Monday, August 3, 2009

Wilkinsons and why you can't listen to Joy Division and eat chocolate

Your average musician spends a lot of time trying to conjure an atmosphere. He or she takes into account a plethora of factors including the blend of instruments, dynamics and quality of sound ,all with the aim of evoking an emotional response from their audience. So how galling it must be to hear your painstakingly constructed piece as background music in Wilkinsons.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Wilkos. It's filled the vacuum that Woolworth's left with its pick n mix, cheap and cheerful stationery and useful things like manure, dustpans and toilet brushes.

Yet as I browsed the aisles, I felt rather sorry for the people who had recorded the rather ethereal ditty playing in the background. While the singer emoted delicately, two women next to me discussed the merits of a hair colourant and a whiny voice came over the tannoy requesting assistance in aisle number one, kids screamed and whined and old ladies shuffled about, most of them seemingly unaware of the music.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't ignore even lift music. Friday night was a good example of this 'affliction'. As a monthly treat I always have a 25 g bar of Belgian dark chocolate. It's just enough to satisfy me and as it's only once a month it feels special and, most importantly, doesn't turn me into a great chocolate guzzling elephant of a woman.

I bought my precious bar in Sainsbury's and sat in the car for a few seconds to enjoy the moment. On the CD player I was playing a rather challenging Joy Division number and I found that this was marring the experience. Bizarrely I felt I couldn't taste the chocolate properly because my senses were overwhelmed by the music. So I turned it off and went into chocolate induced state of bliss for a few seconds. I don't know if this if this is an example of synaesthesia or just being a bit strange. I will have to experiment with some different music before making any conclusions.

But back to Wilkinsons. I suspect most people in Wilkinson's today weren't even aware of the music on a superficial level. The group who recorded the song did it all for nothing as far as Wilko's is concerned. I only hope the royalties are good!


Violet Fenn said...

I shall experiment and report back.

Rob had a nasty experience with hie ipod on 'shuffle' yesterday - apparently Joy Division's 'She's Lost Control' should never, ever be followed by Nick Cave's 'Into My Arms'.
It wasn't a happy marriage, apparently.

They were playing The Icicle Works in our Wilkos last week, and followed it up with Depeche Mode. Think they were on an 80's tip that day...

Purple Passages said...

Yes let me know how you find the Joy Division and chocolate combo. To test my theory you should probably try Nick Cave and chocolate (possibly OK) but clearly not just after Joy Division. Glad we've cleared that one up. ;-)