I THINK I was a couple of miles south of Annandale when Sylvester’s Do You Want to Funk came on. Singing along I was reminded of the value of Radio 2 when travelling.

There was a time when I’d provide my own soundtrack on any road trips. But that was a while ago. When I used to travel to see my better half in north Wales, I was still using cassette tapes so that gives you an idea of roughly how long. As do the tapes I was playing; It’s a Shame About Ray by The Lemonheads, Automatic for the People by R.E.M. and, already nostalgic in the early 1990s, Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (‘luring disco dollies to a life of vice,” indeed).

But now I prefer the unknown pleasure of random familiarity and Radio 2 is the best for that. Admittedly, when Anita Rani, sitting in for Sara Cox, promised/threatened that she was going to play Bryan Adams and then Ed Sheeran I did retune for 10 minutes. But as the miles rolled by, I eventually returned to Radio 2 in the hope of a familiar sugar rush to get me as far as Hamilton.

I was travelling back from Liverpool where I spent last weekend. I didn’t get to see the Lucian Freud exhibition at Tate Liverpool unfortunately, but I did have a kickaround with my nephew and half a baguette and a cup of tea in The Reader Cafe in Calderstones Park.

My radio listening was mostly confined to the journey there and back and when I wasn’t singing along to Sylvester I was switching between stations, hoping to retune my brain at the same time.

Switching channels on the radio isn’t the same as channel-hopping on the telly. You need to listen for a while rather than immediately react to the visual. But the result can be pleasantly promiscuous, nonetheless.

On the way down I’d started off listening to 6 Music for the end of Radcliffe and Maconie and the start of Huey Morgan before getting restless. Retuning to Radio 4 I was just in time to hear Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie giving his Inheritance Tracks on Saturday Live. He talked about the poverty his dad grew up in and his subsequent career in trade unions. A nice hit of working-class solidarity on Radio 4 for a change.

Bobby can be a bit earnest though and so it was rather sweet at the end to her him talk about bonding with his kids over Celtic football club despite that being a rather painful love affair of late. Amused resignation is always more attractive than triumphalism in football fans, I find.

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Over on Radio 2 shortly after, another Scottish pop star, this time Sharleen Spiteri, was telling Claudia Winkleman all about her love of bukharo and petanque (Who would be more fun on a night out? Bobby or Sharleen? I suspect Sharleen.)

It’s worth noting, in passing, how settled Winkleman now is in the Saturday morning slot now after six months and counting in the job, a radio mother hen making sure everyone on the show is in fine fettle (she was most concerned about Sally Weather’s bad back on Saturday, offering her all sorts of treatment suggestions).

Over to 5 Live for first three-quarters of Fighting Talk last Saturday in which former badminton player Gail Ems objectified Jack Grealish’s calves at length. Must check them out next time Man City are on Match of the Day, I thought. Radio, like travel, offers a constantly changing landscape.

Back to Monday evening and Rani signed off with half an hour of bangers. And somewhere between Ultra Nate’s Free and The Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode it occurred to me that we may have reached the tipping point on our 1980s nostalgia. Is now the time for the 1990s to take over? And if so, where did I put my Lemonheads cassette tape?

Listen Out For: This Cultural Life, Radio 4, tonight, 7.15pm. John Wilson talks to some bloke called McCartney.