With some Football Firsts it's fair to say answers have to be coaxed from the interviewee but there was no such teeth pulling when we quizzed The Kooks drummer Paul Garred on his love for Brighton. A die-hard Albion fan since he was knee high to a drum kit, Paul likes nothing more than a Saturday afternoon watching the Seagulls. As a season ticket holder who is loving Gus Poyet's revolution on the coast, he was happy to take time out from promoting his band's new album Junk Of The Heart to regale us with his favourite Albion memories. From the Goldstone Ground to the Amex Stadium it's been an eventful journey.
I'm a season ticket holder at the Amex. I've been a season ticket holder forever to be honest, from the Goldstone era right through. It used to be £3 to get in on the terraces when I first started. A bit cheaper back then, wasn't it? We're brilliant at the moment; playing carpet football with width and guile. Gus Poyet is an incredible manager and I fully expect him to take us to the Premier League. Football and Brighton was the thing me and my dad bonded on most. It's probably changed a little now but back when I started going it was a real father/son set-up. The Goldstone was falling to bits but it really brought us together. It was our home but when it was taken off us me and my dad would make 170 mile round-trips to Gillingham to see our team play in front of 1,000. Pretty bizarre given we'd got 14,000 the season before. Dad went from the early sixties so he experienced something I've not seen until now, which is Brighton being a decent team. He saw some brilliant players - Peter Ward, Mark Lawrenson and Steve Foster. Mind you I saw Steve Foster but he was the wrong side of 35 at that point.
Brighton 0 Crystal Palace 2
It's quite hazy because I didn't like football at the time but my first game changed my mind. The crowd turned me. It was a friendly at the Goldstone against Crystal Palace of all teams, who are our rivals. I think I quite liked the atmosphere. I didn't quite understand what was going on and we lost 2-0. They had a decent team though, I think they'd just been promoted and had people like Chris Armstrong, John Salako and Eric Young - an ex Brighton boy. I've been to support Brighton at four grounds. The Goldstone is the one though where I've got so many happy memories from. We'd stand on the East Terrace, or what was left of it. I remember when George Harris scored a memorable goal against Bristol Rovers. A corner came in, the keeper caught it and all the players ran out. Harris stood with one hand on the post. The keeper put the ball down to kick it and Sneaky George, as he was known thereafter, ran and nicked the ball off him and stuck it in the net. I'll never forget it.
My first hero was a guy called Matty Edwards. I think we signed him from Tottenham. He was a nippy little winger who scored a couple of important goals. He scored against Manchester United in the League Cup one year. He then disappeared and I'm not sure what quite happened. He ended up at Sutton or someone like that. As a kid though I always remember really liking this guy. He was fast and could cut inside. I've always loved a good winger. Since then we've had players like Paul Brooker (pictured), Craig Noone and Will Buckley. Of the current lot, the quality of player Gus brings in means they're automatically brilliant.
There's always a few but one we've had collectively for a long time is Scott McGleish, I think he's at Bristol Rovers now. He's had spells at Leyton Orient and Northampton in the past. He's a pantomime villain who I tend to follow. He basically celebrated at the Goldstone in a 4-4 draw years ago in a style that didn't go down too well with our fans. Forever since it's been a love-hate thing. He always gets a bit of stick whenever he pitches up against Albion but it's all in good jest.
The North Stand, Goldstone Ground
The North Stand at the Goldstone. It just didn't stop singing. It was a mini, very mini Kop. It could probably only hold around 6,000 fans but they just never stopped. When you're a kid you don't really understand what they're singing but you just enjoy the atmosphere. The tactics side of it all takes time to understand, but you can enjoy the atmosphere, the sights and smells. Standing on a terrace on a crate peering over the bar. At the Amex now we've got a new North Stand. It's like going to the theatre these days; I can't believe it's ours. All travelling supporters should come and check it out. It's just a phenomenal building. Next season we're going to put in another tier and fill in the corners, it's three quarters done so far and it looks amazing already.
Probably best left unsaid
It's really annoying. I wasn't blessed with football ability. I tried but I just wasn't any good. It kind of made the decision to become a musician easy. I played for a few teams but I won't name names as I really wasn't very good at all. Best gloss over this one to be honest.
Brighton Tesco kit, circa 1992
It was in 1992 for Christmas. I got what has been dubbed the Tesco kit. Someone in their wisdom decided having striped shorts as well as striped shirts was a good idea. It had TSB as sponsors. I think I gave it away a couple of years ago to one of my cousins. We've definitely had better kits. It's something that's passed in a way but I'll get the odd retro one. Even though it's out of my lifetime I'd love to get hold of one of the Phoenix Brewery shirts - made by adidas (hint) - from around '85. I think that one looks really smart. There's something about vintage shirts that definitely appeals.
Crossroads, Bon Jovi
The first album I ever bought was a Christmas present. It was Crossroads by Bon Jovi. I don't think that's too bad actually. Could have been worse, couldn't it? I would have been really young, maybe five or six. At the moment I haven't toured for a while because of an injury so it's given me an opportunity to get a season ticket, which is something I haven't done for a while. The obligation of playing so many shows makes it very difficult to get to the games but I've managed them all so far.
New album 'Junk Of The Heart' is released on September 12th. Check out The Kooks official website for more details.