Music and Mental Health podcast, with Katy Georgiou. As featured in NME’s Podcast of the People series and Therapy Today


Trigger warning: This episode contains references to childhood sexual abuse, racism, self-harm, suicidal ideation, drug use and also contains some details of a traumatic incident involving fire. (See support links below.)

In Part 2 of the Oasis and Mental Health mini series, I interview previous @OasisPodcast guest @Cynthializa, who is a stylist at Selfridges. In her previous interview with James from Oasis Pod (see Oasis Podcast, episode 47), Cynthia credits Oasis for her decision to quit her job as a teacher in Canada to study at the London College of Fashion and pursue her dream of being a stylist. 

However, there's another part to that story which she didn't reveal at the time: a harrowing incident which had left her suicidal and dependent on drugs, until a chance conversation with Liam Gallagher backstage at a festival helped set her psychologically free and on a path to recovery.

Frustratingly (for me at least), discussions on Oasis are typically framed around a white, British male focus, and this episode moves away from that entirely. We explore Cynthia's experiences of childhood sexual abuse and racism growing up in a mixed race family, and she explains how Oasis songs helped to soothe her from this in her teenage years. We then look at a traumatic incident that occurred in her early adult life which initially set her off on a destructive path of self-harm, low self-worth, drug abuse and suicidal feelings. Again, she describes how it was the music of Oasis, and in particular Noel Gallagher's resolve, that helped to soothe her in post traumatic stress and eventually overcome her drug dependency. Finally, she describes a chance conversation she had backstage at Roskilde festival with Liam Gallagher, whose words of wisdom in response to her pain helped shift her mindset about her self worth and cemented her decision to move to the UK and turn her life around completely.


To get in touch:

Twitter @SoundAffectsPod



Support Sound Affects Podcast:


Please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.


Follow Cynthia: @LizaStyle 

Follow Oasis Podcast: @OasisPodcast


For help and support with any of the issues raised:

The Women and Girls Network (for all women and girls affected by all forms of violence and abuse):

Survivors UK, for survivors of male sexual abuse

Support links for burns and scars:


For help with addiction and dependency:


Samaritans: 116 123 or

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I've collaborated with James from Oasis Podcast for a mini series over the next few weeks and months exploring the theme of Oasis and mental health. Why Oasis, why mental health? I have openly expressed my love for Oasis since starting this podcast, and it remains a running theme throughout as I get to grips with exactly what it is about the band that has such an effect on me and millions of others. Meanwhile, I'm a professional psychotherapist and interested in a clearer emotional understanding of we're impacted. Rather than exploring it alone, I collaborated with Oasis Podcast, the official audio guide to Oasis so we can document this properly. 

This first episode of the mini series is our interview with Manchester comedian Rachel Fairburn, who explains why Oasis are the reason she's able to do what she does now. 

Follow Rachel Fairburn on Twitter @RachelFairburn and her podcast All Killa No Filla @KillNoFillPod

Follow James @OasisPodcast

Follow Sound Affects Podcast @SoundAffectsPod

Please subscribe, like, tweet us, leave us messages, or contact me at

We'll be back with much more

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With Father's Day on Sunday and male mental health awareness week this week, here are some clips of Alan McGee, Bez of Happy Mondays and Mark from Skunk Anansie talking to me about their relationships with their fathers and sons.



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Welcome back to Sound Affects Podcast.

This episode is split in two parts, exploring the impact of the pandemic on musicians, and the work that Tonic Music for Mental Health are doing to address this.

Part 1 is an interview with patron of the charity, Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols) about his own life, career and previous struggles with drug addiction.

Part 2 is an interview with Tonic Music for Mental Health's co-ordinator, Jeordie Shenton, a PhD researcher exploring substance misuse among working musicians.

