Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It's a mighty long way down rock and roll from top of the pops to drawing the dole.

Keane - a big fop and his mates.

I was starting to think that it was just me. While everybody else was heralding all these "next big things" from Keane to Snow Patrol, I just wasn't getting it.

I mean, it's not that I thought they were particularly bad. They each had a couple of good tunes but were short on ideas and, just as importantly, charisma.

People raved about The Libertines. I hated them. I can't stand all that Mockney bollocks. Franz Ferdinand, though better than most, sounded like Talking Heads on an off day.

I was worried that I wasn't taking enough time to "get" them. Working from home has meant no commute. And no commute has stripped me of my traditional music listening time. Perhaps I was getting too old. Perhaps I should settle down with my Smiths, Stone Roses and Billy Bragg CDs and leave the young people to their next big things.

And then come a couple of bands that suggest everything is going to alright after all.

First off is Razorlight. A band made up of half cockneys and half Swedes doesn't bode well. I was expecting something that sounded like The Jam meets Roxette. But they're fantastic. So what do they sound like? Well they sound like lots of other people but no one in particular. There's bits of Pulp in there, a bit of Strokes too and they even remind me a little bit of the Boomtown Rats. The new CD has been on in the car for weeks now. I totally recommend it.

Then there's The Open. I must admit I've heard only a couple of their tracks but I'm planning a trip to HMV tomorrow to buy the CD. The songs I have heard are good. Very good. A nice mix of the loud and the soft. Epic without ever getting into Simple Minds territory.

Oh and any band that names Echo and the Bunnymen and the brilliant Talk Talk amongst their influences are okay with me.

More experienced music critics than me have also praised the production. For a while, apparently everyone wanted to be Jack White and sound like they recorded in a wardrobe. The Open are using all the buttons on the mixing desk. Again they are getting lots of good reviews.

So, they are my tips for the day. Buy 'em or burn 'em.

Oh and by the way, has there ever been a more slapable lead singer than the bloke from Keane? What a fop. An image that's not helped by a style of dress that makes him look like a World War I squadron leader.

Finally, I shall be in prime position to slag the cream of British music on Friday evening. With Top of the Pops coming to town I intend to take up a position outside the nearest quayside bar. From there I shall tut and tsk and make sarky comments to my heart's content.

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.