Sounds from beyond the Shed 130 – “The wheels on the bus”

The kids are alright .....aren't they?

Thirty-five years ago I drove my first school bus.

This may come as no surprise to regular readers of this column but to some it may be a surprise that their favourite columnist/radio host/retired school teacher can also drive a bus. And not just a bus, in my previous life before teaching I was running coaches all over Europe – not many bands unfortunately but lots of Grand Prix and holidays in exotic places think Austrian Alps, French Riviera and even Russia (before all this horror). But the bread and butter of any coach company is the school run. Regular contract, steady money and easy peasy. Most of the time.

The first one I did was a horror show. There was screaming, crying, boys trying to set fire to people’s hair, ill-advised makeovers on a bumpy road leading to a punch up and even, I suspect, a child trying to climb out of the top floor emergent window at the back. I visibly aged in one afternoon. After a while crowd control whilst negotiating country lanes in icy weather with no demisters becomes second nature and so it was with absolutely no trepidation at all that I volunteered to support my post-teaching income with some school bus driving.

Things have changed. Sure noisy as hell getting on but once on everyone just sat down and stared at their devices…… Not a peep. Not even when I played Sounds from beyond the Shed through the radio system. By the end of the journey I was genuinely unsettled. What’s happened to our kids. Where’s the joyous spontaneous interaction, the piss taking and the laughs? On line it seems, but I didn’t hear much laughing. Loathe as I am to say it but I miss the anarchy.

I did some miles this weekend (Buxton for a writers weekend then London for Jason Isbell see review elsewhere) so took the opportunity to listen to some Sam Morrow and some John Wesley Harding (now touring as Wesley Stace –  Catch him if you can, I especially recommend the Birmingham venue! The radio show features all the usual nonsense including three tracks from new albums by Brown Horse and Swimming Bell as well as Dawes, Wand, Van Morrison, Frazey Ford, Songs: Ohio, Tom Waits and even some The The. As ever take what you want or need.



About Keith Hargreaves 365 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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