For more info, visit

Barry's Flying Circus Facebook:
Barry's Flying Circus Instagram: @barrysflyingcircus
Barry's Flying Circus Twitter @BarrysFlying
Facebook: TonicMusicForMentalHealth

Other support mentioned in this episode:

Samaritans: 116 123



My Black Dog:

HSA, support for survivors of Hillsborough: hsa–

Follow Sound Affects Podcast:

Twitter @SoundAffectsPod


Buy me coffee/donate to Sound Affects at

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James McMahon was Features Editor of NME in the early 2000s, and the Editor of Kerrang 2011-2017. He now freelances, writing about music, gaming and mental health. 

We discuss life at NME and Kerrang, the merits of music journalism as an endeavour, the chaotic lifestyle of journalism, what it means to be a music fan, and James's lifelong struggles with OCD which ultimately led him to leave Kerrang and re-evaluate his life.

Photo Credit: Tom Oxley

For more on James and his projects:


His OCD Chronicles, where he interviews peoples with OCD:

Indie Heaven, where he tracks down childhood indie heros:

For support with OCD:

OCD Action helpline: 08453906232

To find a support group:

OCD Stories (stories and podcasts on OCD):

To find a therapist trained in working with OCD:

More info and advice:

Mad Covid:

Order of episode:

Intro, and explanation of OCD, intrusive thoughts and images: 0.00–19.30

Rage Against The Machine, Know Your Enemy: 0.21
The Doors, Love Me Two Times: 2.33
Nirvana, Polly: 5.55
Morphine, Shame: 8.55
NGHFB, Alone on the Rope: 11.20

Interview with James: 19.30–1.56.59

Morphine, Cure for Pain: 1.29.10

Interview with James ends: 1.56.59

Sub-Pop Sundays, You Amaze Me: 1.56.60

Outro, support and contact info: 1.57.56

Follow Sound Affects Podcast:
Twitter @SoundAffectsPod
Facebook @SoundAffectsPod
Instagram sound_affects_podcast


Subscribe to Sound Affects on iTunes/Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all preferred platforms

Support Sound Affects Podcast

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Jonathan Antoine was a finalist in 2012 Britain's Got Talent, and has since gone on to release 5 studio albums and a Christmas album Christmasland out now.

Twitter @jonantoine

Christmasland album out now

5th Studio album Going the Distance also out now

Follow Sound Affects Podcast:

@SoundAffectsPod (Twitter and Facebook)

sound_affects_podcast (Instagram)


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October 3, 2020

Episode 14: Steve Lamacq

Welcome back to Sound Affects podcast, after a long hiatus during which time we've been in a 6-month lockdown/post-lockdown pandemic.

In this episode, I speak to Steve Lamacq, aka Lammo – BBC radio DJ for BBC 6 Music, former NME journalist and co-host of BBC Radio 1 Evening Session with Jo Whiley, founder of Deceptive Records (Elastica, Placebo, Idelwild), and author of Going Deaf for a Living. He famously interviewed Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers in the early 90s, resulting in one of the most iconic and sobering NME images of all time. I wanted to speak to Steve in more depth about this experience and other complex encounters that he documents in his book.

IDLES, who we discuss in this episode, will be performing on Steve’s BBC Radio 6 show today, Monday 5th October. If you miss it, you can catch up for 30 days on BBC Sounds:

As ever, please leave comments below, reviews on iTunes/Apple Pod, or follow Sound Affects on Twitter/Facebook @SoundAffectsPod and Instagram @sound_affects_podcast. Email I love hearing from you!

WARNING: This episode explores self-harm. Please see links below for support and help with self harm/injury:


Link to Going Deaf for a Living by Steve Lamacq:


Thank you for all of your support.

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In Part 2 of Episode 13 with Marianne Rizkallah, she talks more about music therapy, her role as Director of North London Music Therapy, plus I visit her in her home where I discover she is a member of Crouch End Festival Chorus, through which she toured with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds in 2015. This leads us to a discussion about her experiences on that tour, and we explore the transcendental nature of music and how this affects us. Finally, we look at Marianne's work as a singing teacher, and her work with music therapy and autism.

