Northern Star Column

Vuvuzela vesuvius and a profound lack of sleep

With the World Cup dominating my cortexes and precluding any notions of sleep, it’s been a long, dreamlike procession of lurid guernseys, sneering vuvuzela, botched refereeing and the odd extraordinary goal to keep it interesting. These are precisely the right conditions for songwriting under ordinary circumstances – where the mind is locked onto an astounding circumstance and can run free, abetted by the free-associating chicanery of sleep deprivation, you can usually come up with some pretty radical nonsense.

But as James Morrison demonstrated on the Ed Sam and Santos programme, that jarring vuvuzela drone, the blaring idiocy of a million amplified blowflies, falling somewhere between ‘A’ and ‘B flat’, is guaranteed to cruel any looming lyric – if music soothes the savage beast, the vuvuzela bites it like a tsetse fly.

On the weekend I tried to distract myself with Ghost Mountain at the Buddha Bar, Birdbrain, the Tendons, Antibodies and Slug at the Great Northern, Kathryn Hartnett at Lennox Pub – to no avail. Every time I turn on the tele and try to concentrate on writing a less irritating World Cup jingle the vuvuzelas awake, it’s offside, handball, and my brain scores an own goal.

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