At the back end of last year, I received an email from an airline company. They wanted to know if we were happy to have the Young’uns’ included as part of their in-flight entertainment music. This request did not particularly surprise me, given that one of the many positive side effects of the Young’uns’ music is tempering altitude sickness, as well as helping to prevent deep vein thrombosis. You don’t get those kind of ancillary benefits with Bellowhead.
I was quite excited at the prospect of being one of the artists played before take-off. What an incredible honour to be the band that blurs out over the speakers, pre-flight, interrupted every thirty seconds by an advert for cheep perfume, car hire or travel insurance. Imagine being the musical backdrop to the pre-flight safety announcements. When I first started singing folk songs, I had no idea that such accolades awaited me.
It transpired, however, that we are not to occupy quite such a hallowed role, but instead our music is to be featured as part of one of the radio programmes that passengers can choose to listen to during their flight. So we’re not quite living the dream yet.
The particular show that we are to be included on is called British Underground Radio. I’m not exactly sure when and where it’s being broadcast, nor how many people will actually get to hear us, but I’m letting you know in case you happen to be on an aeroplane and you see it listed as one of the in-flight entertainment options.
I know we have some very zealous and committed fans, and so I feel it is my responsibility to urge those people not to start booking hundreds of flights, in the hope of having the opportunity to experience our music on an aeroplane, which is certainly an experience worth having. Love in a Northern Town sounds perfectly adequate when listened to in normal settings, but becomes utterly transcendent when listened to at speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour, and at altitudes of ten thousand Feet or higher.
I will try and get more information regarding the exact times and flights on which we are to be aired. I don’t want to be responsible for a dramatic increase in carbon emissions, due to overly keen Young’uns fans.
The airline company sent me a contract to read through and sign. I was cursorily reading through it, not expecting to find anything of note, when I was struck by one of the lines:
“You allow your music to be broadcast in the agreed territory. (Territory shall mean the universe.)”
My goodness, they really do have big plans for our music. Talk about going places. This airline company aren’t satisfied with broadcasting our music solely to planet earth. Oh no, that’s way too anodyne. Nor are they even content to restrict broadcast of our music to our specific Solar System. , that’s not good enough. These guys have ambition. They intend to transcend beyond the Milky way. They’re not pulling punches here. They want the Young’uns to go universal!
It’s good however to see that they haven’t allowed hubris to utterly overtake them, and that they haven’t got ideas that one might deem too unrealistic. They could have expressed their intention to pump our music into multiverses and parallel universes. At least they know when to stop. It’s reassuring to see that they are aware of their limitations, otherwise you could be forgiven for thinking that we’re being sold a pipe dream. Maybe one day our music will get to be heard in various multiverses, but for the time being I’m more than content in the knowledge that our songs will be enjoying a universal audience, and I look forward to signing my first autograph for a Martian.
So, as you can see, it’s an exciting time for the Young’uns right now.
In other news, the Young’uns have been shortlisted for the Best Group of the Year award in SongLines magazine. This is an earth-based publication incidentally; we are yet to receive acclaim from outer space, but obviously it’s only a matter of time. If you want to vote for us to win, then go here. And you really should, because one day we will have support from extraterrestrial beings, who may be inclined to zap those of you who dare not to vote or to vote for another act. So be warned!
This year I resolve to write a blog post a week, so I’ll be back very soon.
A reminder that you can enjoy – or at least listen to anyway – the Twelve Podcasts of Christmas, which looks back at Young’uns Podcasts past. We’ll be back at the end of the month with a new series of weekly podcasts, and the third Pick and Mix will be released soon.