Wednesday, 27 February 2008

What musical bus genre would you choose?

I was sat on the bus last night and moved 3 times. It seemed as though the vehicle was teeming with hormonal teenagers, looking as though the end of the world was nigh (maybe they'd had prior warning of the imminent earthquake?!). The cacophany of deafening Ipods and mobile phone ringtones was so loud, I felt in dire need of my spongy Boots earplugs (or a large hammer). Which made me think of Caitlain Moran. Miss Moran, if you remember, was a big whig in musical journalism in the 90s and now writes for the Times. I met her once and she was lovely, and, dip me in honey and throw me to the teenagers with their raucous Ipods, she's VERY funny. I'm clearly not alone in my irritation at bus music polution. Alas, these are her words not mine!

'Let’s face it – we cannot uninvent the “teenager sitting behind you playing music on its mobile phone”. The genie is out of the bottle. Trying to end it would be as futile as trying to ban Brylcreem in the 1950s. Or sexually hysterical fainting in 1874.

What, then, we need is a pragmatic approach to the phenomenon. A logical attack. My suggestion is that, with immediate effect, we divide the nation’s buses into five categories – rock, R&B & urban, MOR, classical, rolling news – and stipulate all mobile phone use on buses concur with the designation. That way, anybody not wishing to get on the r’n’b bus can wait four minutes, and get on a bus more likely to play For Your Babies by Simply Red, instead.

As each bus’s “vibe” will be clearly stipulated, the whole thing would become effortlessly self-policing: there are few, I would imagine, brave enough to start blasting out the latest news from the Nasdaq on the “rock” bus. Obviously, every five years or so, the categorisation would have to be reassessed, in line with musical trends.

Should the reemerging psychedelic folk scene ever achieve chart dominance, for instance, a fleet of Six Organs of Admittance buses would have to be rushed into service – but only on longer routes, obviously, as all the songs last at least 15 minutes...'



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