I had another trip over to my son’s new home today. Painting, grass cutting and out of tune singing to 1980’s hits the top of my agenda.

If not singing along to music on Pulse 80’s FM, I tend to hum the base line of the 30+ year old refrain. The humming solution ordinarily manifesting itself when confronting lyrics I don’t know. To my mind, a far more apt substitute than replacing unknown song text with the word Sainsburys, as is the want of an idiosyncratic acquaintance of mine.

Despite me murmuring a bass line accompaniment significantly more melodiously than my singing, it’s a habit my son Jonny finds disorientating. The low hum something he likens to the audio output of an electric generator. A tic of mine that accompanies the tapping of a paint brush on a metal gloss tin as an habitual irritant to my offspring.

Only time will tell whether this ability to mimic 80’s songs by the art of mouth vibration will secure me a place on TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent (BGT).

I realise humming a refrain only attracts a niche audience; significantly limiting my earning capacity and reducing my chances of fame as a serious musician. However, I think my bass line mimicry is accomplished enough for Simon Cowell et al to at least give me fifteen minutes of fame.

My brother Ian reckons I’d enhance my chances of success on the show by going into the auditions with a top level sob story. Respecting my siblings greater insight into the politics of BGT, I’ve decided to follow his advice.

Consequently, when I introduce myself to Cowell and his fellow judges I’m going to regale them with the melancholy tale of my dismissal by controversial LBW decision at Addingham cricket ground in 2003. An anecdote that will no doubt endear me to the right people before a note is even hummed.
sob story

All that remains to do prior to completing my application form for BGT is decide which of the numerous 1980’s classics refrains to choose as my signature melody.

Initially, I was thinking Thriller by Michael Jackson, one of the iconic songs of that decade, would be a good choice. However, despite being able to tunefully replicate most of the song, the Vincent Price rap at the end proved overly onerous to mimic via the medium of mouth reverberation. Subsequently I consigned that to the bin.

With my humming of refrains being heavily stacked towards the bass line underpinning the anthem, I mulled over choosing a Level 42 offering from that era. Mark King’s redounding bass sound a perfect vehicle for my particular type of song replication. My brother talked me out of the idea, though, opining in contemporary times it’s unlikely the Britain’s Got Talent audience would engage warmly to Level 42 songs.

Our kid then went on to say he’d a much better sob story for me than the planned 15 year old cricket dismissal tale.

“In what way, Ian?” I queried with interest.

“Well a lass I know from Heworth fell off a cliff last weekend. You should use that to pull a few heart strings.” my well meaning brother advocated.

“Well I don’t know her……. How the hell can I use that as a sympathy seeking tale?!” i queried disbelievingly.

“It’s really sad, though, Gaz!” our kid argued.

“I know Cheesy (his nickname), but I don’t see how I can relate the tragic death of someone who’s not a relative, friend or indeed met, to try gain an advantage over more talented people with trouble-free lives.” I countered with surprising calm.

“She didn’t die, Gaz!” our Ian attempted to clarify.

“What?!!…. She fell off a cliff and survived?!!” I asked incredulously.

“Cliff’s her boyfriend. She fell off him in bed, prior to landing on her dog.” our kid explained further.

“Did she kill the dog then?” I asked confusedly trying to seek the tragic angle of the tale.

“No…….. It apparently yelped a bit, then ran downstairs.”  came my younger siblings deadpan response.

“So not only do I not know this lass from Heworth, but it isn’t even a chuffing sad story?!” I growled at my time being wasted……… At this, Ian briefly paused prior to mooting:-

“Alright then, go attention seek with your Addington cricket dismissal in 2003, you miserable get!”