A hazy shade of pale

A self indulgent musical interlude this week, brought on by the weather. Well, the weather, spending last weekend painting the entryway into our little apartment and listening to the rain hammering down outside. Watching paint dry, the walls closing in, I needed musical distractions.

Not raining, almost bright

There are so many songs about the rain, and so many rain-connected OldPlaidCamper musical memory moments. Musical memory moments?! I sound like a DJ on a golden oldies radio station. (Smashie and Nicey!) You might want to spin the dial, find another channel. I won’t mind, and you know how it is – we all think our musical taste is simply great. Although I’ve read ahead, and I’m not too convinced about mine. Anyway, here it is, a rain-inspired mix tape. Oh no…

Rain! (The blur in front of the wheelhouse is a belted kingfisher, photobombing and about to dive in!)

Press Play

Ongoing rain had me humming “Rain” by Status Quo. Not my favourite Quo song, but still a good one. My favourite Quo album? “Hello!” Even as a child, I thought “Hello!” – that sounds pretty friendly, much like how the band came across. Some music critics have said that if you’ve heard one Quo song, you’ve heard all Quo songs. Bit harsh, that. I love the album closer on Hello! Forty-Five Hundred Times – I’ve probably heard it 4500 times, and it doesn’t get old. I recall a very happy evening in 1982 at the Hammermith Odeon, leaving with slightly damaged eardrums after the one and only time I saw Status Quo live. It was fabulous. Oh, and I expect it was raining that night.

Light rain

Fast Forward (FFWD)

When we were in France, I’d very occasionally go out to a local bar, talked into it after heavy persuasion from a friend. This was usually on a rainy night in winter. Rain in southern France in the winter? Yup! The musical connection was we’d sometimes run into Vince Clarke. If you liked mid 80s and into the 90s and beyond synth pop and EDM, then you’ll know all about him. He’s an electro pop giant in small human form. A quiet man with a very dry sense of humour.

It might be a controversial stance amongst chin-stroking muso-journo types, but I much prefer Erasure to Depeche Mode. If an Erasure tune doesn’t (at the very least) get your toe tapping, you probably need to see your doctor about the lack of a pulse. If forced to choose, and how difficult it is, my favourite Erasure album is “The Innocents”, and favourite track is Yahoo! If all that upbeat gospel-sounding camp doesn’t make you smile, then what will? Even if you’re repainting white walls, you’ll smile.

It rained shortly after

Rewind (RWND)

Thank you, Vince Clarke! His public demeanour is somewhat similar to that of another pokerfaced keyboard whiz, Christopher Lowe. He’s a Pet Shop Boy, the quiet man to Neil Tennant’s deadpan, half-singing but mostly spoken delivery. You’ll be fascinated to read that if I’ve played some Erasure tunes, I’ll often then play some Pet Shop Boys, happily lost in the synth-pop bleeps and blurps. Is blurps a word? Is there a Pet Shop Boys song about rain? Not sure. There is one where it stops raining! Miracles! Pretty good, but not my favourite PSB tune – that’s revealed below.

As we’re here, and I’m sharing not so interesting stories, here’s another. My very slight connection to these chaps is an (unintentional) appearance in the original video of West End Girls. I happened to be walking by when they were filming around Waterloo Station back in 1985, and I have a blink and you’ll miss it moment. (I’m the pretty one – you’ll know if you’ve seen it.) Personal fame and international stardom aside, even this isn’t my favourite PSB tune. Hmm, hard to choose, but I’ll plump for either Being Boring or Vocal. Surprisingly, and to the disappointment of many, I wasn’t called back to feature in either of the videos, A sad loss for the MTV and YouTube generation…

So there you go, an unnecessary, indulgent, and overlong musical interlude brought on by the rain. If you’ve read this far, thank you, and you’ve probably spent more time on this than I did doing the decorating last weekend!

