Tuesday Tunes 15: Bye Bye Lockdown?

In many countries the lockdown is beginning to be relaxed with, it has to be said, rather mixed results. In the US, which to my eyes bears the dubious distinction of being the only country to have handled the pandemic more ineptly than us, many states have done the Numpty’s bidding and opened up again rapidly, with some dramatic resulting increases in new cases. But hey, what are a few plebs’ lives when there’s money to be made? I know that these are incredibly difficult decisions to take, and I wouldn’t want to be the one balancing the saving of lives against the need to restart the economy, and what that means for employment and general wellbeing. But as so little is still known about this virus I would have hoped that caution might have been exercised, both on the part of governments and their populations. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and I suspect that we may not be over it yet, hence this week’s theme: Bye Bye Lockdown? Note that question mark, it is important.

Here in the UK you could be forgiven for thinking that our lockdown is already over, judging by the news coverage of rallies, protests, and huge numbers flocking to the beaches during the recent good weather – but with lavatories not being allowed to be open I hate to think what the state of the seawater was like. So, our lockdown is not yet over, but you could be forgiven for not noticing.  Shops and public places have been gradually reopening over the past couple of weeks, but the real changes for most of us don’t even come into effect until this weekend. This will see a significant relaxation in the rules about meeting people outside and inside your home, and will also permit the reopening of pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. In keeping with the whole process so far, the rules are complicated and, in some cases, downright stupid: theatres can reopen, but are not allowed to hold live performances in case anyone gets spat on. Likewise for live music, as it is of course a well known fact that musicians take great delight in spitting on their audiences to share their germs: the Sex Pistols have a lot to answer for!

So, having chosen my theme for this week, how could I find a couple of tunes to illustrate it? On the one hand, there is the aspect of our new freedom, while on the other there is the continuing need to exercise caution to help prevent a second wave of the virus. In true British compromise spirit I decided on one tune for each. It’s probably a good thing that I’m not running the country with decision making abilities like that, but I’m not, so you can all breathe a huge sigh of relief – into your mask, of course. This week’s first tune is the one that goes down the ‘let’s all have a good time’ route, and is from one of my favourite bands: The Darkness. They get a mixed press, and are often deemed not to be ‘cool,’ but I think they make some of the best rock music in this country. They also make superb videos, not taking themselves too seriously, as this one demonstrates. It has a bit of an intro but stick with it – you’ll laugh, I promise:

That track was released as a single, ahead of its inclusion on the band’s third album, Hot Cakes. Surprisingly to me it was their first single not to chart, but I think that may have had more to do with the band having been on a five year hiatus than anything else. Justin Hawkins, the band leader, said this about it at the time: “We wanted to write the world’s simplest, dumbest rock song. It’s harder than you might imagine. Songwriting is like catching butterflies. If a big dumb butterfly isn’t flying past when you’re sitting there with your net, you aren’t going to catch one.” I think it’s rather better than that!

This week’s second tune takes the other route: the need for caution. You have probably gathered from what I have already said, in this post and others, that I am very wary of things being done too quickly. As well as in the US, lockdown relaxations in other countries, such as Germany, Singapore and China, have caused a spike in new cases, and here we have the city of Leicester being put back into quarantine just as the rest of the country is released. I’ll be honest: I’m scared of what may happen, and will be venturing out even less than normal till I’m confident. I’m still some way from needing to cut my own hair, and online shopping does just about everything else I need! So when I saw that another of my favourite bands had recently released a song called Caution it seemed a no-brainer for today:

Whilst the lyrics talk about ‘throwing caution’ there is, I think, an underlying sense that he is trying to get out from what has been holding him back, even though caution may be the better option. The song is going to be on The Killers’ new album, Imploding The Mirage, which is now due (after some delays) for release in December, I think. I for one can’t wait! Like The Darkness, The Killers have also had periods of hiatus in their 20 years together, but it’s good to see them both back with new music. This will be The Killers’ sixth album, which by a neat piece of symmetry (coincidence?) matches The Darkness, whose sixth album Easter Is Cancelled was released last November.

