Not so fresh

DANIEL LEWIS serves up a little slice of musical and life advice for Cambridge’s new arrivals

Album Freshers Freshers Week

So your Freshers’ ‘Week’ is over.

The lines have started to set in on your once eager cherubic face. You have an unimaginably unmanageable stack of work on that subject it seems only your supervisor has had the courage or enough fondness for intellectual masochism to research.

You realise the best days of your academic career (I use the term loosely) are well and truly finished before they’ve begun, dissolving slowly but surely like Wednesday’s…and Thursday’s berocca tablet. I feel for you, I do.

Is that a sob I hear? Despair not, bleary-eyed newbie. Allow The Tab to take you to its warm and sizeable bosom and introduce you to a golden oldie.

And you thought there'd be a photo of breasts

And you thought there’d be a photo of breasts

I present Hotel California by the Eagles. This is the soundtrack to your twilight hours, spent in the harsh discomforting glow of the blank page on your laptop. These 70s rockers’ enduring tales of debauchery and misspent youth—popping the “right pills” while spending “heavenly bills” at “outrageous parties”—will surely ease your post-freshers’ malaise.

An epic extended electric guitar duet? You’ll find that here. Spontaneous stirring cinematic strings? Yeah, those are here too. Catchy stadium pop-anthems to improve your sense of self-worth and well-being? No, not so much of that. But the sweeping grandeur of quintessential West Coast rock with a dark tragic heart? Oh, for sure.

No fist pumping for you

No fist pumping for you

You’ll say to yourself that lines such as “This could be heaven or this could be hell” were your thoughts exactly as stood in the queue for Cindies for the second (or was it the third time?) in less than 48 hours. Songs such as “Victim of Love”, “Try and Love Again” and “The Last Resort” will send you staggering down memory back alley to your various desperate attempts at boozy courtship in the early hours. And you’ll be convinced that the kid in “New Kid in Town” is you…even though your name isn’t Johnny.

It is simply the best album to accompany that freshman funk. Take a bite out of this hefty chunk of soft rock because life can be so so hard.

Or, alternatively, stop this self-indulgent nonsense.

Grow some self-awareness, take a step back and realise that your life isn’t a feature length coming-of-age Hollywood blockbuster – it’s probably a straight-to-DVD at best. That your declaration of undying love outside Wetherspoon’s to that fresher you haven’t actually said hello to yet was not brave or a vital step in the making of ‘you’ – it was just embarrassing. And that, apart from a few letters, California and Cambridge really have very little in common.

Well, it's no Parker's Piece

Well, it’s no Parker’s Piece

If you are convinced this or any album speaks to you, I suggest you call for the men in white coats yourself – now.

It’s a fantastic album, no doubt. Do listen and, if you must, weep. But then get over your little egotistical nightmare and get on with your work just like everybody else.

Welcome to Cambridge!