God, I hate them. I really fucking hate them. For the benefit of those outside the UK, there’s a mainstream media stereotype here that people living on the Southern English coastline (where I grew up) are your stereotypical dim surf boys and girls, there to provide a pleasant background for the visitors to talk down to and be patted on the back without ever dreaming of talking back, dress in a 20-year timewarp, long hair, no brains. Eastbourne’s Toploader live up to all this shit, and I’m one of those misconceived further as a result.

That in itself would be reason itself to despise this band, but hearing seemingly the entire staff attempting to fucking holler during the nauseating “everyone sing along” workout that is “Dancing in the Moonlight” in a certain major London music emporium last week was among the most nauseating experiences of my life. That song itself is enough to turn anyone against them – an aged record exec’s idea of what “soul music” is (having spent the last 23 years locked in with four Atlantic and Stax LPs), pushed into the hands of a bunch of lazy know-nothings. But the worst thing is that it doesn’t actually seem to have worked that way, you genuinely suspect that they actually think what they are doing is “soul”, that this was the finest musical expression they could think of. And they’ve further increased the perception of several of my mates (by extension and assumption rather than first-hand knowledge, obviously) as grinning, beach-blonde Newquay-esque surfing morons. Fuck you, Toploader. Just fuck you.