Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Go ha-way the lads.
This piece in the Guardian last week by the FUC51 blogger has got me thinking.
I wholeheartedly agree with FUC51's antipathy to my adopted home city's frustratingly backward-looking musical culture, and there's no way I'm going to be anywhere near Platt Fields when Ian Brown plays. The Madchester-was-over-20-years-ago sentiments have somehow got themsleves mixed up in my head with something I was half-planning to write about why I hate Kasabian so much. Please keep reading, this does make sense, or will eventually.
So, Kasabian. Fairly popular, from Leicester like my Grandma. Why do I hate thee so much? Is it the fact that you were once described as having experimental leanings and being influenced by electronica, when in fact you are a dull indie band with a keyboardist? Is it something to do with your singer's voice?
Someone hit it on the head when they described you as "lad rock". Lad rock, quite simply, needs to go away. Not die or anything painful like that, just leave. Quietly.
By lad rock, I mean absolutely the sort of stadium-filling, unadventurous stuff that will be blasting out of Platt Fields next week. Something that may have been quite interesting when it first started, but stagnated into a formula all too quickly. The "male aged 19-40" demographic's equivalent to Celine Dion: competent yet bland.
Lad rock is never innovative; it does not evolve. It looks backwards for inspiration from a preset selection of influences, dating mainly from the 1960s. It worships its heroes and rarely acknowledges new talents. Most irritatingly, it seems to long for a simpler time when people knew their places. It ignores the contributions of female musicians and all musicians outside of a tiny handful of genres. It looks to its elders for approval, despite its protestations of rebellion, and its elders love the attention. It is anti-progress, anti-intellectual and anti-diversity.
Going on what the media says, Manchester is full of it, although from here in the city itself, I see a huge and flourishing live scene which encourages all kinds of musical innovation. If only it could shed its OasisSmithsRosesMondaysNewOrder ball and chain.
This hasn't made a lot of sense, and it's not something I'm going to go back to often, if at all. It's just something that needed saying. Again.