Category Archives: music

Youth Don’t Leave Me


I may well have slipped onto the slide of middle-age and am currently flying past every marker Cliff-Richard_2225978bon route. This week’s marker was, at first glance, something only the young do: waiting for concert tickets to go on sale to ensure purchase. Then I realised I was over 40 and my chosen concert was to see an old heart-throb (yes I used that word) Mr Robbie Williams, who by the way has also passed the 40 mark. As a teen I humoured my mother and her love of Cliff Richard, thinking not so secretly that he was passed it and my mum slightly embarrassing in her love for him. I have become my mother. So has Robbie Williams become Cliff Richard? I imagine he thinks not. When weighing up the evidence I concluded that 25 – 30 years ago Sir Cliff was in his 40s, an ageing heart-throb who was and to some, still is, a superstar. Check – Robbie too. My Ma was over 40 and although never his number 1 fan did have a very soft spot for him. Check – I have loved Robbie since he first appeared in his underwear with his Take That buddies back in the early 90s. In conclusion, Middle Age.

RW poster_habI started calling the ticket line 2 minutes before the tickets went on sale. When I stopped calling 45 minutes later it was still engaged. Luckily, old I may be but clued up in the ways of t’internet I am also. The website not so much crashed as got stuck, sent me back instead of forward, made me register with them 3 times (3 different email addresses) but eventually I stumbled through the Hebrew and ascertained that I had indeed bought the 6 tickets I had intended to. Yes, I have a number of other ‘we’re not middle-aged, we’re too young’ girls (and one boy(straight!?)) coming with me. Ah, but did I buy 6 or have I inadvertently bought 12? Due to the incredibly annoying website I had to wait another 3 hours to get the email confirming my purchase and as it stands 24 hours later I am now the proud owner of 6 tickets.

This year has been quite a year for this old dear. I have been to see Justin Timberlake (what a professional) and Lady Gaga or is that GaGa. The latter concert we left early due to our inability to see the stage and therefore the distracting dancers that would have entertained where the music failed. Sorry Gaga fans, just not my thing, but it was free. I have also finally downloaded music onto an ipod that has been sat in its box since last April. I won’t embarrass myself by ‘fessing up to what is on my playlist. Oh. Dear. No.

I have mentioned previously that I am no muso. I leave that to my incredibly knowledgeable and infinitely cooler friends. Problem is, they too are getting on and so therefore they must also be dropping in the cool stakes. I can rule out riding on the coat tails of knowledge from teenage kids as mine are still one foot in nursery rhymes and the other in Gangham Style. The radio stations in Israel have 30 records and after 2 long car rides I have heard them all and no “(I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena” by Sandra (1985) does not count as cool, it never did.

I therefore must admit to myself that I am indeed middle-aged, my children will think me article-2512569-1999C82100000578-667_634x867ultimately uncool and Robbie, I still love you, grey, married, over 40 and with kids and damn it I will love you when you get your knighthood and we are both in our dotage. I hope that relative peace stays intact until May and the Israel haters don’t put you off. There are a lot of us not middle-aged-middle-aged fans waiting for you.


Stormy Weather


On receipt of an email of doom from a family member (yes it was my Dad), about the catastrophes and natural disasters that will befall planet Earth in my children’s life time my thoughts naturally turned to Rihanna.  Perhaps it was fear displacement or perhaps the true catastrophe that is Rihanna and those like her to our children is, like global warming just accepted, not acted on and quite terrifying . Oh I know, I know, you can’t compare an annoying pop star with a husky voice to earthquakes, landslides, floods and hurricanes but I had nightmares for weeks after watching The Day After Tomorrow and I find annoyance and anger easier emotions than fear.


So Rihanna, she of the abusive boyfriend, the tendency to dress in underwear alone and the 25 million record sales.  According to my usual taste in catchy music I should by rights actually like Rihanna and her many peers who sing ridiculously melodic and rhythmic tunes, but I just can’t stand her.  It’s a sign of age probably, but to me, her lyrics are just plain offensive.  Just as my generation’s parents were mortified when we requested Frankie Says Relax t-shirt, ‘but why is it rude Mummy?’, now the parents of today are horrified as their 8 years olds sing along to Rihanna, ‘Come here rude boy, boy, Can you get it up, come here rude boy, boy, is you big enough’, just wrong, and not just grammatically.  Don’t even get me started on, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me’. Really?  You really think that is an acceptable lyric for a mainstream pop star?    Well let me tell you Miss Rihanna, it is not.