Follow Marianne and British Association for Music Therapy on Twitter:

For music therapy sessions with Marianne, visit

For more on Guildhall School of Music and Drama, visit


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In Part 1 of episode 13, I speak to music therapist Marianne Rizkallah about her role as vice chair of BAMT,  her work with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, her journey into music therapy and how music therapy works, particularly with refugees and survivors of trafficking, war conflict and other traumatic and sexual abuse. She gives me a sample music therapy session to exemplify how it works, and discusses her various other roles as a choir member and cantor, exploring links between her own therapy and psychoanalysis with confession.

Follow Marianne and British Association for Music Therapy on Twitter:

For music therapy sessions with Marianne, visit

For more on Guildhall School of Music and Drama, visit


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When Jess Greenfield got a call to say she was joining Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, she was obviously delighted. She was also pregnant in a long-term relationship (now husband) with Gav Condor. Faced with the choice of motherhood or a successful career, Jess was confronted with a painful dilemma that many women find themselves in in their 30s. In a male-heavy music industry climate, this dilemma is magnified where the support structures for women to have children and maintain careers as touring musicians are not adequately in place. Jess and Gav explore what choice they eventually made, and the impact of it on their marriage and individual self-esteem. They also speak candidly about their relationship as the musical duo The Kondoors – the ups and downs they’ve faced and how their romantic, marital journey gets mapped onto that.

Disclaimer: I do not own any music used in this podcast. It is used for discussion purposes under fair use law.

Support and advice provided below.

Music – The Kondoors, 'Forgiveness'

The Kondoors


Jess Greenfield on Twitter and Instagram


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds:


For support and advice, see below:


Help Musicians UK:

The Music Industry Therapists and Coaches (Formerly the Music Industry Therapist Collective):

Tavistock Relationship counselling:

Abortion support and advice for men and women:

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Drummer Mark Richardson joined Skunk Anansie in 1995, re-uniting with the band in 2009 after a long stint in Feeder 2001-2009. He talks about his addiction struggles that led him to co-found the charity Music Support for anyone in industry experiencing emotional difficulties. We also discuss his experiences in Little Angels, Feeder and joining Skunk Anansie; race and gender; the generational trauma that led to his drug addiction; male identity, suicide and colleagues who took their own lives.

Disclaimer: I do not own any music used in this podcast. It is used for discussion purposes under fair use law.

Music Support:

Skunk Anansie:

Follow Sound Affects on Twitter and Facebook:


Follow Sound Affects on Instagram:


Subscribe to Sound Affects on Apple Podcasts and Spotify:

As ever, please leave a review on Apple Podcast, comment here, join me over on social media, or email

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What is the definition of 'sane'? Bez would like to know.

I interviewed Bez in Manchester this month amidst Happy Mondays' UK reunion tour.

You can still get your tickets here:

Please be aware, this is not an interview with an academic or professional so please don't expect that. It's an interview with Bez who has his own point of views about mental health. These are his views and you may or may not agree with them. I'm really fascinated by the way he thinks and this is an opportunity to understand how his mind works. 

In this episode, we talk about: fatherhood, his childhood, what it was like for him being homeless and in prison, his relationship to drugs, the time he nearly died of MRSA, his thoughts about what it means to be sane, as well as how he feels about what people think of him. It's an alternative point of view and I was really curious to understand where he gets his views from.

Please excuse the sound quality, I was recording in a cafe, the sound isn't perfect as there's a lot of background noise. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Brace yourselves...

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James of Oasis Pod talks to me through his life story through music

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I speak to Kat and Rob from Fife band Pilgrims – after spending years feeling disillusioned with their music careers, the Scottish duo joined forces and found meaning in their work again by campaigning for their love of animals through song. In this candid interview, they share their histories with depression, loss and grief, and the power in music to heal and tell important stories.

