There is a genre of music that makes my flesh crawl, induces a feeling of nausea and general ill-being, music which if played means that I have to leave the room before some idiot starts to dance, and its usually a woman who will start to dance and when more than two of them are dancing they will encourage others with waving and “come on and join us” gestures as if they have discovered some route to eternal happiness and you are a miserable twat for not following their excellent guide.
I hold my hand up here and now, I do not dance.
I do not see the point in dancing, it achieves nothing, it attracts ridicule to almost all of its participants, it induces a false revelry where none existed three minutes ago but its false so it will fade as soon as the needle reaches the end of the record and the dancing fools are left in mid-manouvre still dancing when no music is playing, then they have to suddenly stop, stare at their feet, pick up their handbags and shuffle back to their seats in hangdog shame.
If I were a DJ at a wedding or similar function where dancing fools want to make dancing fools of themselves all night long then I’d play something like the awful Chic song (above), the song that contains the worst line written in popular music history “We want the best, we won’t sett-tull for less”, then when the whole of the congregation were on their feet prancing and a-bouncing like demented dervishes the Chic tune would be brought to a sudden halt by Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” or similar just so I could watch them all gaze at the floor, pick up their handbags and shuffle back to their seats with hangdog expressions, the wedding reception ruined – I would of course insist that they pay me in full before the event for to not do so would lead to ruination in the life of a DJ.
The worst thing about the Chic crap (above) is the way that the band encourage and cajole and almost hold a gun to the heads of the audience even to the extent where they allow them to prance like dancing fools on the stage in order to cover up their own shortcomings as purveyors of meaningful music and writers of wistful lyrics (“We want the best, we won’t sett-tull for less”), they shout and cajole at the crowd, “Hey, come on, clap your hands, sing along, say WHOOP-WHOOP and completely miss the fact that as a meaningful purveyor of music we are shit at our jobs but hey you paid to come and see us tonight so who are the dumbfooks eh ?”
Look at this pair of dancing wazzocks..
There was a time children when your parents couldn’t walk into any place of public entertainment without being subjected to this headache inducing musical vomit, and women would get up and dance and mime along to the words as they bounced around between the tables in the pub waving their hands in the air and encouraging other drunken women to join them, the blokes would shuffle off the the far end of the bar to stand in a huddle clutching their pints to their chest and muttering to each other “Its a bad one, shes only had three halves of lager an lime and look at her”.
And yet once, just once I found a place where common sense ruled, a place where the proprietor had banned audience participation in the sincere belief that if he, as proprietor, was paying a “turn” to perform to his clientele then that “turn” had better be prepared to do something viable on stage, something that could be even loosely described as “entertaining” and hopefully containing at least a small element of accomplished skill in the art.
Yes folks it was in Barbados that I discovered this man of my own taste, a man who like me could not merely sit and watch as a musical act on his stage in his hotel cajoled an audience to clap their hands, sing along and then finally perform the ultimate of sins – they jumped down off the stage and got the audience to form a conga chain then danced them all around the swimming pool – yes its true, absolutely disgraceful it was, scenes of false and enforced fun and enjoyment like you’ve never before seen, male holidaymakers being forced out of their chairs by their drunken wives with a “Come on you miserable bugger, we’re on our ‘oliday” and being force-danced with side-kicking and everything and a “hey” every verse end.
It was all too much for Geoff Atkinson, hotelier those past 25 years and my host for the evening, he called across his entertainment manager Faye Best, a huge Bajun man, yes I know he had a girls name but no-one had ever told him, like I said, he was huge and athletic in that basketball style, in fact he played professional cricket and even got a couple of seasons with one of the English home counties, anyway this night he was entertainment manager at the hotel and he was told in no uncertain terms by his boss to “Never, EVER book this act again” and when he enquired as to what was the problem it was explained most succinctly “I pay these acts to entertain my guests, I don’t expect my guests to have to bloody well entertain themselves, now get rid of them” – a man after my own heart.
And now I will reveal to you dear reader something that I have never discussed in public for this matter has been a matter between my therapist and myself these past thirty two years but he says that its time to share this stain on my character in public, that it will aid my recovery from the memory and maybe in doing so will help me to sleep at night and not sit bolt upright screaming at the wardrobe “Haar-lurv is in the are…” while flaying elbows shimmer to a disco beat that exists only in my worst dreams … yes folks, this is the song that I was frog-marched onto the dance floor and force-danced to as our “First Song” during our wedding reception, they all said I had to do it, it was traditional, they didn’t explain it was shit as well – there I’ve said it, oh the shame…what was wrong with Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” eh ? eh ? Its the wifes name and everything…