That’s it for this week (back to the regular two tunes!). I hope that by next week events will have enabled me to feel more confident about coming out of lockdown, and I hope that, wherever you are, the same will be true for you. Take care, stay safe, keep well.

28 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 15: Bye Bye Lockdown?

  1. Clive, I’m glad to say that pubs and restaurants are not opening in the whole of the UK. In Wales and Scotland, we have to wait another week, but even then, it won’t be the same as in England where you’ll be allowed to go inside to drink. You’ll only be allowed to drink in beer gardens or outside space that venues have made available. However, I still won’t be visiting any of these places when they do open as I think it far too early for us all to be going down this route.
    In Wales, we’re still not supposed to travel more than 5 miles from where we live (unless it’s for work or is an essential journey). This, however, comes to an end on Monday when we’ll be allowed to travel as far as we want.

    I’m glad we have a devolved government in Wales because I think Westminster has acted under pressure from those who donate to the various political parties. If they’d waited at least another month, I’m sure it would have been a far better and safer time to come out of lockdown slowly. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think both Wales and Scotland are handling this better than England. As you say, they don’t have to kowtow to vested interests, and from an English perspective they seem to be prioritising lives over money. That is, for me, the right way to go. Hopefully things can start returning to normal – or whatever it has become – soon for all of us, Hugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it will be a long time before whatever ‘norman’ is, returns to us, Clive. Many seem to believe that the country (and most of the world) has already returned to normal (including our government). They’ve given a lot of people false hope by opening pubs and bars when the weekly death and infection rate is still high. I’ll be sitting back and watching the numbers over the next few weeks. It’s only the numbers that will make me change my behaviour.
        Stay safe and take care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Call me a cynic, but I think governments – especially ours and in the US – tell us things are getting back to normal, and trust to herd stupidity to accept that. Data is showing cases here hitting a plateau over the past couple of weeks – not declining. I believe it to be incredibly irresponsible of them to be opening up from lockdown before we can be sure that the virus is declining and, like you, I’ll be watching the numbers closely. I would be pleasantly surprised if they decline, but I’m not holding my breath – with or without a mask.

        You take care and stay safe too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I also am unfamiliar with The Darkness, but I sure like this song. It isn’t very often I enjoy a tune the first time I hear it, but I liked this one. The intro had a bit of an AC/DC vibe to it until the singing started. The Killers, of course, I’m more familiar with over here in the US. Great picks today, Clive.

    I hope you have better luck than us in terms of reopening. We already have thirty-one of fifty states on the rise with virus cases, and some governors are scaling back. They trotted out VP Pence a few days ago to tell us how great we’re doing, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Pete, and to have introduced you to something new.

      Fingers crossed with the reopening. Hopefully ours won’t come with the denial that surrounds yours!


  3. Excellent song choices, Clive. I am watching what happens in the UK and USA with interest. It is summer which should help a bit. People don’t generally get as sick in warm weather. The virus is spreading here and my office [which I haven’t been to for three months] has been closed for a deep cleaning because two people who had been there were diagnosed on Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Killers are one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a few). Saw the Darkness back in the early 2000s – didn’t know they were still going but they knew how to put on a show too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My older daughter saw The Killers at the RAH in 2009 and thought they were incredible. I’m looking forward to their new album, if it ever gets here: they gave an interview some months ago saying it would be out in May, then it became July, and iTunes is now showing it as due 31.12 – virus delay, I guess. The Darkness had a five year break due to Justin’s problems but it’s good to see them back again: even if they haven’t hit the heights of their first album they’re still fun.


  5. Darkness and Killers – can you come up with jollier band names next week! An excellent summary of Covid Countdown – the only bright spot seems to be that the number of deaths per day here are in single figures now. My friend’s young nephew thought it hilarious when he returned to rural Hampshire and went to a local shop obeying the rules – claiming nobody in London was worried about Covid!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, they chose them, I didn’t! I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling that new cases and deaths will increase in the next few weeks as the effects of our new freedom kick in. I hope the places that lad had been visiting weren’t typical of London as a whole!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Two great choices; although I’ve never heard of The Darkness. The video was fun to watch. And The Killers are probably the only band formed after the seventies whose music I follow…

    And let’s hope they figure out this lockdown thing…

    Liked by 1 person

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