I was coming in on the train this morning, ear-buds in place, cultivating that middle-distance stare that regular commuters have, when Nik Kershaw‘s “Wouldn’t it be good?” looped in.
We were just coming into Richmond, and I was transported to my teen years in Brisbane. I never really knew what Nik’s song was about. All its videoclip and refrain telegraphed to me was pretty angst, which – for a teen – is dead attractive.
This led me to contemplate my audio teen years. With apprehension.
I remembered Saturday mornings in front of Video Hits, my sister’s obsession with Pseudo Echo, crushes on everyone with big pants and spiky hair (hello, Howard Jones), Dave Dobbin’s “Slice of Heaven” as make-out music, listening to the Thriller album for the first time over the radio and trying to record the songs so we could play them again + again…
It was particularly strange to be zapped back to that time through the flow of music. I’m a bit of a philistine when it comes to music. I don’t follow bands, the last live gig I went to was Sonia Dada, and the last big live concert I was at as a teen was David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour (I have been to a Billy Joel concert since Bowie [post-teen] but I was too embarrassed to list that as my last concert…).
I don’t get into music the way I get into books and movies. That’s not to say I don’t get obsessive about songs and some musicians but, in general, I’m immune to new music trends/bands/material. I’ll cotton on to a popular song about three months after it’s passe.
My musical preferences are firmly fossilised in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of those songs are now considered retro-trendy, but I can’t claim any of that stewed and recycled cultural distillation. I liked it when it first came out and haven’t really developed since then. Maybe I’m musically puerile.
The most alarming music thing for me at the moment is my daughter’s too-early obsession with her first boy-band, 1D. She’s in prep school (5-6 year olds); older girls sing and dance to 1D in the breaks and all the younger girls are entranced by this boppy sophistication. So, I know all the 1D hits…and I even like playing them for her because I get a chance to hear them.
I was never that much of an obsessive fangirl that I delved into his biography or post-“Wouldn’t it be good?” life. So, reading the interview is actually the first time I’ve known about the things he did after the breakthrough song and ensuing charts occupation.
It was fantastic to hear that he’s been working consistently in the industry all this time – he was working on his eighth studio album at the time of the interview.
I’ll let Nik have the last word, via an excerpt from the Flush the Fashion interview:
FtF: What would you have done if the music industry hadn’t worked out?
NK: I’m pretty much unemployable. I’d probably still be in the civil service (I worked in an unemployment benefit office for three years). Either that or I’d make quite a good Pope. I’m very good at waving.