Bank Holidays were first formally legislated back in 1871, when four days in the calendar were designated to give everyone a day off work so they could instead spend it on the road complaining about everyone else on the road / being sick or arguing in the back / hosting a successful barbeque under an umbrella / being ripped off at the seaside. Four, not six, by the way, because Good Friday and Christmas Day were considered so special they didn't merit explicit mention.
Not much has changed since then, except that this weekend's time off for good behaviour has been moved back from its original position at the start of August to give the illusion of summer lasting a bit longer than it actually does.
Blur - "Bank Holiday"
Bank Holiday comes six times a year
Days of Enjoyment to which everyone cheers!
Let's get the most obvious pick out of the way already, shall we? Here are the Blur boys giving it the no holds barred barrelling along hyper live treatment. Over almost as quickly as a real bank holiday.
Black Box Recorder - "The English Motorway System"
The English Motorway system is beautiful and strange
It's been there forever and it's never going to change
It eliminates all diversions, it eliminates all emotions
There are, I would say, some emotions that are actually quite heightened by our "M" roads, few of them positive.
Travis - "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?"
Console yourself while you're stuck on the M6 somewhere (could be anywhere - if you're on the M6, chances are you're in a queue wherever you are, wherever you're trying to get to): at least you're inside looking out at the grey skies, smiling at the convertible driver wondering when he needs to make a break for the hard shoulder to get the top up and avoid a soaking. At least you're not eating a soggy ice-cream and pretending to have a good time.
Arab Strap - The First Big Weekend
Technically, this is all wrong for an August bank holiday weekend selection, as it's clearly the wrong end of the season altogether. But just flip it and reverse it in your mind and take it as a paean to the final blow-out before the series business of Autumn gets underway. Also bear in mind a tagline from the 199 movie Go - "A weekend wasted is never a wasted weekend".
Dodgy - Staying Out For The Summer
Because they didn't always take themselves too seriously, Dodgy perhaps didn't always get the credit they deserved as craftsmen of fine pop singles. Bit Britpoppy, some felt. Videos like this one, for "Staying Out For The Summer", didn't exactly help. Damn fine tune, mind.
Catchers - Summer is Nearly Over
Found on the B side of their 1994 single "Cotton Dress" and on the Shifting EP, Summer is Nearly Over find Catchers at their lilting, duetting best, with Dale Grundle and Alice Lemon lamenting the end of the season over a sweet acoustic melody. Enjoy the last days of summer, folks!
Then it's back to work… A-G-A-I-N!