Choons…

I arrived for lunch at The Woodman like a hero. Apparently the Kronenbourg 1664 pipe had just been cleaned (just for me) and Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas is blaring out in the background – on of my all-time favourite tunes. The overall experience is only sullied slightly by the sound of one of the older regulars who likes occasionally to clear his throat (and possibly his lungs!) in the loudest and most mucousy way possible.

Then comes I’m a Believer by The Monkees and my heroic mood subsides at the sheer beige-ness of the music.

Tiny Dancer by Elton John grinds its heels into the charred remains of my former elation and I’m back to trying to pick out distant conversations while people-watching over my notebook.

Oh fuck! Cat Stevens!

I don’t know the name of the song but I know it and I hate it. He was the archetypal merchant of what someone once described as ‘music for bed-wetters’. I’d rope a fair few other ‘artists’ into that category, including the current apotheosis, Ed Sheeran. On the one hand, I’m happy that an average-looking and gawky bloke can have the opportunity to be the biggest pop star in the world without having to trade on looks, but on the other, did he have to do it all with such bland music?

Ah, Creedence Clearwater Revival improves things, ‘I wanna know, did you ever feel the rain…’

This is what was commonly referred to once as a ‘Choon!’ – an exclamatory ejaculation best delivered out of a car window with the stereo cranked up to 10!

Unfortunately, most people seem to play shit choons this way. I mean, when was the last time that some idiot pulled up at the traffic lights with music blaring, and you wanted them to turn it up some more?

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

Hated it in 1982 when it topped the hit parade, but now it’s a part of the nostalgic landscape (or soundscape).

Bollocks! Returning from the loo, UB40’s Red, Red, Wine (whine?) has just started. Regardless of the decade though, I’ve always thought that they were the sound of boredom. Maybe it’s just because that reggae rhythm seems to be the same for every song in the genre – or is that the point of it? Just something to nod your head to while you get high?

The music then subsides and my next pint is slipping down to the accompaniment of the raucous braying from a bunch of young suits at the first table in the restaurant area next door.

Suddenly I’m hoping for more UB40 to drown out their noise…

(And yes, the sobriety only lasted 11 days!)