Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Positive Songs For Negative Times #51: The Test

I've been allowed to return to my workplace some days of this week. Not all. Not yet. I'm still fighting for that. Before I did that though, I had to do my first home test kit. What a pain in the arse that was!

(Insert "you're not doing it right!" joke here.)

I imagine many of you might have already had the pleasure of a Covid test, but for anyone who hasn't... it's a rather complicated procedure, involving rubbing a swab over both your tonsils repeatedly (while fighting the urge to gag - a few of my colleagues have actually thrown up) and then sticking the same swab up a nostril and rotating it in ten complete circles.

"The same swab!?!" was Louise's reaction. "That's disgusting."

You then stick the swab into a test solution, stir it round for 15 seconds, drop two drops of the solution onto a test strip and wait 30 minutes for a red line to appear at C (control) and not T (test). If you get both, you're positive. C on its own, negative.

You then report your own results on the NHS website. (I had to also do it on the college website.)

And then you get a text back from the NHS confirming that you have a negative test result.

Now, call me cynical, but there appears to be something of a flaw in this methodology. As in, it relies on people to be honest. And if you're on a zero hours contract, for example, and stand to not get paid if you're forced to self-isolate for two weeks, you might well be tempted to report a negative even if you don't actually get one. I mentioned this to Ben, and for once, I had to agree with him.

It's no mistake that it's self-reporting. It takes the onus off the state and allows them to blame the individual. 

Still, I only have to do this twice a week for the rest of the term. I suppose it's a small price to pay to get out of teaching from my bedroom...

Here's a song from a band I'd never heard of before, discovered via the always reliable Natasha

Eggs Over Easy have an interesting history, starting life as a country band from Greenwich Village, New York, before crossing the pond to become residents of the London pub rock scene, eventually returning to the States and settling in San Francisco where they supported The Eagles and Yes.

Party Party sounds like a cross between the Steve Miller Band and Steely Dan. While not in the same league as either, it's still worth a few moments of your time, as is the far pub-rockier I'm Gonna Put a Bar in the Back of My Car (& Drive Myself to Drink).

Bonus points, obviously, for basing their album cover on my favourite Hopper painting. 


  1. Eggs Over Easy always reminded me of yer archetypal laid back boogie band. A bit like the Welsh band Man who were around in the early 1970's.

  2. That test sounds awful, Rol.

    I never heard of this band until five years ago when Yep Roc released a comprehensive collection of their work. I really fell for them. Reminded me of Brinsley Schwarz... another pub-rock band I listen to quite a bit.

  3. Love a bit of Pub Rock, and Eggs Over Easy were the start of it. Finding themselves stuck in Kentish Town they convinced the landlord of the Tally Ho to let them play ("Oh yeah, we're a Jazz band"). Other Pubs noticed the amount of beer being sold with live music, and so began a circuit.
    If you like the Eggs and want to delve deeper, do try Decks Deluxe, Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers, and Kilburn & The High Roads, and Brinsley Schwarz of course.
    Or just fly over to Spotify for the highly recommended Cherry Red compilation Surrender To The Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene Of The Seventies.

    I've got one of those home test kits sitting on the table - your description has put me reet off (but I suppose I'd better do it)

    1. The great thing about blogging is when you discover a new band you've never heard of, and your blogging pals are there to fill in the blanks!

  4. Yep, home testing does seem to contain a number of flaws.

  5. Great song, Rol; from the same stable as Head, Hands and Feet. I love the Hopper pastiche too.


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