About three weeks ago I was out running and as usual the iPod was my companion for that run. I was about halfway round my 5-mile loop, just before I get to this hill that I call James’ Hill. It’s called that because my mate James lives at the bottom of the hill. Anyway, it’s one of those hills that you can barely walk up, let alone run up, and every time I do this particular run I try and get a little bit closer to the top before I stop, wipe the sweat from my forehead, swear and walk the last bit (which is most of it).

So there I am puffing away, my run turning more into a stagger and then a walk and finally a complete stop, I’m about 100m or so from the top, closer than I expected to be honest. I stand there, catching my breath, my back is pointing up the hill and I look down and across the valley that I have just run through, it’s literally a breathtaking view.

About ten seconds later a song comes on the iPod. It was this in fact.

mp3: Working Mens Club – Valleys

Now…three years I would have sprinted all the way home and written a pithy little piece on my music blog about the amazing ability that iPods have to come up with the right song at the right time – but this time I just smiled and jogged home and thought about how brilliant the song was (and it is amazing by the way).

But…that itch was back.

The next day I was making some onion soup in the kitchen and the radio was idly playing away in the background and this came on

mp3: Teenage Fanclub – Norman 3

I stood there stirring gently, so not to spoil the onions too much, and that little lightbulb came on in my head. That’s two great songs by bands with ‘Club’ in their names that I have heard recently, there’s a series in this I’m sure I think, and there is – well until I get to this lot at least.

mp3: New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream

I reached for a pen and write the words “Club Music” down on the back of a school letter and then return to my onion soup.

That itch wasn’t going away.

The next day a mate messages me with a band recommendation, a band called Rome, who, if you are interested, sound a lot like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I’d post something by them but I don’t own anything by them (yet). I message him back, “Best Band with A City in their Name..?”

A few messages later – we haven’t decided but I have discovered how great this lot are

mp3: Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Collapse

The back of the school letter now has a list of two ideas and within twenty minutes it becomes a list of four with “Numberwang” and “Overrated” scrawled underneath the first two and then I stop and I draw a line through them all and feel a bit daft.

Enter Mrs SWC, she has I think been watching me from the lounge, with hawk like interest. I tell her I am thinking about blogging again, but it feels wrong without Tim helping me. It’s a bit like Jam Roly Poly without the custard, I tell her, largely because I am pretending to look at a recipe of Jam Roly Poly.

She looks at me and hands me her iPad it is showing a BBC item about Phil Collins and how he has reshot the photography on all his ‘classic’ solo albums – you know the ones – where just his face is visible against a plain backdrop.

“No Badger Required” she says….

No Badger Required goes live from 21st November, please check it out. There will be music, stories, and the occasional recipe (perhaps).

Thanks for Reading



  1. Well, that’s made my day… no, week… no, month… no, year… oh, forget that! SWC, you’ve made me very, very happy. I’ll be there on 21st. Thanks for sharing, JC!

  2. Yey!
    One can think whatever one likes about the music of Phil Collins but there is a certain quality over the idea of making new shots with the older man on the covers of the re-presses that I can appreciate. Thanks to Mrs SWC for opening the door!

  3. The creative bug struck until it beat you into submission. I know only of your writing via JC and have found it moving yet consistently amusing – like a honed observational comedian.

  4. Hi everyone. I went to a gig last night. A review will be up on no badger required from tomorrow morning. Special treat

  5. Great news – and a lovely way for it to come together.
    I thought Phil Collins was good in ‘Buster’, but this beats

  6. Me too manicpopthrills, it was only when I started to wonder what Mrs SWC was doing in JC’s kitchen that I realised what was happening. Then I really smiled!

  7. I have read and enjoyed this blog for years and want to thank JC for bringing all of us this outstanding news. SWC, it will be great to have you up and running online again. You have fans across the Atlantic and we have missed your writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.