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 presents.

In this edition:-

The Indie Top Ten Songs With Numbers In The Title

It’s never a good sign when the morning music-to-work ritual becomes stale. Sometimes spoilt for choice, sometimes finding nothing fits the mood of the day, I decided to shake things up a little bit by taking inspiration from EIO40 Community member @maffrj. Nothing too drastic, you understand: I wasn’t about to start listening to Acid Jazz, tempting though that might be sometimes.

No; I decided I’d listen to the entirety of my iPod collection in alphabetical order, by song title. By the time I was at Y this mammoth trek was almost at an end, I thought, completely forgetting about ‘Zeus’ by British Sea Power. And ‘Zombie’ by The Band of Holy Joy. Oh, and ‘Zorbing’ by Stornoway. But at least I could return to listening to whole albums at a time.

It was then that I remembered about songs beginning with numbers… There were loads. I was surprised at just how many were on my iPod. My brain began to creak into action: this would make a good Top Ten for the EIO40 site. So, with a doffed cap to Matt, here is the EIO40 Top Ten Indie Songs With Numbers In Their Titles.

1. Joy Zipper “1”

This seems as good a place as any to start, so thanks to @infolib_robin & @Archieboyo for suggesting the Joy Zipper’s track. 1 was the house number of my childhood home. It was the number I had on the back of my shirt when I played in goal for the school team as a teenager. It was also the minimum number of goals I conceded in my four matches before being dropped.

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2. Thousand Yard Stare – “0-0 a.e.t (no score after extra time)”

‘0-0 AET’. Now here was a score of which I could only dream as a player. Having said that, I have been witness to sufficient matches ending in that score as a spectator to realise the immense pain such tedium can bring.

My favourite recollection is of watching my adopted hometown Watford playing against Accrington Stanley in a cup game. No shots on target for either side in normal time. No goals in extra time, but one lengthy stoppage due to injury. As the stadium announcer informed us that ‘The Assistant Referee has indicated there will be a minimum of five minutes additional time’ at the end of the second half of extra time, the bloke next to me stood up and bellowed pleadingly “Oh come on, referee: we want to go home!”.

Luckily, this Thousand Yard Stare track nominated by @martarse is more entertaining.

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3. Sonic Youth – “100%”

Perhaps the problem lay in the fact that this was only the 2nd Round of the English League Cup – not even the FA Cup – and without wishing to disrespect Accrington Stanley they were hardly likely to be the biggest draw for the townsfolk of Watford on an unseasonally chilly Tuesday evening. Things might have been altogether different if those selected to play in their team’s colours gave the 110% oft-quoted by managers. As it was, they seemed barely able to muster the ‘100 per cent’ that Sonic Youth sing about in the track suggested by @tmulraney

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 4. Jamie T – “368”

The attendance that night, according to the SkySports website (I do try and do a bit of research as well as just padding out these lists with waffle) was 8368. It is at this point in the story that @LanceDrysdale starts to get excited, as the attendance provides possible my most tenuous ever link to a song, a song that he nominated. Take away the 8,000 who regretted going to the match and you’ll be left with ‘368’, the exact same number as the title of this from Jamie T.

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5. The Frank & Walters – “20 Years”

That particular evening was over two hours of my life I will never be able to recover, although it felt more like ’20 Years’. Much can happen in two decades; football teams can get promoted, relegated, then promoted again, players can become managers and then TV pundits, the England team can fail to win 10 international competitions, pop bands will form, split up and reform. The Frank And Walters however have managed to keep going for even longer than that, and thanks are due to @chumpski for their inclusion in this Top Ten.

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6. Factory Floor – “16-16-9-20-1-14-9-7”

In collating all your submissions for this Top Ten I was quite surprised at the variety and context of numbers on offer, from the lazy swapping of a word for a number (2 and 4 being the worst culprits, naturally) on one hand, to almost impenetrable rationale on the other. Maybe @pillshark73 might be able to reveal more behind of the thinking behind Factory Floor’s ‘16-16-9-20-1-14-9-7’. Maybe it’s their bank account number?

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7. Six By Seven – “88-92-96”

If it is indeed the band’s bank account number, they could at least have provided us with the Sort Code. You know, the six digit number that tells one bank exactly which other bank to ask for money from when you write a cheque. I write this secure in the knowledge that everyone in the EIO40 age range will know what I mean by the word ‘cheque’.

I did for a minute consider that Six by Seven were presenting us with a Sort Code via their @MUSESFAN2-nominated track ‘88-92-96’, but maybe it’s just a list of European Championships that England failed to win.

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8. Poppy Factory – “7×7”

The above nomination serves to highlight some of the confusion heaped upon the poor, ageing indie-loving community to which we belong. Sorry? What’s that? Less of the ‘poor’? As you wish. You see, we asked for numbers in songs as digits rather than words. So a song titled ‘Six by Seven’ would not have been allowed, whilst a song titled ‘7×7’ is allowed. Consequently, Poppy Factory are included in this top 10, thanks to @sharkastic

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9. Red House Painters – “24”

As anybody with at least half the mathematical skills that I possess will be able to testify instantly, the answer to the sum 7×7 is, of course 24. Fortunate for me then that @GeeBeeMan suggested including this Red House Painters song, entitled ‘24’. I would have been stuffed if the real answer was something as random as, say, 49 because nobody suggested any songs with that in the title. Where would I be without a bit of luck, eh?

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10. Film School – “11:11”

Actually, I know exactly where I’d be without a bit of luck. I would be stood pulling what’s left of my hair out watching an interminable penalty shoot-out between a club who once finished 2nd in the English league and one who went bust and dropped out decades earlier.

I would be cursing the inability of the players to kick the ball into the net rather than at the goalkeeper, the metal post and crossbar or the wider environs of Vicarage Road. I would be wondering if I would make the last bus, with the paranoid sensation that both Film School and @fatspider0 are laughing at me. I would be looking down at my watch to check the time: ‘7am’.

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John Hartley


After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song John Hartley has 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. He is currently raising money to support men’s mental health charity CALM (@theCALMzone) at


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