You are here
Home > Fran’s Editorial > Maybe I shouldn’t admit this but…

Should I admit that I’ve listened to Toto’s Africa at least eight times over the last week?

This was my thought process when I sat to write this week’s blog. Then I thought screw it, I’ve already admitted to enjoying Sonia, (it’s still true!) Toto must be marginally more acceptable, and I know full well there are so many of you out there who know the song, like the song and attempt the high notes every.single.time.

A guilty pleasure? Hmm maybe… But I think it’s really more about nostalgia.  Getting together with friends always ends up with us discussing ‘the old days’ not because we don’t have anything going on in our lives now but because it makes us feel good.  Sharing stories about teenage antics, finding things out about each other from the past we realise we didn’t know and all the while musical taste punctuating every anecdote.  Searching the tracks in our phones and exclaiming: “do you remember this album? We used to play it at sleepovers all the time!”

It’s that thing when you come across a song you haven’t heard for ages and forget that actually, it would make your top 20 all-time favourites.  Africa honestly would be in there for me, and not because I think it’s a ground-breaking piece of musical rhetoric, with incandescent harmonies and a spine tingling melody. Because it brings back a good memory and listening to it makes me smile.

How many songs in your collection induce that feeling?  The feeling that takes you back to a simple moment where you can honestly say you felt truly content.   My late husband had a penchant for power ballads and he used to love to “sing” Africa at the top of his lungs – mainly to annoy me, secretly though, I loved it!

The whole of Stereophonics’ Performance and Cocktails gives me a comforting warm feeling  –  an album that is in my opinion epic!  Kelly Jones’ skill for telling stories through music, for creating a catchy but not cheesy melody gives me goose bumps, this album and Word Gets Around are by far their best – if your collection is missing these gems, may I suggest you purchase.

Performance and Cocktails transports me back to a beach in Lloret de Mar; a holiday where a friend and I were ‘let loose’ our last year before the independence (and marginal responsibility) of university.  We got free entry into clubs (as girls tended to at that time) were chased down the beach by two Italian men (worrying) and got into a lot of trouble drinking vodka and coke, which I might add, I haven’t drank since!

That album played us through the entire week, Just Looking in particular holds the memories for me. Reflective and yet questioning lyrics, a soft intro with Jones’ single guitar repeating the melody, his husky voice low and calm.  Cable’s (sorely missed) drums enter, building the tempo and as the beat picks up into the chorus, all guitars create a fuller brighter sound.  I can still feel the sun on my skin and hear the waves gently breaking, every time I listen to it.


Leave a Reply