Every Monday I get to drive my daughter to preschool. It used to be a five minute journey but since we’ve moved house, it’s now around a thirty minute slog up the Devon Expressway. It’s a nice time as well, we get to chat, and occasionally play I spy. This Monday however was different. Over the weekend I moved a box of CD’s from the conservatory into the lounge. I left them in the corner behind the sofa and were due to be transferred into the loft (they have all been backed up and are just taking up space). My daughter found this box of CD’s and as she put her coat she said
“Daddy, can we listen to music on the way to preschool please?”.
She’s four. She’s loves music, any music, if music came on an advert on the telly she’ll dance. On Sunday we went to theatre to see ‘The Tiger That Came to Tea’ and she was dancing to the intro music. On the Stage. She does the same dance every time though, her kind of wobbling her legs and clapping out of time and then running around a bit. It is still better than any dance than I have ever done.
Usually we have the radio on, because of the travel updates, but radio Devon is well, crap (although better since Simon Bates left the breakfast show) and I tend to just turn it down. So I say “Yes of course” what else can you say to a four year old who wants to listen to music.
She runs over to the box of CD’s and picks one up and hands it to me and says
“This one has a clock on it”
It’s ‘In Colour’ by The Concretes. I pop it in my coat pocket – and we head to the car. Between my front door and my car (roughly twenty foot) an idea fills my head. So Ladies and Gentlemen here is the first in a hopefully lengthy series of old CD’s chosen at random by daughter and then her reviewing them. By reviewing I mean I type up our conversation on the way to preschool which I will attempt to steer around to her telling me what she thinks of the music. The last time I did this she told me that The Wonderstuff were ‘beautiful’ so she’s pretty knowledgeable about indie music in general.
I have put the CD on shuffle (obviously) and track 11 is playing this is a track called ‘Ooh La La’ which is pretty delightful in a sweet twee kind of way. “What do you think of this song then?” I ask her. She says this and I am repeating in verbatim and it kind of ties in with the picture at the top of the page.
“It sounds like the music when Grandmaster Glitch drove along the wall in China”. Now. Grandmaster Glitch is the baddie in Go Jetters, a cartoon thing on CBeebies. Each week Grandmaster Glitch interferes with a world renowned structure (Or ‘Glitches It’) and the Go Jetters sort it out. My daughter’s favourite character is Xuli – she is the pilot.
The reason that the song sounds like what she says it does is because it has this little twirly whistle bit in that sounds a bit like the sound you make when you go down a helter skelter and you know what, it is almost identical to a bit in the cartoon – I checked it later on when I got home.
I tell my daughter this she says
“Grandmaster Glitch has glitched Terry Turbine”.
Terry Turbine is the name my daughter gives to the wind turbine that we drive past on the way to preschool. Today the turbine is not working – despite it being windier than a dart player after twelve burgers. She then asks me to drive faster so we can catch him up. The car in front is a tiny grey Vauxhall Corsa which she thinks is The Grimbler – which is the spaceship of Grandmaster Glitch. I catch the car up and overtake it when I reach the dual carriageway – we boo at the driver as we drive past.
A track called ‘Sunbeams’ is on now – again this is lovely, a brilliant little summery pop single – we are stuck in a bit of slow moving traffic at the moment and I try again with my daughter
“What about this one, it’s a song about two people sitting in the shade” (I’m simplifying it a bit)
“Why?” she said. This is right now her favourite word in the world.
“Well, I think they are probably too hot or something”
“I think that they need to have a drink of water, I like the sunshine. I don’t like the rain because it makes me all wet. So the song is silly, I can see a red lorry.”
As we pull into the preschool car park the last track on the album is on – this is a track called ‘Song For The Songs’ and it is second greatest Concretes moment of their careers after ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’. There is a terrific moment in it which mentions marching bands and a load of trumpets and stuff come in. I’m going to be honest here on two things, the singer in the Concretes has an addictively wonderful voice and secondly, I don’t think this experiment has gone as well as I thought it would but its been nice chatting to my daughter about general nonsense.
“I like trumpets” she tells me. “I also like the way that the songs oeuvre changes halfway through to reflective rather than resistance, that is really rather post modern of them”.
Ok she didn’t say that.
She said “Trumpets sound like elephants, Daddy can I have an elephant for my birthday please”.
I’ll try again next week.