Daniel Selwood (aged 38) suggest a soundtrack for 40th birthday party
“Oh, no! Four-o!” “18 with 22 years’ experience.” “Life begins at…” It’s no wonder people feel blue on their 40th birthdays, the messages on the greetings cards are real pissers. Then, of course, there’s the whole ageing debacle. It’s all downward from here: tits droop, arses sag, mind’s eyes begin to glance at the cold, cold earth beneath our feet…
Any self-respecting, mortality-fearing birthday boy or girl will be straight off to the nearest watering hole, with plenty of similarly aged chums in tow, many of whom will be so glad to have gotten away from their kids for one night that they’ll attempt to drink until they’ve forgotten ever having the little buggers.
Let’s assume at this point that the organisers of the birthday shindig have annexed your gaffe, or its function room, or at least a good section of the bar. They’re probably forking out for food, too. So they’ll be feeling entitled to sonic entertainment – especially after a few drinkies, when this throng of paunchy, dressing-like-they’re-still-29 Toyota drivers are gonna demand a soundtrack to their revelry.
Not only will it spur the buggers to sup more (and dance badly), it’ll help drown out conversations about camping holidays, newest overpriced gadgets and the wood laminate flooring they’ve just in their back room. (They’re thinking of knocking through into the living room, you know? That way, one big room will get more light from the new uPVC French windowzzzzzzzzz.)
Chuck on an eclectic mix of tunes that eschews 18-minute prog-rock noodling, experimental jazz, third-rate gangsta rap and Robbie ‘Frigging’ Williams. All you need is crowd-pleasing pop, rock, hip-hop and soul, be it current, recent or from long, long ago. Offer a taste of nostalgia, a couple of tasteful sing-alongs, a small clutch of rockers, and one or two hip joints to make the people feel young again. A touch of camp won’t go amiss either, as long as the guests are comprised entirely of Leeds United fans.
Keep your playlist tight and reasonably short; these people can’t stay up all night. They have to get back to their homes in the suburbs to pay the babysitter and have a row about whose parents they going to visit tomorrow.
Here’s a suggested bunch of sounds that’ll distract those ageing party people for an hour. It has been tried and tested (at the Halfway House in Earlsfield, south London. Try it. It’s nice. Order the onion rings.) The revellers flipped their wigs, and the rest of the pub’s punters were appreciative. Result!