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In this regular feature we ask the Everything Indie Over 40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally supplies the narrative.

In this edition:-

The Indie Top Ten Songs with DAYS OF THE WEEK in the title

Way back in the mists of time, possibly before even days of the week had been invented, I went to university. Actually, that’s a lie. I proudly went to polytechnic, partly as a sly two-fingered gesture towards the expectations of my school and also, frankly, because I didn’t reckon I was clever enough to go to university. Anyway, the education system had the last laugh and my polytechnic became a university after the first year of my studies.

However, that is a digression. By the time I graduated, someone had come up with the great idea of labelling 24 hour long chunks of time so we knew what days were Neighbours days and which days weren’t. To celebrate that stroke of ingenuity, here is a song entitled The Days Of The Week, performed by Stephen Duffy’s The Lilac Time and nominated by @maffrj 

Having spent three years studying hard with the ultimate goal of bettering my future prospects I left polytechnic university and did what all graduates are expected to do. I got a job: four shifts a week in a pub. Part-time, of course. Conveniently for this Top 10, those shifts took place on the same days as the song nominated by @Rich_W27: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday by The Brilliant Corners.

The pub in which I worked sold beer produced by the cheapest brewery in the north of England and attracted a working class clientele who were, by and large, the loveliest people you could hope to meet, albeit with a tale or two to tell. Not dissimilar to the characters in that Brilliant Corners song, really.

The pub was not especially musical, except for a jukebox which was used by some customers to play ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ several times over just to spite me. However, it did play host to a middle-aged customer – let’s call him Trevor to protect the innocent – for whom music was the lead in to any conversation. Especially if the conversation was with a group including young women. These conversations were as predictable in nature (harmless but awkward – there was no creepiness going on, it must be noted) as they were in their regularity: Sunday to Saturday, as @darrenmjones and The June Brides would have it, the same lines would crop up.

“Here’s one for you,” Trevor would say, sidling up to a group ready for the beginning of their evening out. “You’ll never get it…” (Well, not much point trying then eh, Trevor? But never mind, let’s carry on). “Give me a record for every day of the week. One record for each day, and it’s got to have the day’s name in it. You’ll never get it. Go on…”

Even at this early stage eyes could be seen rolling and “rescue me” glances could be seen in the eyes of the contestants. “I’ll give you one for starters,” Trevor would offer: “Wednesday Week” by The Undertones. It’s possible that @Mickeya100 might have once taken part in this pop quiz, given the speed at which he proffered the very same song for us.

As we are heading back in time with this little story, it makes sense to go backwards in terms of days too. Before Trevor’s victims/participants could begin to make sense with the task ahead of them he would already be helping them out further. “‘Ruby Tuesday’. You can have that. I’ll give you that.” he would kindly offer. The last time I checked The Rolling Stones didn’t count as indie even under the broad definitive umbrella offered by EIO40, so let’s see what else is out there.

Tuesday night in the pub was darts night, with visitors from other locals arriving to eat egg mayonnaise sandwiches cut into triangles by the landlady whilst her husband threw his ‘arrows’ at the board in the tap room. This weekly event never failed to irk the dominoes players sat in the same area of the pub. Week in, week out. Every Tuesday Night. I suspect Kristin Hersh wasn’t in our pub very often; maybe @thesweetcheat can verify this?

Monday was the last of my four day shift sequence in the pub, and I had the pleasure of working alone for the four hours from the doors opening at 12 noon. Business was generally slow, save for the half hour between 12.40 and 1.10 when the workers from the factory down the road would race in for a very liquid lunch.

Before then it would generally be me, a couple of old blokes reading the Racing Post, and Trevor who would arrive (often still hungover from the previous night), order a pint and then head straight to the phone to call in sick to his plumbing job. He wasn’t feeling great. He’d be in tomorrow. Week in, week out, “just do the same thing again and again” as New Fads sing in Monday It Is. Thanks to @GeeBeeMan for suggesting this song, which fits unfortunately perfectly with the time and person in question.

I knew Trevor was still hungover on the Monday because I had been serving him the previous evening. My shift began when the doors opened for the evening session – back in the days when pubs couldn’t be open all day on a Sunday. Trevor would amble in at about nine o’clock and I would learn that he had enjoyed his Sunday dinner and beverages at the pub during the afternoon. A Sunday Afternoon Well Spent it was suggested, and conveniently that’s the title of a song by my old partners in musical crime Charlie Big Time, nominated by @myrtleleaf.

By ten o’clock Trevor would be offering another one of his favourite opening gambits… “Here you are lad, right, he’s walking down the aisle, right, and he looks up, and she’s stood on the balcony. “It should’ve been me,” she says, “It should’ve been me.” Superb. Who was it? You’ll never get it. Yvonne Fair. Superb. It should’ve been me…”

Saturday night was the second busiest of the week behind the bar; there was always a lull between those drinking in the early part of the evening before heading off for the bright lights of Bolton, and those making ‘our’ pub the last stop for the evening. Those in the latter category were the folk who had tired early of the karaoke or peroxide-bubble-permed-female-singer-with-mullet-haired-man-with keyboard-and-backing-CD double acts that ‘entertained’ many of the town’s pubs.

We, of course, had our own entertainment. “Have you got it yet? You’ll never get it… what? 10.15 Saturday Night by The Cure? The who? Never heard of ‘em.” Sorry: it looks like @Kazashton and @GreeneDermot67 have both been disqualified. Never mind.

The pub was of course busiest on the preceding night, when the locals made their way to a warm, refreshing and alcoholic welcome to their weekend straight from whatever hard labour they had been engaged in. Some were builders, others carpenters, others still factory labourers. Ged worked on the bins as well as being a farmer of not inconsiderable legend.

One such tale described how he was banned from driving his tractor on public roads; having helped a landlord publican remove some large and intrusive trees in the back car park of a (different) pub, Ged was paid in beer. He took his payment in full before driving his tractor home, whereupon he was duly arrested. The evidence was compelling – the police had merely followed the trail of scratched cars and broken branches down the road between pub and farm, as Ged had forgotten to unchain one of the felled trees from the back of the tractor and it had swung its carnage for a whole mile and a half.

I’ll bet that level of excitement doesn’t happen on Friday Night In Loughborough eh, @brinyhoof, despite what The Wave Pictures might suggest.

In the course of entertaining the unsuspecting with his pop quiz, Trevor would ultimately cast a begrudging nod in the direction of your humble writer, furiously pulling pints whilst fellow bar tender Barry sweated equivalent amounts just talking to the old couple who used to run the pub down the road.

You see, much to his dismay, somebody had managed to come up with a record for Thursday – not an album track, not a b-side, but a bona fide single in its own right. And that person was the quiet but apparently cocky student working behind the bar, whose claim had to be verified with the original artefact being brought into the pub for it to be believed. Huge thanks must be given to @PerpetualDismay for giving me the chance to tell this whole tale, because the record that, just for a moment, left Trevor speechless and beaten, was Do It On Thursday by Jim Jiminee. A rare victory for the indie underdog: hooray!

John Hartley



John Hartley is the author of “Capturing The Wry”, an autobiographical tale of the unsigned side of the music industry, published by i40Publishing and available here. After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song he has also turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free, at Broken Down Records.


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