An English summer's evening. The sky has taken on the pastel hues of blue, green and gold. The air is still and warm. I sit down, take a deep breath and smell the lazily drifting scent from the profusion of flower. I listen to the slow melodious meander of a Blackbird, the distant scream of a party of swifts and the discordant 1980s pop of the all-girl band Bananarama.
It's not from a radio, or a nostalgia-driven householder with the windows open. It's actually them, the band playing live. Just for me? No, not quite...
I live maybe one and a half miles from Epsom race course. For the past four years there have been a series of summer concerts held in front of the grandstand during July. The first of them (Bananarama) is today, followed next week by ex-Spandau Ballet crooner Tony Hadley and then the week after by weedy rock band Mike and the Mechanics. You can see that these gigs do not entice Springsteen, The Stones or The Arctic Monkeys to take on the Epsom massive, but are attractive to have-beens who are wringing out a few more quid before they are finally found out. That's is a bit unfair - after all, the three acts I've mentioned all made a tidy career out of music 'back in the day' and Mike Rutherford is a multi-millionaire from being in Genesis before he swapped little Phil Collins for some geezers who fiddled with car engines.
If the weather is kind during these performances - no wind, or a southerly breeze - I can clearly hear the bands from my garden. I can just about hear the girls as I'm typing this ("Really Saying Something", as it happens). In this fashion I've heard The Beach Boys (but not Brian Wilson), Blondie (all present and correct), Simply Red (unfortunately) and JLS from the comfort of a garden chair.
And, I like to think, just for me...
I now hope to hear "It Ain't What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It", preferably with Terry Hall as guest vocalist, while I drink my cup of tea.