When I was little, weddings were something to endured, rather than enjoyed; a seemingly endless day that would end with me slumped in a corner, painfully shy, and trying to not to catch my Grandad’s eye, in case he came over and insisted on talking to me. And heaven forbid if a long-lost cousin tried to talk to you. I’d have rather my head exploded than a 13 year old girl talk to me.
These days, things are different, of course. These days, I ruddy love weddings. They’re day-long celebrations that involve everyone being in a fantastic mood, the chance to laugh like a teenage drain about embarrassing middle names, and as much booze as you can lay your hands on. Oh, and a stunningly average meal, that no-one really wants, but feels as though they must say was “lovely” because, well, y’know, it was free and it probably cost loads of money.
But perhaps the biggest minefield of all when it comes to weddings is the music. It’s none of your bloody business, thank you very much, what the happy couple choose as the music for when they’re walking back down the aisle. And the first dance – usually a cringe-fest for nearly everyone involved – masquerades as a deeply personal choice (when, in reality, the bride and groom would rather be slumped at the back of the room eating pork pie and drinking a pint than have to go through such ritual humiliation.)
No, it really couldn’t be harder to try and please all the people all the time. What do you do for the disco? Do you get a friend to play obscure shoegaze tracks from 1991? do you go straight for the Abba jugular? Or do you get a band that would rather just get pissed with everyone else than sing Queen covers to a couple of pissed up fortysomethings frugging at the front.
I ask all these questions, because I’m still none the wiser. A combination of relief at getting my best man’s speech out of the way, and way too much free wine, saw me – and seemingly everyone else in the room - hopelessly tip-toeing around the dancefloor to Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ on Saturday night. At a way too early hour than is acceptable. And I had my Serious Dancing Face on throughout.
'I Think We're Alone Now' was a staple of the horrible secondary school discos me and my mates used to go to every month, in the hope that we could practice our uncomfortable fumbling technique on some poor, unsuspecting girl from the year below. Of course that never happened.
Here are my top five school disco songs from that time:
The Cult - Rain: we thought we were dead out there and with it dancing to this.
The Cure - Close to Me: Even the girls in puffball skirts knew this one.
Cutting Crew - (I Just Died) In Your Arms Tonight: resolutely sat through nursing a weak orange juice hoping not to catch someone's eye.
Nick Berry - Every Loser Wins: erection section favourite.
The Housemartins - Happy Hour: cue us all pretending to be able to do that wobbly-legged Paul Heaton dance.
School discos were shit. But they were better than weddings. And now the two merge perfectly and are, somehow funfilled mini-Indietracks*. How did that happen?
You can’t please all the people all the time, then. Unless you play the eponymous debut album from a red-haired teenager from the late 80s. It’s where we’ve all been going wrong all these years.
*Speaking of which, there are more announcements tomorrow morning at 9am.