It happened yesterday and it happened again today, a cheery piece of London-themed welcome music, playing over the speaker system as players arrived to take their seats.
London has served as a useful muse to countless musicians over the years, each seeking, in three and a half minutes, to say something of the city’s spirit and bestow this wisdom, musically, on the public for about 99p. It’s amazing what you can say with a guitar and a backing track, to people prepared to listen.
So when the track played it was to set the scene for the day, a song about London and how great it was, with a jaunty beat and no trace of anything salubrious. But who was it exactly?
“Isn’t it the Jam?” said someone born in the nineties and working in a behind the scenes office that was full of boxes and wires.
That seemed unlikely, I’d said. The Jam would be a little more edgy, and would include some sort of political sub-context. In short they wouldn’t sound so happy.
The Houses of Parliament
Which got me thinking. What other London songs would set a useful tone coming into an EPT Main Event? And what wouldn’t?
The Clash’s London Calling might not have been ideal, requiring at least that the stage be trashed afterwards or that t-shirts were sold form a concession stand downstairs.
Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London would lend a catchy chorus, worthy of some audience participation (“Ah-oooooh!”), but that’s not always right tone for the opening moments of a high stakes poker tournament.
Music is everywhere in London
Ralph McTell’s Streets of London would at least be familiar. But could we really risk establishing a mood of such sombre reflection? The last thing you want to do is start re-evaluating your life when you might be about to receive a poor run of cards. Let’s leave that one to the buskers outside.
St Paul’s Cathedral
So happy generic music turned out to be the perfect fit, which is exactly what we’d got. Not a single exactly, not a B-side from otherwise popular album, but the mass recorded bulk-bought license-free music required for such times. World famous it may not be, but effective for providing some “Joie” and “de Vivre” on a wet Monday afternoon it was.
Follow the action from the EPT London Main Event this week on the PokerStars. You can also watch live coverage on the EPT Live webcast between October 14-18 on PokerStars.tv.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.