all time" has changed over the years. When I was a teenager, my absolute favourite band changed pretty frequently and each were going to be my absolute favourites forever... until another one came along.
My first CD
The first ever CD I bought was Grinspoon's Pushing Buttons EP, back in 1998, in my second year of high school. I still remember the moment so clearly: I bought it from a little CD shop in Oakleigh Central and it was thrilling, liberating to buy it, with my own money. I remember clutching it all the way home in its little white paper bag it came in. I could now choose to listen to whatever music I wanted, without being constrained to only my parent's music collection. A little step towards independence. Although my dad's music collection was pretty hot: Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Beetles, Queen... I was fortunate to grow up on that!
My first absolute favourite band
I got hooked Placebo. They were angsty and different and I loved it - and my parents hated it. I thought the androgynous Brian Molko with his unusual voice was pretty damn cool. I guess it wasn't so much that I liked their look (tight pants have never done anything for me, nor have men in mini skirts, no matter how cute they are), but they just represented something different that I identified with at the time. They remained my favourite band for ages, until they released a bunch of dud albums. Placebo toured in 1999 but I was too young to see them play at the Prince of Wales. But then my brother told me that they were doing a CD signing at Gaslight Music! I actually got to meet them. I was shaking. The signed CD is still sitting happily on my shelf.
Present "absolute favourite bands"
Now my favourite bands are Lamb, followed closely by Massive Attack. I first discovered Lamb back in 2001 when I overheard some people at a bus stop discussing them and I thought they sounded like my kind of thing. Lou Rhodes is a beautiful singer and I had the fortune to see her play last year. It was chilling. She's one of those people who exude balance, calm and serenity, but intense passion at the same time, and it comes through in their music. Lamb's music is uplifting (even their "darker" stuff on their latest album is uplifting) and soothing to the soul. Very earthy.
Massive Attack's albums are on the same level (same genre too), although they have a terrific balance of dark, grittiness and beautiful, joyful songs.