Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lazy Day, Lazy Day, Lazy Day For You And Me (NO DUNCAN THE DRAGONS)

Something that's become puzzlingly obvious during the course of this convoluted narrative is that whenever there's a post with a title in French, it generates a smaller than usual flurry of interest, then is seemingly ignored for a couple of days, until the weekend when - for some unexplainable reason - it suddenly goes bananas and the 'views' count rockets into the high hundreds. It's ironic, then, that most of these posts (apart from the one about Blue Peter and left brain/right brain psychometrics, but then that didn't exactly score too highly on the view-o-meter anyway, which probably says a lot about Blue Peter though less than it says about this increasingly tedious diversion into French Lieutenant's Woman-esque postmodernist commentary on the mechanics of, ahem, 'storytelling') have been about The Magic Roundabout, which provided regular weekday entertainment in its pre-news timeslot before disappearing entirely for the duration of the weekend.

But let's not start shouting up to Philip Martin for the next page of the script just yet. Back to The Magic Roundabout, and more specifically the theme music as heard on Music From BBC Children's Programmes. This was, you'll doubtless be unsurprised to hear, the previously much-discussed short sped-up instrumental version as also heard on the BBC's redubs of the series, and indeed on the earlier BBC Records And Tapes story album from whence this was presumably re-edited (though stranger substitutions have happened, and indeed will happen as we move on through the tracklisting... but all in good time). And this short sped-up version, as will have been all too obvious from the last couple of posts (even the bits in French), is deeply entrenched in that sub-psychedelic retro-nirvana higher state of Barnaby-skewed consciousness that had been so keenly sought from Music From BBC Children's Programmes.

True, the theme from The Magic Roundabout is hardly a serious challenger to the I Am Best At Being UK Psych Hurrah title jointly held by The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, Odessey And Oracle and Would You Believe? (oh, alright, or bloody Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band... can we move on now please?), and indeed it may last little more than thirty seconds, but within those little more than thirty seconds - helped in no small part by the trebly and audio-strobing sound quality - there is an entire quasi-hallucinogenic lost world of gaudy crudely-animated entertainment and black and white Radio Times pages. It's a very different kind of psychedelia to that usually ascribed to The Magic Roundabout by tedious drug bores insisting that it's all a drugs analogy about about drugs (drugs), and this ability to tap into 'the past' of popular culture (a phenomenon that itself, ironically, is also becoming a thing of 'the past' thanks to pop-cultural artefacts of yore actually tending to be available these days rather than hovering on the haziest fringes of the collective memory) is, well, exactly what it was hoped that Music From BBC Children's Programmes might possess.

And how are we scoring on the putative, fictional and not entirely logically applicable Sort Of Chart Rundown Thing-O-Meter Of Just How Pan-Cultural Retro-Symbiotic Music From BBC Children's Programmes Actually Is, then? Well, Mary Mungo & Mindfulness-Pickers, what we have so far is roughly half of the tracks hitting the desired Professor Jordan's Magic Soundshow-esque mark, a couple more sort of but not quite doing so, and one not doing so at all, even if it did inadvertently give rise to a bizarre freak incident of 'trending'. It's all starting to resemble a Derek Griffiths-slanted take on Tinkerbell's Fairydust, the fabled elaborately-named UK Psych band who recorded the awe-inspiring singles 2010 and Lazy Day (b/w, coincidentally enough, In My Magic Garden) and an unreleased album, which was the stuff of minor musical holy grail-related speculative music press agogness until it actually eventually was released, and turned out to be a collection of nice-enough-but-nowhere-near-as-good-as-the-singles harmony pop covers. Mind you, it did have a naked fairy on the cover, which at least holds slightly more visual appeal than those loathesome youngsters from the cover of Music From BBC Children's Programmes.

But, as was last mentioned several millennia and a lot of references to France Gall ago, The Magic Roundabout was merely the first half of the fourth track of Music From BBC Children's Programmes, and if it had acted as a sort of retronostalgic knight in shining armour galloping up to smite Blue Peter, then the cavalry were also about to appear on the horizon, riding on the footplate there and back again...

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