WARNING: This episode explores topics of grief and suicidal feelings – please use links below for support

Follow Kat, Rob and Pilgrims on Facebook and Twitter:

Find their albums on:



Helplines, Counselling and Support

For grief, bereavement and loss:


For depression or suicidal feelings:
Samaritans: 116 123 or




Other useful helplines and avenues of support:

Time to Change:


Specific support for musicians:

Help Musicians:


Music Support

To find a therapist visit:



NHS Counselling:

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In the early 2000s – post-Britpop – an influx of indie bands emerged, beginning with New York based The Strokes. This paved the way for the Hives, The Vines, The Soundtrack of our Lives, and then a host of British bands – the most popular of all of them, The Libertines, as fronted by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat.

Around 2003/4, following Pete and Carl's falling out in relation to drug abuse, Pete formed side project Babyshambles, which took off in its own right. After a turbulent start with drummer Gemma leaving the band, Adam Ficek – previously a musician in the band The White Sport – was brought on board as Babyshambles' drummer.

My overriding memory of these early 2000s years was the extent to which drug use and litigious activity by rock stars were getting equal prominence in the press (if not more) as the music itself. While Britpop spread a message of invincibility, togetherness and youth, there seemed to be darker, sinister undertones connected to the drug culture around the 2000s bands which, for me, started to become synonymous with that time and which led to a noticeable isolation, separation and exclusivity within the indie music scene, spilling out into the behaviour and attitudes of the public fan base. I observed this shift acutely while at university when I was working a part-time job in a ticket box office of an indie club in my late teens. I really wondered about this phenomenon and welcomed the opportunity to speak to Adam Ficek of Babyshambles who was in his musical ascendancy around this time. 

On speaking to Adam, I became fascinated by his trajectory into the psychotherapeutic world after experiences with Babyshambles. I was keen to hear about his own understanding of how his turbulent upbringing led to deep emotional wounds that got re-triggered within the rock music industry climate of the time. We talk about that upbringing, his lifestyle on the road within Babyshambles, his exit from the band and subsequent healing process that led him to a new music journey and academic career in music psychology and psychotherapeutic practice. We also explore Adam's interest in the way sound production affects us emotionally. 

Helplines and support listed below (hover over text for hyperlinks).

Follow Sound Affects Podcast:
Twitter: @soundaffectspod 
Facebook: @soundaffectspod
Instagram: sound_affects_podcast

Contact Sound Affects Podcast:

Subscribe to Apple Podcasts:

Download on Spotify:

Episode breakdown:

0.00–0.20 Babyshambles, 'Killamanjaro' Live at S.E.C.C.
0.20–0.38 Adam Ficek, 'Sun'
0.38–1.40 Intro to Adam
1.40–1.02.25 Interview with Adam Ficek
52.35 Adam Ficek, 'Interlude'
1.02.24–1.03.43 Adam Ficek, 'Sun'
1.03.43–1.06.58 Signposting, helpline support and guidance for getting therapy
1.06.58 Listener feedback from David Walker and news
1.07.38 Outro
1.07.41 Babyshambles, Killamanjaro Live at S.E.C.C.

Contact Adam:
Adam Ficek: @adamficek, @musicandminduk, @amusiciansmind,

Support, helplines and guidance mentioned in this episode:

Helplines and charity support: Samaritans, CALM, Music Minds Matter, Help Musicians UK, Mind, Cruse

Accessing therapy: IAPT, Mind, or visit GP

Private therapy directories: Counselling Directory, BACP, UCKP, Welldoing

Additional support:

1 North East, Music Support, Help for drug addiction

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Music industry exec Alan McGee has witnessed the moving tide of the music industry over the last 30 years. Given that he's worked with some of the most notorious rock stars in history – including Bobby Gillespie, Liam Gallagher, Pete Doherty and Shaun Ryder – I was curious to know what cumulative mental health impact this has all had on him over time. His stories of drugs and excess are often passed with humour and anecdotal charm, but dig deeper, and I'm in touch with a haunting tale beneath – a world of self-harm, heroine, overdoses and childhood abuse.

