Thursday 26th July
Ever since the first Walkman came on the market and were gradually superseded by CD Walkmen and at first bulky but now ultra-slim MP3 players we have seen more and people with headphones stuck in their ears. I have managed to combine this activity with reading my Kindle too, but do find that the intake of the music becomes a bit more a background osmosis while my full concentration is on the words. When they first emerged it was not uncommon to hear people actually singing along with the music, and even now the lips do sometimes move involuntarily forming a silent singing accompaniment. Foot-tapping can sometimes be observed too, especially amongst younger men who enjoy the rhythmic qualities of the music maybe more than the subtler melody. But late at night when travelling on the tube, as the alcohol intake begins to seek an outlet it is quite common to see (again mostly young men) slumped forward at their imaginary drum-kit, wrists appropriately slack as they rhythmically slap out their own drumbeat. And their proficiency is amazing, they cannot all be actual drummers can they? Even the bass drum pedal and the high-hat cymbals are employed, as they rival Keith moon in their explosive drumrolls. And when ever I see it, I too am tempted to air-drum, if ever so discreetly, so my little wrists go slack and a tiny repeat pattern is infectiously enacted. The kindle is switched off and the music becomes king as one surrenders to the primeval beat and one joins the airdrummers on the tube.