Oh, raining? Might as well repaint the hallway…

Press Stop

All this being boring was fun for me. I promise you I won’t be writing another music related piece for quite a while. Perhaps next time I’m doing some repainting, and hopefully no sooner than next decade. Thanks for listening to a terrible mix tape, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

A hazy shade of pale

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

14 thoughts on “A hazy shade of pale”

    1. Yup, that’s a good video Wayne shared! Smashie and Nicey were two comedy character creations that skewered a particular era of ageing DJs back in the UK. Funny stuff if you knew who the targets were. Gentle ribbing.
      I hope your week is going well!


  1. Getting the painting done to the pitter-patter rhythms of the rain is more productive than I’ll be in the rains this weekend. Hopefully I can get some thinking done, however– maybe to the hazy shade of Simon & Garfunkle, Beatles rain, Credence have you ever seen it, sort of thing. Meanwhile it’s a pleasure to see your watery realm & to hear what you’ve been listening to!


    1. Thanks for suggesting my dabbing paint on walls is productive! It’s certainly a production, the way I go about it…
      Yup, Simon and Garfunkel provided more than a hint of the heading! They’d be a good accompaniment to a spot of painting.
      I hope your weekend was as productive as you needed it to be!


  2. Loved all the rain here, pc, and moody photos. I think I’d rather be in the rain than painting. The funny line I liked today: “…you know how it is – we all think our musical taste is simply great. Although I’ve read ahead, and I’m not too convinced about mine.” Made me laugh outloud, my friend.


    1. Thanks, Jet! After a couple of weekends painting, I’ll say it was moody here at PlaidCamper Towers. I blame the fumes…
      Yes, lots of rain and too much paint means it’s laugh or cry. Mostly laughing, and again, probably the fumes.
      I hope your week is off to a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the musical interlude this week and definitely would not want to wait a decade for another!! Enjoyed the mix tape and listening to a few new tunes. Although, it reminded me again that somewhere along the way I’ve become stuck on an oldies station when I realized Singin’ in the Rain was the first rainy song that came to mind. As much as I love that scene of Gene Kelly singin’ and dancing in the rain, one would think I would be a fan of our new winter rainy weather as all the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” (maybe I’m just stuck on the classics station and not oldies). Enjoyed the beautiful west coast version of rainy day photos and the musical memories and, of course, following an international star!!


    1. Thank you! I definitely find myself reaching back into the past when choosing music these days. I’ve lost interest in what is current, and I suppose that’s what happens. I like listening to albums, a body of work, and I can’t get too excited by the newer stuff (said every person ever as they hit the half century and beyond!)
      I hope your week is off to a good start, and you’re hearing great songs on the radio – old and new!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Please! More musical commentary! Never really listened to the Quo, though I certainly know who they are, not merely due to the Bandwagonesque line, “She wears denim wherever she goes/says gonna get some records by the Status Quo.” As for Vince Clarke, I’d choose Erasure over any of his other efforts, though the only Depeche Mode I really like is from his tenure. As a typical Yank, the only PSB I know are the hits on this side of the pond, but I’m going to pull up the “West End Girls” video to see if I can spy you. Though I tend towards punkier stuff from that era, here are few from the Isles that I at least occasionally listen to: loved the first Prefab Sprout album, and I usually draw a blank stare when I mention them nowadays. Gary Numan, in the early British electronica genre. Boomtown Rats are criminally underated, IMO. I was the only kid in my high school listening to War-era U2, and they were my favorite band until they became insufferable. And I love, love, love the Undertones! Did I mention that I love the Undertones?


    1. Great comment, Bob! The first Prefab Sprout album was played to death by my peers, you couldn’t drive anywhere without someone pushing in the cassette! I’m going to give it another listen soon – wasn’t a big fan, they were just there, and I always winced at the line about having “six things on my mind, and you’re not one of them” – ouch!
      The Undertones always got people up and jumping, but being daft teens, all our friends and acquaintances called Jimmy got some stick…
      U2 were great up until Joshua Tree, then it all got too big, too pompous, and no sense of humour. Under a Blood Red Sky mostly cured me of a worrying metal phase!
      As for Teenage Fanclub, they’re probably my all time favourites, and I love how even now they pop up with an album, always a pleasant surprise. Thank God being tipped to become bigger than Nirvana never happened for them.
      Right, time to give Steve McQueen another listen.


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