Ah the triumphant return. Never mind that since I have been gone miscreants and maladroit troubadours such as Sandi Thom have sprung up. Never mind that the train from Dover to London took almost eight hours. That did not matter. I would make to the Reform Club with hours to spare and finally show that two bit so called poptimist what for. When Ii arrived in at Waterloo I sent Crispian off back to my home to get me a fresh set of clothes and settled in at the Hole In The Wall for a well deserved G&T, English style (ie not enough gin, not cold enough, with a pickled lemon).Crispian returned with a fashionable (80 days ago) off the shoulder number and I jumped in a cab for the last leg of my journey. I had sent a text message to Lord Tooty, Tom Ewing, so I could rub his nose in my victory and accept gratefully the keys to his web empire. How I would gloat in taking over his “Number Ones” blog Popular and illustrating that it is actually all Number Two’s figuratively.

And there he was, on the steps of the reform club, beard and hat in hand: though I was puzzled that he had a gloating grin on almost as large as my own.

“I see you have made it Tanya. Finally.”

“What do you mean, finally. Here we are eighty days since I left and bang on time to win our wager. On the way i have suffer diverse adventures and heard 80 truly lousy tunes and I claim my prize.”

“Not so fast, Ms Headon,” he said – and I could sense a trick in the air. “Literally not so fast. Around the world in 80 days, I beg to differ. By my calendar this bloated and misguided epic in thematic music hating has taken five hundred and twenty days.”

“I had a few off months. I went into space. Anyway, don’t try to wrestle my prize from me, eighty tunes it is, and eighty tunes it was.”

“Fair enough. Except for one crucial miscalculation. Unlike Phileas Fogg, you decided to traverse the world anti-clockwise, that is against the time zones. As such whilst it seemed like eighty tunes to you, here it was just seventy nine. You did not count on the International Date Line.”  


Perhaps my backwards circumnavigation of the world has proved I might not be as smart as clearly my hatred of all music would usually suggest. But even I get the double meaning of Ladytron’s “International Date Line”. You see Date doesn’t just mean what day of the week it is, it is also something aspiring couples do early on in a relationship. And so appending the international bit to suggest a more cosmopolitan audience, and the line bit to make the joke work Ladytron believe they have created a glacially amusing classic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The modus operandi of Ladytron is encapsulated in their name which is much better suited to a mid-eighties pinball machine. Indeed this aural equivalent of Bride Of Pinbot seem to have to make it clear that they are LADIES making elecTRONic music much more than they need to. Surely it would be apparent from the songs? Well if you manage not to fall asleep you still might not pick up on the sex of the Gary Numan wannabe female singers. Using a stage whisper rather than singing is one way of stripping a song of emotion. Another is to have no emotion in the first place. And in one foul swoop, Ladytron manage to be both unengaging and intensely annoying. Why don’t you just get a time machine and go live in the Eighties ladies?

Incidentally, the track which prefaces International Date Line on the Ladytron album is called Destroy Everything You Touch. How I wish that could come true, with me wandering around the archives of A&M Records and just touching, touching, touching…