Yesterday, my lunchtime was spent at an Italian restaurant in the centre of our splendid West Yorkshire metropolis. Here my wife and I feasted on festive fare, prior to being royally entertained by classic sounds from the Motown songbook, while imbibing an agreeable bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
In our hosts glitzy 1920’s art-deco style surroundings, four singers (3 male and 1 female)took us back to the 1960’s, bequeathing us iconic tunes originally produced on Berry Gordy’s legendary record label. This included performances of accomplished cover versions of The Temptations, Four Tops and The Drifters, to name a few.
As they’ve done for over fifty years, these soul anthems morphed the listeners feet into uncontrollable tapping machines. I realise there’s probably no such thing as a tapping machine, but in the absence of an adequate simile, I maverickly plumped for that particular descriptive noun.
Despite their audience feeling sluggish after filling themselves with Christmas cuisine, the band managed to coax the majority into a sing and dance-a-long. No doubt to the relief of the overworked dining chairs, who appeared to be buckling under the recently added weight.
As a consequence of the culinary delights, vino of fine bouquet and toe tapping classic songs, high spirits were abound in this glitzily decorated venue.
With tongues loosened by festive quaffing, an impromptu sing-along karaoke manifested itself; only without the requirement of a word prompting accompaniment. There was no need; everyone seems to know the lyrics of these upbeat 1960’s Motown ditties. Words that, like it or not, have been subliminally implanted into our sub-conscious mind for over half a century.
That being said, the guy sitting next to me did seem to struggle with some of the lyrics. I’m pretty sure there is no reference to Sainsburys supermarket in the Temptations classic ‘My Girl’. I’m also fairly certain there’s no mention of Tesco in the Diana Ross hit ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’. Or indeed Costco in the Jackson 5 tune ‘ABC’.
I know we’re all can be guilty of making up lyrics, especially when uncertain of a song’s lexilogical content. Our over-enthusiasm for the task in hand not letting small things like being bereft of the correct words ruin a sing along.
That being said, the majority replace words with something remotely akin to the lyrics they don’t know. Ordinarily avoiding the ignominy of randomly substituting them with the name of large retail outlets.
Regardless, the guy next to me didn’t spoil my post lunch entertainment with his eccentric sing-a-long; even with his ridiculous rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit ‘Off The Walmart’. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, one which Karen and I treat as the Christmas outing of my website writesaidfred.org
Following our departure from the restaurant, my spouse and I kept up the cosmopolitan nature of the afternoon when we ventured to a Cuban bar on Briggate.
Thankfully, at this venue there was no sing-along utilising retail store names to mask lyrical knowledge deficiencies. The sign behind the bar of ‘Store Names used in sing-alongs will result in a life ban’ seemingly negating such nonsense. Instead the murmur of early evening drinkers our audio companion, which gradually increased in volume as revellers motor skills diminished in parity with their alcohol intake.
Our evening in town ended when we left.