Few things surprise me so much as the type of music you hear played at ski resorts these days. Spend any time in the overlit cocktail bars of St Tropez, or the overwrought nightclubs of Ibiza and you'll soon have a pretty good idea of what you'll be hearing on the radio in London three or four months later. But the music you hear up in the mountains come winter doesn't so much defy gravity as logic.
Last week I was up near Mont Blanc, and I felt as though I'd just fallen into someone's iPod. What did I hear as I sat drinking my spicy vin chaud in my (frankly too-tight) matt-black salopettes and fluorescent orange ski boots, as I worked my way through my microwaved cheese and ham panini? Well, this season, Eurodisco appears to have been banished to the lowlands, as all I heard was esoteric pop, FM radio standards and good old-fashioned rock music.
There was Cher's "Walking in Memphis", Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five", the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road" (I heard this three times), Wings' Greatest Hits, lashings of extremely obscure Bon Jovi and lots of classic Bob Seger. Now, seeing that I'm just about the only person I know who likes Wings, Bon Jovi and Bob Seger, this pleased me immensely, although most of the other stuff I heard was simply bonkers.
Which, in its way, is fantastically refreshing. How many times have you visited somewhere you thought was past the perimeter of the cultural exclusion zone only to find that – yes, dammit! – they're playing that rare Nick Drake compilation you thought only six people had in Britain, or that salsa remix album of Coldplay covers you heard in New York and never expected to hear anywhere else?
Just when you thought the world couldn't shrink any more. How much more idiosyncratic and cutting edge do you feel when you visit an Italian ski resort and instead of hearing Abba or Lady Gaga every five minutes you actually hear "I Could Be So Good For You", the original theme from Minder as sung by Dennis Waterman (and not the Dennis Waterman you've seen in Little Britain, either)? Oh my word, I felt positively directional.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'