Many readers may not know that your humble editor is – in real life – a school teacher. Specifically, I teach Computing Science (as its now called up here in Scotland) as well as covering more basic ICT skills with younger year groups. I also do a lot of work with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at my school.
One of the “joys” of the DofE work is ferrying 14 pupils at a time in a minibus to and from the wilds around Glasgow (which is a different kind of “wild” from that which you would experience in Glasgow, mainly by the addition of countryside and the removal of NEDs). This experience has, historically, been quite painful as schoolchildren in a minibus tend to be quite high-spirited. And loud. And, sadly, all have flipping mobile phones and music players that they insist on putting on at loud volume while playing some truly dreadful music.
However, on a very recent trip I made a breakthrough. A common ground was discovered and a mutual love of cheesy classics was shared between this aging staff member and his younger cohort. For this I must thank Tragedy – the #1 metal tribute to the Bee Gees (and more) in the Tri-State area (and beyond).
Due to the minibuses not having bluetooth, I resorted to CDs for the trip back from the wilderness. I currently have four CDs in the flat, three of which are by Tragedy and two of those were a gift from Mo’Royce when I interviewed him recently. You know when you’ve got music on really low to the point where you can’t actually hear it… but a song starts bopping around in your head for some reason then you realise it’s actually on the radio? Well, this happened with the pupils.
The song was “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Mignight)” from Death to False Disco-Metal, but the kids had no idea why they were singing it. Until I ramped up the volume. Next thing you know, most of them are singing the chorus and going “toodle-oo-toodle-oo” to the ramped up guitar breaks. Then the cries of “Wait… this isn’t the original! This is… metal or something!”
“This is so cool!”
Fair enough, they weren’t massive fans of every single track. Those that stuck closest to the originals were well-received, while others didn’t cut the mustard. “You’re The One That I Want” didn’t go down so well, despite being one of my favourite Tragedy covers too date. “Too slow,” they cried, ignoring my explanation that it’s not slow, it’s heavy. “Y.M.C.A.” was popular, though, as were “Believe” and “Dancing Queen”.
It was just nice to be able to listen to noisy children on a bus and not feel the urge to try to insert ear plugs at 50mph. It’s also pleasing to know that the classics – some of them at least – have another generation who appreciate them and don’t have any shame in belting out the words. In front of their friends. While sober.