This Is Pop! #12

The unusual time that the Easter weekend has landed this year means that today is the day that many kids across the UK will have to haul their arses into school after a two week break.

Because of this, I thought I’d try to remind them…erm…what they go to school for.

And because my admittedly-rashly titled series where I try to bust the Monday morning blues doesn’t really translate to something I’m posting on a Tuesday morning.

And because kids need to learn that you can start loads of consecutive sentences with the words “And because” if you want to.

And because I think this is a bloody great pop record.


Busted – What I Go To School For

Nope, you’re right. I have no shame.

More soon.


Back to School, Back to Reality #4

Last one of these.

There was very little to do after school when I was a kid. There was a youth club every other Tuesday, but as I lived in a village about five miles away with little to no public transport between the two, even if I’d had the faintest interest in attending, it would have proved logistically problematic.

As far as I could work out from my peers who did attend, it seemed to include mostly playing pool and getting into fights with bigger boys, and I had a table-top snooker table and my brother for those things, so I really didn’t feel I was missing out on much.

And then, in 2003, The Darkness released their debut album Permission to Land. I first heard The Darkness when they opened the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2003. They went on to have a few hits, before everyone decided they were a bit of a novelty band, shortly after they released that Christmsd record of theirs.

I’m certainly not about to try and challenge that perception; however whenever I hear this track from Permission… I do rather wonder if I missed out on post-school activities:


The Darkness – Friday Night

More soon.

Back to School, Back to Reality #3

Just like me and homework, this post is a day late getting delivered.

It’s also probably going to be longer than most of the essays I handed in during my school years.

Ask most people to name a song by Semisonic, and I’d say that probably 99% of those who were able to, would say Secret Smile.

They probably wouldn’t plump for the follow-up single which I’m featuring today, which was released two years after the aforementioned smasheroo, but reached the dizzy heights of #35 in the UK, and #39 in the US. As far as I can glean, it was their last single.

And just like Girls Aloud’s Biology isn’t really about biology lessons, so Semisonic’s Chemistry isn’t really about chemistry lessons. In case you’re unclear, the cover for the accompanying album All About Chemistry gives you a not too subtle clue:

ae7faf42a1a92b8990a78bd6b8046237_1000x1000x1Semisonic – Chemistry

See? Rudes.

I don’t have any anecdotes to impart about Chemistry lessons, except that we used to call our chemistry teacher Mr Sutcliffe, because he had hair and a beard a bit like The Yorkshire Ripper.

Kids can be cruel, can’t they?

More soon.


Back to School, Back to Reality #2

There was a lot of discussion about the choices we made at option stage of our education in the Comments of yesterday’s post, and much mention of the mayhem which took place in the craft lessons.

The other option decision I remember making involved what was, back in the early 1980s, called “Computing”. In my infinite wisdom, I decided that the whole IT/computing thing was never going to take off and provide me with an income in later life, so I opted to take German instead. Smart move, eh?

We had two different teachers for German. One had been a form tutor for us in one of the earlier years. Our form groups were named were based on the year we were in and the initials of the form tutor. Her initials were both “S” and I vividly recall her announcing to us, in a German accent, that we “ver now in ze S.S.” Thankfully, she got married at some point and her surname initial turned to an H so she couldn’t make that terrible joke again.

The other teacher was a German woman in her late 50s, I’d say. She was absolutely terrifying, insisting that no English was spoken in her class, only German. During my school years, there were many times that I exited a classroom not fully understanding one aspect or another of what we had been taught, but it was only her German lessons that I left not having a single clue what had just gone on.

She also taught us History, and if I’m honest, I wasn’t much wiser after leaving those classes either. She spent the majority of the lessons dictating to us, and to this day whenever I write a sentence which begins with the word “However” I automatically place a comma after it, as that was how many of her sentences began: “However comma…”

And that’s the only thing I can put my hand on my heart and say I remember from my History lessons: some English grammar, inadvertently taught by a German.

I did not get good grades in either German or History (despite what it might say on my CV).

So, to some historic education related tunes:


Mai Tai – History

And perhaps a little more credibly:


The Verve – History

More soon.


Back to School, Back to Reality #1

Not only am I not too keen on Mondays, there’s another day which, when I was a kid, I also was less than enamoured with: the day I had to pull my blazer back on, throw my satchel over my shoulder and head back to school. The end of the summer holidays.

Thankfully, it’s not something I have to endure any more, nor do I have any little darlings of my own that I’m currently breathing a huge sigh of relief about seeing the back of as they return to school this week (in most places).

So to mark Back to School week, I figured I’d dig out some sort of school related tunes for the rest of the week.

I wasn’t exactly a model pupil when I was at school, more interested with mucking about and making people laugh than I was in knuckling down and making teacher graphs (to appropriate a Belle & Sebastian lyric).

When my folks attended a school parents evening at the end of what was Year 3 back then, my Biology teacher told them how surprised she was that I had opted to take her class for the final two years, give how little interest I had shown in the previous three.

But I think that had this sultry fivesome been serenading me about the virtues of Biology, I may have paid a teensy bit more attention in class:


Girls Aloud – Biology

More soon. Tomorrow, probably.