I wanted to pause with Alan for a moment to reflect on some of these specific moments in time, from his own unique perspective. There’s a clear sense of humour in his narration, and you’ll catch glimpses of Alan’s life and charm as people weave in and out of this interview to say hello to him at different moments. You get a sense of his warmth and amenability, wisdom and compassion.

There are times when the interview really makes me laugh – it's a beautiful, sunny day, a wasp nearly stings my face, bands are rehearsing all around us, and Alan extols the virtues of his new healthy diet of fish and veg. It makes for a chaotic backdrop, which I love for its quirkiness and melancholy rolled into one. I’ve left in some of these glitches and blips to add to the sentiment behind this episode: that sometimes, the crossover between glam and grim is a really fine line.

(0–2.47) Intro 
(0.01–0.56) Primal Scream, Higher Than The Sun  
(2.47) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts  
(2.47–38.05) Interview with Alan McGee 
(38.05) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts 

Support, helplines and therapy

One North East London – specialist counselling, advice and workshops for friends and family of those affected by addiction, as well as for those suffering addiction of any kind themselves.

Music Minds Matter – Helpline for musicians looking for support

Samaritans – Anonymous, free, emotional support helpline for anybody feeling suicidal or struggling to cope

CALM – Support and advice for men struggling with their mental health or suicidal feelings

Adfam – A list of helpful organisations dealing with issues around family, drugs and alcohol

Frank – For local drug treatment services

To access free counselling via the NHS, follow these links

Click here or here to find private therapy from insured, registered bonafide therapists

For urgent help, visit



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In this episode, drummer Paul Costello of Primitive Machine explains what it's like to be a blind musician and we discuss the added dynamic of being in a relationship with a fellow band member (in Paul's case, with the band's lead singer/songwriter Tracy).

Primitive Machine:
Twitter: @PrimMachine

Songs in order:
Primitive Machine, 'BoogeyMan'
Primitive Machine, 'Primitive Machine'
Nine Inch Nails, 'Head Like a Hole'
Primitive Machine, 'Primal'
Primitive Machine, 'FreeFall'

Interview with Paul Costello begins at 0.44 and ends at 54.50

NB, my appearance on Alan McGee's Boogaloo Radio about mental health in the rock n roll industry as mentioned at the end of this episode can be found here (interview begins 58 mins):

Follow Sound Affects:
Twitter: @SoundAffectsPod
Facebook: @SoundAffectsPod
Instagram: sound_affects_podcast

Or email


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In this episode, I speak to psychotherapist John Bassett from MITC (Music Industry Therapist Collective). All therapists in MITC began with fruitful careers within the music industry before retraining in therapy. They worked for record labels, in artist and tour management, A&R, or, as in the case of John, as sales and marketing reps for labels and music companies. They have first-hand, lived experience of the environment, and are now using that knowledge to educate, offer support and guidance, and cross-refer anyone in need of help.

John and I explore the endemic culture within the industry perpetuating conditions for poor mental health, what music industry life was like in the 90s when he was involved, how songs of the time still trigger John physically, the impact of the industry on men compared to women and much more.

Important websites and contact details:






Help Musicians UK:

Music Minds Matter:

Music Support:


Follow Sound Affects:

Twitter @soundaffectspod
Facebook: @soundaffectspod
Insta: soundaffectspodcast

Email Sound Affects:

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In this epsiode, I visit a high-security psychiatric hospital in London to talk to a music therapist Phil Clarke about how music therapy works for people experiencing psychosis. We also discuss Phil's background as a drummer to former rock band The Lipstick Melodies/Tourniquet which disbanded under tragic circumstances following the death of the lead singer, leaving a profound impact on Phil and his bandmates. We talk through Phil Clarke's own personal journey from musician to therapist.

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December 20, 2017

Interlude: are we 4 Real?

The rock n roll romance. Sex, drugs, rock n roll. A common thread running through a rock star's narrative is emphasis on the drugs, the mayhem, the madness. We instinctively laugh along. You can hear it happen in this episode. But is it funny?

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