Wednesday, 13 January 2010
"Next stop check out the dumb advertising. Swan around Greater London for just £2.50. Duck and dive 'round Dartford for only £1.60. But you can chicken out at home for the small sum of nothing ..." sings Callahan on the Wolfhounds' In Transit, an everyday tale of the pains and pleasures of travelling around the Capital by public transport from their 1987ish Unseen Ripples LP. You only have to look at these few lines to understand the genius of Dave's songwriting. The detail perhaps passes many by. Shortly before this song appeared British Rail and London Transport introduced the Capitalcard which allowed unlimited off-peak travel on buses, trains and tubes. It was very welcome, but a bit of a sop for those of us still chaffing about the judicial decision that took away our cheap fares (Bananarama wrote a protest song about this but forgot to write the words if I remember). A swan really was used extensively in an advertising campaign to promote the new Capitalcard with Johnny Morris doing the voiceovers. The Capitalcard would of course become the Travelcard, still a partnership between London Transport and British Rail's Network SouthEast division.