Given my colleague Tom's brave attempt to cheer us all up by listing his Top Ten feel good summer songs, I thought I should also rise to the challenge. Except I couldn't think of anything really... so I consulted the chaps at the Curry Club who, true to form, reacted as if I'd suggested a Top Ten all-time classics from the wonderful world of Andrew Lloyd-Webber musicals. As sung by Michael Ball.
Apparently the very concept of enjoying oneself whilst chilling on a nice summer evening is a bit off, if not downright weird. This is why they're my mates. We don't really do 'pleasant' or 'enjoying ourselves'. Usual Curry Club get-togethers consist of the lads doing their grumpy old men/ Statler and Waldorf routine - 'and another thing that really gets me is...', 'yeah and don't you just hate it when...', 'yeah, and people who...!!!!' which they can keep up for hours - while I sit and read the Sunday papers and completely ignore them. As I tell them, it's a Curry Club, not a Conversation Club.
Anyway, being thorough miserabilists, we ended up getting rather animated instead by the idea of a Top Ten of records which are so vile, so irritating that they're absolutely impossible to listen to; you'd rather listen to the shipping forecast. And they have to be songs that someone, somewhere thinks are good, not the Agadoos and Birdie Songs of this world.
So here they are, in reverse order:
10. Anything by Joni Mitchell. Or Joan Baez. Or that 'Midnight at the Oasis' song. My father's been trying to get me into Joni Mitchell, after I told him I'd only heard 'Big Yellow Taxi' and hated it. So I got 'Blue' for my birthday - which was very kind of him - but the itchy finger on the iPod trigger spontaneously leaps into action within seconds of her opening her mouth. Ditto Joan Baez: the Dylan documentary, 'Don't Look Back' is a great film - but not the bits with her in.
9. Power rock ballads by blokes with perms. Whitesnake, Foreigner, Bon Jovi ('Dead or Alive') and yes Tom, that means REO Speedwagon too. And for these purposes, Jennifer 'Power of Love' Rush is an honorary bloke-with-a-perm (but with a deeper voice).
8. Coldplay - 'Yellow'.
7. Gun 'n' Roses - 'Sweet Child of Mine'. This wasn't my choice, but the lads were unanimous. Especially Jonny Boy, who works in a guitar shop. Customers who play this, 'Smoke on the Water', anything by Eric Clapton or 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' are lucky to leave the shop alive. (Teen Spirit is of course good, but it's like someone singing My Way at karaoke. It's been done).
6. Kate Bush - 'Don't Give Up'.
5.Starship - 'We Built This City on Rock and Roll'.
4. James Blunt. We almost thought of banning him, on the grounds that it's so obvious. But recollections of being stuck in a taxi while 'You're Beautiful' was playing came back to haunt me. He has to be in here somewhere.
3. B52s - 'Love Shack'. Wacky. Wacky is not good. And why do they have to shout so?
2. That 'hot dog, jumping frog' song by Prefab Sprout. Who was more annoying - Wendy from Prefab Sprout or that girl who made the train noises on Deacon Blue songs? (Sorry Tom!)
1. And the winner is: 4 Non Blondes - 'What's Going On'. I bet for a moment you thought, how does that go? And then you remember: 'And I try, oh my god how I try....' And now it's in your head and it will be there forever unless you stick your fingers in your ears and go la-la-la-la for the next hour but even that probably won't work. Pure evil.