Welcome to a new series. I am unsure if this is going to be a regular thing or an occasional burst of sugar-coated excitement. I think probably the latter, but we shall see how we get on. The idea is simple. I set the iPod onto random and my daughter, and occasionally her friends, review the first three songs that come on – with each one given a suitable swearword check before we start – and then she reviews them.
At the time of doing this little social experiment, my daughter seems to have a liking for music that would be described as being part of the ‘chill out’ genre. For instance, she really loves this track
Kelly Watch The Stars – Air (1997, Virgin Records, Taken from ‘Moon Safari’)
What she doesn’t like right now is noisy music.
Our plan was to invite two of her friends around to help with the first instalment of ‘Kids, Eh!’ but they have sadly contracted Covid so sadly we have to push on without them, which is ok because it means we get more jaffa cakes.
We sit on my daughters bed and I explain to her how this is going to work. My daughter looks at me and says “Am I not choosing the songs?” I shake my head and she looks distinctly unhappy about this decision. I tell her it would be much funnier for the blog if a nine year old tells a bunch of sad old men (no offence intended folks) what’s not very good about the songs that they love. She looks slightly happier at this decision. I also tell her that the songs are going to be chosen at random so no one has any choice over them.
“Are you Ready?” I say. She grabs a pencil and a Doodle Pad, and nods. I press the circle in the middle of the iPod which means we are shuffling and the first track to come on, isn’t quite a massive anti – climax. Its…
A to B – The Futureheads (2004, 679 Recordings, Taken from ‘The Futureheads’)
On reflection what I should have done (and in fact still might) is take a bunch of classic tracks from the last 25 years and used those – still let’s press on, hindsight being what it is.
‘A to B’ is given a harsh 4 out of ten 10. My daughter jots some notes on a piece of paper – “They are speaking gibberish” she says, “I couldn’t follow what they were saying, I heard the word ‘alligator’ and ‘pigcat’ and its not very good”. I raise an eyebrow at this. I’m not sure I heard the word ‘pigcat’ but I ask her if there was anything else she wanted to say.
“I like the drumming but not the gibberish”.
I tell her that mummy and daddy saw the Futureheads live many years ago (they supported The Zutons in Exeter) and that they were very good and that I quite like ‘A to B’. She is not impressed, but she is even less impressed with the second song that the iPod throws up.
Self Healer – Idlewild (1998, Deceptive Records, Taken from ‘Captain’)
As this two minute blast of shouty punky indie finishes, my daughter takes her hands off of her ears. She shows me her pad which has the number 0 written on it with a sad face drawn inside the middle of zero. Not a fan or early Idlewild I ask. She tells me that the band need to “Go outside more” and that it sounds like they are “running away from an awful fire”. ‘Self Healer’ is also “too loud, too shouty and too blah, blah blah” which pretty much sums up their entire career in nine words. She follows the last ‘blah’ with the word “Next”.
I tell her that Idlewild were a strange thing, because the bands later work was much more melodic and tuneful than the shouty stuff she has just heard. As an example I stick on
American English – Idlewild (2001, Parlophone Records, Taken from “The Remote Part”)
“Hmm, not bad” was all she said. A review which again sums up succinctly nearly every review of nearly every Idlewild record.
The third track offered up by the iPod is
Hip Eponymous Poor Boy – Jack White (2012, Third Man Records, Taken from ‘Blunderbuss’)
This at least makes my daughter smile, I watch as she taps her pencil in time with this one. “I like this a lot more”, she said. “Its much quieter and gentle”. I tell her that she has seen Jack White live, albeit at Glastonbury and albeit from the safety of her buggy and she might well have been asleep at the time. She doesn’t seem to care.
“Why he is singing about hippopotamus’” she asks me, “Is he mad, or is he singing to a toddler to get them to go to sleep?”. She holds a sign up saying ‘5’.
All of which mammal related tomfoolery makes ‘Hippopotamus, Poor Boy’ by Jack White the winner of the first Kids, Eh challenge.