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I’m just not musical...

Comment
Mike Gaunt


I’m not one of those people who listens to music a great deal. I like music, to be sure, and enjoy listening, but somehow, I just don’t think to play it as often as others.

Since ‘she who must be obeyed’ is the same, our house is often strangely silent and bereft of melody.

I suppose I’m just not musical, much as I quite like it. I have Van Gogh’s ear for music!

I know many people though, who are real music ‘junkies’ and simply cannot live without their ‘fix’ of music.

Take my son, for instance. He can link his mobile’s playlists to his car’s system, via ‘Bluetooth’ and can take his music with him.

When I get in the car, it doesn’t even occur to me to put the radio on.

Sometimes, if I’m back in Blighty, I might listen to BBC Radio 4 and the news discussion programme.

I need to develop the habit of listening to music.

Most folk, I suspect, have the same difficulty.

When you get home, do you automatically ensure that music is playing?

Do you routinely have little buds in your ears, listening to your favourite playlist?

Or are you, like me, simply not in the habit – like a nun in mufti?

My father-in-law loves those programmes on the telly which encourage talent – singing talent especially.

He watches Britain’s Got Talent and The X-Factor. His favourite, though, is The Voice, with Sir Tom Jones.

I have to be honest and admit to a preference for Strictly, but there you go!

As it happens, he is coming to Portugal soon.

Not my father-in-law; he already lives here, about 20 minutes away.

When someone asked ‘she who must be obeyed’ how far away he lived the other day, she replied ‘not quite far enough’.

Ha! No, Sir Tom is coming here. In July. He is going to perform at the EDP Cool Jazz festival in Cascais in July next year.

He is one of those sounds of my youth. Along with Sir Cliff Richard, Petula Clark and Cilla Black, he is just part of the musical lexicon which clicks into action when I think of my younger days.

He is truly a legend, whether you like him or not.

I think he is nearly 80 years of age and yet here he is, still singing lustily and showing the young talent the way to go.

Just a few years ago, he played Captain Cat in a BBC production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood.

It was a production which was full of rich, gorgeous Welsh voices, from Katherine Jenkins to Michael Sheen and Jonathan Pryce.

I recall playing Mr Waldo when Manama Theatre Club performed this in St Christopher’s School Hall, years ago, and I think it is the most wonderful piece of writing.

So, music is something I need to develop a habit for.

I have carried out a survey recently and I can share the results with you.

I asked 10 colleagues just this evening the following question: Do you regularly listen to music? Six responded positively, three negatively and one replied ‘it’s not unusual!’

 Mike Gaunt is a former assistant headmaster at St Christopher’s School, Bahrain – mikegaunt@gmail.com