* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Seven Songs

15 December 2003
(If it's good enough for Nick Hornby it's good enough for Jamie.)

I think we sometimes need more shape to our lives. Like Andrew's emotional anchors, you really should hook yourself to a moment, a mood, a period in time when you were something definable. A quick straw poll of people in the office of which songs had shaped their lives produced limited results: a grunt here and there, Lisa saying something about 'some serious shit going down to Peace Frog by The Doors'. I find it a lot easier. This is only five minutes work...

Chesney Hawkes - The One and Only

I'm almost proud to admit this was the first single I bought for myself. [Only because the first single I bought, full stop, was Big Fun's Can't Shake The Feeling, for my sister's birthday. She was four years older and had requested it, so the blame is firmly at her doorstep] A defining moment, very early on in my learning curve of popular music appreciation, and a relic from a bygone age of the charts. I remember seeing it on Top of the Pops, buying it when it charted at 14, learning all the lyrics (even then I had that sort of mind), and seeing it edge up the charts to number five, before celebrating wildly as it hit number one. Kids these days miss out on all the excitement. And there's never a tune you can whistle to.

Gina G - (Ooh Aah) Just a Little Bit

Or, the moment I lost faith in Eurovision but learnt I was 'the greatest dancer'. From the moment when the lovely GG first auditioned on 'A Song for Europe', we were hooked - sixteen-year-olds attracted by a catchy hook, winning choreography and short skirts. But it was the repeated live performances on TOTP - every week for about four weeks - that really started the craze, and I memorised the whole set of dance moves for the chorus. Then again, doing the dance moves around our SCR wasn't going to do anything to dispel outsiders' 'all public schoolboys are gay' stereotypes. Criminally, Gina fell at the final hurdle, those dirty continental buggers tactically voting her down to seventh place. Despite her wearing little more than a marginally oversized belt.

Smokey Robinson - The Tracks of My Tears

OK, I was going through a melodramatic adolescent phase and far too much exposure to soul music (and too little exposure to girls), but it shames me to think I used to think this song was me. A bizarre mix of self-aggrandisement (People say I'm the life of the party 'cos I tell a joke or two) and wallowing in self-degradation. It might even have been forgivable if I had been dumped and could claim some sort of justification; but I think I was just in love with the romantic ideal of the tragic clown. I now am far less so. Let's put this sorry shame behind us and move on.

McAlmont & Butler - Yes

So you want to know me now: how I've been. You can't help someone recover after all you did. So tell me: Am I looking better? Have you forgot whatever it was that you couldn't stand about me? Yes I do feel better(yes I do); I feel alright; I feel well enough to tell you what you can do with what you've got...

Some real ambivalence on this one, mainly to do with the hearts that I think I've broken over the years (the main reason I don't know is that I lost touch with all of them through a combination of pride and cowardice. Not a Jane Austen novel, but I think it should be). Part of me wants them to be there, singing it in front of me like everything's OK (though saying similar words might be more realistic); part of me dreads the idea.

Oh, and it follows on beautifully from Creep on one of my magic mixes.

The Charlatans - Just When You're Thinking Things Over

At last - something more cheerful. Plonky pianos, buzzing guitars: this is the sound of the nineties, the sound of 12:6, the sound of the good times. This is standing in front of the crowd like a DJ god, back after a year away, singing 'I'm coming home', claiming more than 50% of the credit for someone else's impeccable musical taste. Cheers mate. I'll pay you back one day, I promise.

Smile by the Supernaturals fits into the same category - nice and bouncy, happy, shouty stuff that reminds you of warm fuzzy feelings with a bit of a cool edge.

Robbie Williams - Rock DJ

The most recent song of real relevance. Me and my latest personality: bit of a show-off from time to time, but also a bit funny, harmless and slightly different from the rest of the dross out there. Plus you can sing it at karaoke, put your heart and soul into it and pretend you're being ever-so-slightly ironic - just like the man himself.

Blimey. 24 more of those and I can have my own bestseller. You can have your ball back, Hornby. Just promise not to write another pile of crap like How To Be Good, OK?


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

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