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Here we go, it’s summer again.  John Major once said that summer was about drinking warm beer and hearing the sounds of leather on willow.  What did he know?  He probably never even watched Buffy.  Anyway you know what summer’s all about anyway, don’t you?  It’s all about people everywhere trying to impose their lack of musical taste on you.

It’s bad enough trying to deal with the year-round annoyances like teenagers on trains and buses listening to music on their phones or the ones who very considerately use headphones then turn the volume up to ear-bleeding levels to annoy us anyway.  It sounds terrible and it’s usually something that you would rather eat your own toenails than listen to.  Then along comes summer.

Half a day of sunshine and the rules change completely; suddenly everyone thinks they have the right to assault the ears of the rest of the world.  I was woken up at 7am by some moron who had parked his car outside, left the engine running, opened the doors wide and had the radio up to 11.  Which artist do you think gently eased my passage into wakefulness?  You’d expect Rizzle Kicks or David Guetta or Calvin Harris, wouldn’t you.  No, this leader of the mild boys was waking up the neighbourhood with John Cougar feckin’ Mellencamp (“Jack and Diane” if you must know).  Every car either has the windows open or the roof down so that every motorist can show the depths of their musical appreciation.  And the mainstream radio programming is so predictable; whether it’s DJ Sammy or Don Henley, you can get too much of “Boys of Summer”.

But it gets even worse.  Sunshine in the evening and at the weekend means it’s barbecue time and vegetarians get the double whammy of the smell of dead animals being cremated to the accompaniment of your neighbours’ music collection.  But there’s another refinement to the torture; you don’t think anyone uses a music system designed to deliver a good sound outside do you?  Of course not; it costs a fortune to hire the expertise to produce a decent sound outdoors (and even then, there are no guarantees), so it’s much easier to just stick the speakers out of the window.  It can go 2 ways from here; either you can’t get it loud enough to hear it or someone cranks it up so it distorts so much that it could be anything by the Jesus and Mary Chain.  When someone does get a decent sound system for a special occasion it costs so much that they decide to get full value by playing till 3am.  It’s a lose/lose situation.

Can things get any worse?  Afraid so; reach for the ear defenders when the teenage DJ Wannabe turns up with his (they’re always boys) laptop and mixing software.  You can do all sorts of clever stuff with software now, and this kid will do the lot to impress his mates.  If you look really closely at any Hieronymus Bosch painting you’ll see a spotty adolescent with a laptop and headphones in a corner somewhere.  Seriously.  Roll on winter.