There are other songs that deal with the life and leisure of the working class – “Friday On My Mind” by the Easybeats, for example, or the execrable “Working Class Man” by Jimmy Barnes – but none of them capture the sense of the treadmill that is the working week as well as this song does.
“Still Hanging Round” is an anthem of the pointlessness of it all, both of working and of what we work for, of the fact that Friday nights spent drinking are not sufficient reward for Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays spent working. And yet, the song seems to ask, what else is there? It’s a seven day long cycle that never seems to change, and who has the time, the money, the imagination and the will to break out of it?
What sets this song above most others of its ilk is the fact that it does not counsel going along with this state of affairs. Where the Easybeats and Barnes each in their own way seem to accept an underpaid working week as the normal state of affairs, Marc Seymour (lead singer and lyrcist) refuses to. He proposes no alternative, to be sure, but at least he asks the question – could it be different and better? (On this level, its closest competitor is Cold Chisel’s superb “One Long Day” – but I’ll talk more about that in a later post.)
This is an overlooked song in the Hunters & Collectors output, mostly, one suspects, because most people don’t look below the surface and lump it in with those other songs I’ve mentioned above. But if “Say Goodnight”, “Holy Grail” and “When The River Runs Dry” show the band for the poets of the working class they surely are, it’s “Still Hanging Round” that really demonstrates those class credentials.