I'm a victim of my children's taste in music

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Hi, my name is Shaun, I'm 37-years-old, and Lord help me, but I think I'm a fan of One Direction. (And yes, I'm aware they broke up, but they'll get back together. I know they will.)

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, but my current condition is one from which I may never recover - not until the last of my three children moves out of home, or at least gets better taste in music.

It could be worse. I could still be forced to listen to The Wiggles every day.

But the thing about that halcyon period of my life was that I was never drawn into the lives of Anthony, Murray, Jeff and Greg, never cared about them beyond when their latest DVD was coming out and making sure I got tickets to their next [New Zealand] show.

(OK, maybe I was drawn in a tad, but you try explaining to a three year old that you were too slow to get Wiggles tickets. It's not something I ever want to have to go through again.)

But when it comes to One Direction, I know things man - things no self-respecting middle-aged male is meant to know.

For starters I know their first and last names, each and every one - Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik, who left the band in 2015. I swear I didn't have to Google that.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. I also know that Irish-born Niall is the only band member without a single tattoo, the rest of them being fairly liberally inked all over.

And I know that Liam sings first on most of their songs and that earlier this year he had a baby with singer Cheryl Cole. The two first met when he auditioned for The X Factor in 2008 and Cole was a judge. Liam was only 14 at the time, she was 25. Bit weird that, now I come to think about it.


(In case you're wondering, Liam sings first on 36 out of 92 One Direction songs. Harry's next on 32, while poor old Louis bottoms out the list with a meagre six songs. Come on, Louis mate!)

There's more, but I haven't the time, space or inclination to list all the many different One Direction factoids my brain has involuntarily stored over the past few months.

Frankly, I blame YouTube. Back in my day we were lucky to get one TV channel (we lived in the wops) and barring weekend cartoons and an hour or so after school my old man held total dominion over what we could watch on that.

These days, thanks to YouTube, smart TVs and various other devices, kids can watch whatever they want, whenever they want to - and in my household their online televisual diet consists mainly of music videos, with Justin Bieber and British girl group Little Mix also on high rotation in addition to the 1D boys.

(My four-year-old daughter's apparent infatuation with Bieber in general and Little Mix's wardrobe in particular could fill a whole other column by the way, but I'm not going to go there.)

It's not just the music videos either - chat show appearances, interviews, live gigs, social media vids, fan tributes - anything remotely connected to their current flavour of the month is diligently searched for and avidly consumed, usually several times over.

Which of course makes me a consumer as well - and those One Direction tunes are just so damn catchy!

Interestingly, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey have been starting to get a look in recently - and strangely enough (I'm picking my adjectives carefully here) it's my nine-year-old son who seems most fascinated with Carey.

I often catch him re-watching a 1993 live version of her 1991 hit Emotions. It's those bird-like high notes of Carey's that seem to have him spellbound - although he has observed that "she doesn't sing as good as she used to now".

He's right of course. Some things just aren't like they used to be.

- Stuff