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I don’t know about you, but I like music when I’m cooking. But you need different sorts of music depending on what you’re doing. So load up your iPod, whack it in the docking station, and proceed. Don’t use earbuds. The wires get in the way and if you’re doing something vigorous you need the worktops to be shaking under your hands.


If you’re preparing a salad, you need something soothing. Chopin Nocturnes. Chamber music of any description. Quiet, intricate, intriguing. What you’re doing is a bit delicate, so the music fits.

Stir frying anything

I find that really good 1970s disco is ideal for this.

Some suggestions. I don’t do advice.

            Disco Inferno/Trammps. It’s great, and runs for a long time

            You should be dancing/The Bee Gees

            Bus Stop/Fatback band. Nobody else in the world has ever heard of this. A gem.

Smashing things up with a Chinese cleaver

You cannot chop up a chicken to anything quiet. It’s impossible.

            The entire first four Ramones albums, especially Rocket to Russia

            Go Girl Crazy or Manifest Destiny/The Dictators

There is a vaguely paradoxical aspect to this. Sleepin With the TV On, off Manifest Destiny, is an astonishing plaintive love song, and goes really well with preparing a salad. Double bubble. Lubbly jubbly.

            Writing on the Wall /Ted Nugent

Ludicrously violent, and just right for a cleaver.

            Don’t Look Around/Mountain

Gawdelpus, this is noisy. A real earbleeder

But if you’re looking for violent, you cannot beat

            Helter Skelter/The Beatles

How four lovable moptops managed to make the noisiest most violently heavy track of all time is beyond me.

Hmmm. All a bit retro isn’t it? Well, I’m nearly sixty, so what do you expect?

Oh, nearly forgot the salad thing again.

            Wurm, an excerpt from Starship Troopers off The Yes Album


This is off the album Tago Mago,and is utterly hypnotic. Any ambient artist these days would give a limb to be this good. Highly rhythmic, but curiously understated. And most of the members studied under Stockhausen and Berio, and by hell it shows. Thinking persons’ dance music. You can’t help yourself moving about. You can’t. I defy you.

Preparing a stew or casserole

Reggae or mento music are good for this. Never heard of mento? Get on a pirate download site and look for The Jolly Boys. Don’t get caught.

Funk is also good. So

            Fear of Flying/Talking Heads

Special mention for Life During Wartime off that album.

Anythingby Funkapolitan/George Clinton/Bootsie Collins. Clones of Dr Funkenstein is good.

Then the ultimate white boy funk

            Rev it up/Gerry Harrison, off the album Casual Gods. Funky as all get out.

Making pastry

Can’t help you here. I’m rubbish. I just can’t do it. I can do most things in a kitchen, but make pastry? Forget the whole concept. Makes no odds musically if it’s The Smurf Song or Beethoven’s Ninth. I’m rubbish

Oh my, dearie me, my age is showing here, isn’t it? Oh well, there is no dignity in writing, you just lay yourself out on the line. Hey ho.