Back To Reality


As I make my way through what I hope is the last of the ‘Christmas food’ – there is only so much smoked salmon, Camembert and onion chutney a person can stomach, and I won’t even mention the ‘T’ word – the return to reality after the festive break is met by me with a warm embrace. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family, although my dad did ask if I’d discovered Oliver Cromwell amongst our family tree, when he visited on New Year’s Eve and discovered I had already taken down the decorations (they came down on the 29th!).


From Dolly to David

I also had an amazing time seeing in 2016 with friends, singing karaoke at our local. I think the highlight of the evening was when I went up to sing Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” only to find that the landlord had actually selected Whitesnake’s “Here I go Again”. Unperturbed, and a few gins into the evening, I did my best David Coverdale impression (and I don’t just mean my hair). As Louis Walsh would say, I made it my own!

However, there comes in a point in the ever-extending festivities when I begin to crave some semblance of normality. After all, how can Christmas remain special if it goes on interminably? And if you’re reluctant to return to your reality, then change it. Besides being sad losses to the music world, the recent passing of Lemmy Kilmister, John Bradbury, Guru Josh and Natalie Cole can’t fail to serve as a timely reminder to a generation that life is too short to waste on what could have been. Go out and grab your reality now. You never know, 2016 could be your best year yet.

Lend Me Your Earworms!


Rarely is there silence in my world. Even in an empty house, on the rare occasion when my radio is switched off, there is a backing track running on loop through my mind. Most of the time, I barely notice the background music in my head, but occasionally a track will get stuck on repeat, giving rise to that most irritating of conditions – the earworm.
Sometimes this little trick of the brain is activated by listening to a song which, like a guest overstaying their welcome, simply refuses to leave when it should. For me, these earworms can usually be counteracted by listening to something with a bit of power to it. Cranking Meatloaf or Motörhead up to 11 usually blasts the problem away. More difficult to eradicate are those earworms that sneak up on you, through an idle thought or lyric.

During a recent conversation, a friend took me by surprise with their answer, leading to a 48 hour earworm of Jamie Lawson’s “I Wasn’t Expecting That”. Whilst this might prove that I am not totally oblivious to what is happening in the charts, after two days on mental repeat, I began to feel like I was going crazy. That train of thought finally managed to oust Ed Sheeran’s pal from my mind, leaving Shakin’ Stevens’ “You Drive Me Crazy” in its place. The Welsh warbler was no competition  for “Ace of Spades”, and disappeared as soon Lemmy began to assault my eardrums. I was free! Well, for a couple of days.

My latest earworm occurred following a bout of procrastination. Facing a mounting pile of work with fast-approaching deadlines, I mentally berated myself, and muttered “Focus”, as I attempted to concentrate on the most pressing tasks. Yep, you’ve guessed it. I am currently being tormented by the Hocus Pocus track, complete with yodelling!

So, my plea is simple…lend me your earworms. Perhaps, just perhaps, the songs you find irritatingly catchy will succeed where Messrs Aday and Kilmister have failed. Better still, if you have any other ideas on how I rid myself of a Prog Rock track that is older than me, I’m all ears…