Below is the link for the second episode of Trailblazers I recorded for Sky Arts. It’s about songs of conscience or, as Billy Bragg says in the programme, the “kind of music that says something other than ‘I’m great, you’re shit. Do you like my socks?'”.
My love for Summer is no big secret. As a rule, if the sun is shining and the temperature’s rising, I am happy. Perhaps that is why my childhood memories of the Summer Holidays are so cheery. In them, the sun was always shining, and I was always smiling (although my parents will beg to differ about the reality of these memories!).
One of my favourite summers was in 1983, during which we took a fortnight’s holiday to Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. Rather aptly, The Style Council’s “Long Hot Summer” was in the charts. This, along with the likes of KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up”, Wham!’s “Club Tropicana” and Paul Young’s “Wherever I Lay My Hat”, provided the soundtrack for both my holiday and my summer. I had taped the charts off the radio the previous Sunday, painstakingly attempting to stop recording before Tommy Vance spoke over the end of the songs. During the seemingly never-ending journey from Kent to Somerset, in Dad’s khaki green Hillman Imp (suitcases tied precariously on the roof-rack), that C90 cassette was played continuously. Due to the fact that the car radio was unable to pick up a signal for longer than a few seconds, it also became the background music to our holiday sightseeing. In my mind, Glastonbury Tor, Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole all feature alongside tracks such as The Kinks’ “Come Dancing” and Eurythmics’ “Who’s That Girl?”. Little wonder then that any one of these songs can evoke such vivid memories for me.
My favourite track during that holiday, but one not often heard today, was Roman Holliday’s “Don’t Try To Stop It”. Hope you enjoy this video as much as I do, as it causes me to recall family midnight swims in the camp site pool, during the long, hot summer of 1983.