[16] The Jam, ‘That’s Entertainment’

The Jam

By now firmly settled in the pantheon of Britain’s great sub-/urban chroniclers – a line stretching from Ray Davies through Tilbrook, Le Bon, Ryder and Doherty (in his Arcadian dreams), right down to Lily Allen – Paul Weller was knocking out the sure-eyed classics with spittled ease. ‘That’s Entertainment’ makes you feel awfully jolly about your lot as you watch the telly and think about your holidays, as it pisses down with rain on a boring Wednesday, as you decide – Jesus – let’s get right out of Dodge. Controlled aggression slips its moorings and soon a ditty turns into an anthem.

Junior strums her imaginary acoustic, bearing a look of fierce Wellerian concentration. She tells me that she doesn’t like it, but that’s difficult to believe and soon she breaks into a smile: “I was only joking!” Just like our Paul? Some chance.

[11] Squeeze, ‘Up The Junction’

Well, this is a right barrel of laughs; auspicious meeting, alcoholism and estranged fatherhood set to one of the catchiest tunes of the year. The ironic sing-along melody and clunky rhymes make for some rueful fun and pop scholars Tilbrook and Difford wallow in it all, throwing in forboding chords for “little kicks inside her” and dropping everything for the lad’s lonely kitchen vigil. Still, the return of the lovely organ refrain at the climax makes everything all right again.

“Within a year a walker”: Junior herself missed the window by a month, but seven-month-old little sis is looking active. This doesn’t stand out as a song to dance to, but Junior insisted on me copying a variety of steps before she took her sister’s hands for the final third. She zeroes in on the essential rhythms of these numbers, showing natural flair. We can say – with some confidence – she gets it from her mother. I just watch out for soldiers.