RICHARD ORD: Getting down wiv da kids... and Fuse ODG

Fuse ODG.
Fuse ODG.

To be down with the kids involves a lot more than wearing a baseball cap the wrong way round and baggy trousers half-way down your backside, showing off designer underpants.

I know this because I suggested accompanying our teenage son, dressed in the above attire, to his first concert.

The variety in music came from taping Top of the Pops, desperately trying to press the ‘stop’ button before Kid Jensen opened his trap and spoiled the last few bars of The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks.

“C’mon,” I told our Bradley, aged 14. “Your friends will just think I’m your older brother.”

He wasn’t happy. Particularly as I’d suggested it in front of his friends. (Rule 45 of being a dad: ‘Never miss an opportunity to embarrass your offspring. It keep them on their toes.’)

“Shuddup!” he snarled. “Why would your wear a baseball cap? Stop being stupid. You don’t know anything about Fuse.”

Ah, Fuse. “Are they any good?” I asked.

“‘They’ are a ‘he’,” he corrected, eyes raised to the roof. “You’d probably call him a rapper.”

That was me put in my place. What I do know about the youth of today?

Not a lot, as it happens, since their music is devoured in silence.

My family could keep tabs on my music tastes with ease. They could hear for it for a start, blaring from the record player. They could even study the album sleeves for clues.

They knew what music I was into because I was forever pestering them for cash so I could buy the latest album from the Stranglers or single from The Dickies. Our boys’ music consumption is done online. For free. Wearing headphones. And it’s unlimited.

In our house, the music choices were either my parents Moody Blues and Beatles albums or my collection of post-punk New Wave dross. Today, our boys can stream any music they like online, free of charge.

Their music is no longer cherished. They have no need of a Ronco record cleaner. Vinyl records in my day were handled like fine china.

They were cleaned with the precision of a forensic scientist dusting for fingerprints and played over and over again … mainly because you couldn’t afford to buy new music.

The variety in music came from taping Top of the Pops, desperately trying to press the ‘stop’ button before Kid Jensen opened his trap and spoiled the last few bars of The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks.

The first I realised that our Bradley had a favourite group was when he announced he wanted to see Fuse. Or Fuse ODG, to give his full title. Which was a surprise. I didn’t realise Fuse was decorated.

ODG, I assume, is similar to the OBE. ODG … Order of Distinction in Grandeur, perhaps? No. ODG stands for Off Da Ground. I don’t know, maybe he was a pilot. The big concern in allowing our Bradley to go to a gig, unaccompanied by an adult, is the same as all parents … drugs.

What about drugs? I asked him. “Don’t worry dad, I can get you anything you need.”

As a footnote, I searched for Fuse ODG on Google.

There he was. Wearing a baseball cap the wrong way round and baggy trousers exposing his designer underpants.

I rest my case …