Rihanna is not alone, just the other day I found myself humming along to Britney, ‘Mama I’m in love with a criminal’ (what?!!), and I am not sure I can even mention Flo Rider with his lessons on how to ‘whistle’, ‘you just put your lips together and you come real close’ without shuddering.  What is all this doing to our children’s heads, their morals, their self respect?  More importantly why is nothing being done about it?  I am all for freedom of speech but vulgarity for the sake of it when your audience is mostly under 16, please.  This is nothing to do with music and art and expression.  It is just plain wrong.

And breathe.

I recently took the test that appeared on Facebook to see how many of the 100 most influential albums I owned.  I figured zero but actually I own 7, 5 of which were bought in one bulk purchase britannia_musicfrom music mail order Britannia Music, (remember them?), back in my university days when I was probably trying to impress someone rather than actually knowing what I was purchasing.  Cool, I am not and my taste in music underlines this fact.  Not surprisingly then, on moving to Israel and listening to Israeli music on the radio I discovered that the only Israeli artist I can genuinely say I like turns out to be the favourite of the middle aged and reiterates my inability to be cool.  Luckily it’s not something I need hide anymore.

The irony of my bad music taste is that I have amassed a huge number of friends who really are music aficionados and therefore by my definition, cool.  I have friends who are DJs, friends who collect vinyl, friends who spent their childhood summers and their first jobs in record shops, friends who can talk music for hours and hours on end (DULL).  I seem to be drawn to people who like music – a lot.  Even my husband has a record collection that, although may not be everyone’s taste, is gigantic and varied.  So why then am I just not interested?  Why do I favour cheesy pop over just about everything else and why if I were left on a desert island would I request satellite TV rather than an ipod?  If the world is collapsing around us and I am alone on island (albeit a flooded, windswept one) an ipod would certainly be more use than a TV, right?  And no, Rihanna, I’d rather get wet than stand under your um-be-rella rella rella.

PS My 2 year old has just seen this and asked who’s the girl with the bottom…nuff said

Reasons to Celebrate #4: Musical Nostalgia


When the rain starts here every other song on the radio is about rain.  It’s a rare occurrence you see. It’s Raining Men, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head and Why Does it Always Rain On Me get a little repetitive so I was excited when I heard an old favourite  by a former heart-throb, Shakin’ Stevens.  Yes you heard right, there was a point when Shakin’ Stevens aka ‘Shaky’ was my schoolgirl crush (for those of you who are not familiar, think not terribly convincing 1980’s British  Elvis – OK that’s impossible; see picture attached.).

Between the ages of 9 and 11 I had a few crushes; Shaky, Limahl from Kajagoogoo, Adam Ant and all of Bucks Fizz. Oh come on, they were a good-looking foursome and Making Your Mind Up is a pop classic, isn’t it? Unluckily my taste in music hasn’t really ever progressed which is why I find myself humming along to One Direction and my favourite all time band is Take That, but that’s for another time.

Shakin’ Stevens singing It’s Raining is one of those songs that immediately whizzed me back on the nostalgia express to a time when I was 9 or 10 and thought I was oh so grown up listening to pop music.  To a time when the weekly church youth club, ‘Wednesday Welcome’, demanded at least two telephone conversations; Fame dress or ra-ra skirt, leg warmers or burgundy ribbed tights, or both…hmmm.  A time when knowing the names of the girls in Bananarama was must know information and little girls wanted to be Lady Diana (and look how that turned out).

When I was about 11 I went to a Bucks Fizz concert with my best friend.  I remember screeching with excitement when my Mum told me I was going. It was our first pop concert and my friend and I spent many hours discussing what outfit was suitable for such an auspicious occasion, I mean, what if they wanted us to go on stage with them?  The fact that we would be alone at the concert (none of the parents could hack listening to 2 hours of screeching 10 year olds and sugary pop music), was just the icing on the cake.  I settled on a maroon velvet pair of pedal pushers (remember them?), cream over the knee socks, a frilly blouse with puff sleeves (wanna be new romantic) and to top it all a fake fur jacket.  My mother had different ideas and sent me in a lemon t-shirt dress and white cardigan.  Thanks Mum, no I haven’t forgotten.  The highlight of the concert was when Bobby Gee sang Do You Think I’m Sexy and ripped his shirt off.  The crowd went wild, as did we, though I’m not sure if we knew why, children were more naive at 11 than they are now.

As I watched the wet motorway pass the other day and listened to It’s Raining I chuckled at my memories, then the needle scratched to an abrupt halt in my reminiscence; where is Shaky now?  Well Shaky is well on his way to being shaky now at 64.  He still performs apparently although I imagine he needs help up when he drops to his knees on stage.  I will stick to the memories rather than the reality and look for You Drive Me Crazy on You Tube.  Getting older does have its advantages; nostalgia is free and the nonsense of the 80’s provides plenty of guaranteed moments for cringing and chuckling in equal measure.


Bucks Fizz