I watched the Brits this week. Emily was the main driver for this, as One Direction were due to perform. Her taste in music is weird/eclectic, as she likes some bands that you won’t have (and don’t want to have) heard of, but every now and again she gets drawn to a commercial boy band like me to a buffet.
I’ve watched the Brits for years. Earlier in my life, I was in a band, and so had more than a passing interest in the business they call music, as I of course assumed it was only a matter of time before I was snorting Vim off of Wendy James’ backside whilst thrusting my recently won Brit up a Gallagher’s nose.
Alas, my lack of fringe, talent and luck prevented that from happening, but still I am interested in what is hip and happening. I do appreciate that using the phrase hip and happening makes that (and me) an oxymoron.
Now this isn’t a predictable rant centred around me wondering what happened to music, and how they don’t write decent tunes anymore. Let’s be honest, I grew up in a time when Sigue Sigue Sputnick and Joe Dolce had hits.
However, there is a massive amount of Emperor’s New Clothes going on today. What I saw on Wednesday was an endless parade of ordinary looking blokes with too much facial hair trotting out what appears to be the same miserable, throaty guff based around some sort of folk or country theme. In my book if your band contains a banjo, that’s probably one banjo too many.
I know that I’m not supposed to know who these people are. I’m in my forties for God’s sake. It isn’t about that. It is about what appears to be the ability to write anything approaching a decent melody. Instead there is a reliance on stompy grunge ridden pub music, or dour, moany laments sang by people who can’t even spell diction.
On the odd occasion now that I stumble back to Radio 1, driven away from Radio 2 by Dido’s latest aural enema, I don’t stay very long. Listening to the resident gimp telling me that their “Big Thing” or “Mahoosive Toon” of the week is so banging just gets depressing when the “song” in question is pretty much always some black guy talking over a sample of a song I didn’t like twenty years ago.
That’s another thing. Rap Music – Making the talentless rich since 1980. How I enjoy seeing these fellas on MTV cribs with their platinum encrusted houses and their baths made of human bone. I only have to mention the name Professor Green to prove the point entirely.
Sigh. I’m ranting. Is this just the inevitable turn of events of me getting old? Probably, but I can and do like new music. I am a sucker for a pop tune or a hook. Something that has been written with the express desire of making me remember it, and more importantly want to.
So the likes of this Ben Howard character, and the God awful Mumford and Sons can take their tweed, bad diction and their angst and do one. The fact that their record company, via Radio 1, keep telling everyone how good they are, does not mean that they are actually any good.
I’d rather listen to One Direction to be honest. Take away the whole boy band hysteria, and whoever has written for them has done some really good classic, catchy pop writing, and it works. Sure, the latest effort is a crass, car crash like version of a classic song, but they wouldn’t want to waste anything written originally on a charity. There’s real royalties to be had with stuff that isn’t a cover!!
So with all of that, and Coldplay winning best live act, the Brits for me wasn’t great. Timberlake was OK. He can sing, and has that “I’m American” class about him. Watch and learn Robbie. I was too stunned by his Singing In the Rain abomination on Saturday night to really make any sort of comment. Just imagine me slack-jawed and confused starting at the telly. It was more Freddie Starr than Mercury. Mind you, I am probably the only person in the world not to be a big fan of him either.
I’ll probably watch the Brits again next year, when some new unwashed twonk is singing almost in tune as their record label count the money. The least they can do to make it worth watching is have someone get drunk and dangle their rude bits in Adele’s drink. That’s what you call Rolling in the Deep!
Till the next time……