Rock ‘n’ roll are no longer dirty words.
The Brits 2012 confirmed what we’ve all suspected for a long time; Britain has turned into a nation of smug, self satisfied, twee, lilly livered former rock n roll gods, now moonlighting as wet drips clad in tweed.
It’s akin to watching a grandmother batter a kitten to death; heartbreaking and it just doesn’t look right.
These supposed stars of music amble onstage to pick up their awards, with their private school brains and faux Brixton accent professing their humble thanks without so much as a sniff of an expletive or a glimpse of simmering Coke fueled aggression.
When the lightning bolt of controversy finally did strike the O2 Arena stage, in the form of the homely Adele quite rightly giving the finger at the shows organisers, then you know the night has been an epic failure. What a disappointing time to be the youth of today when Alex James makes cheese and Noel Gallagher has veneers.
Artistic talent equates recklessness, mental instability and volatile relationships. They need these traits to become truly extraordinary. It’s been that way since Van Gough chopped his ear off and Plath stuck her head in the oven. They want to escape life so they create something beautiful to escape in, be it music, art or literature.
Now who do we get? Frankie Cocozza and One Direction. Pathetic. Bring back Oliver Reed and inappropriate doings with a mars bar.
The fundamental difference is that wayward behaviour is now frowned upon, whereas in the past, it was to be expected. The Rolling Stones were meant to get arrested for possession. Even pensioner next door Macca got busted for Christ’s sake. Now, Pete Dochety is vilified, ostracised from society because he’s a wreck, living (probably) in a bed sit fattening up his next lot of mice with Smarties.
Not that I’m condoning such behaviour, for us mere mortals working for the council or in call centres, such actions would be deemed stupid and sackable to say the least. That’s why we don’t play guitars. I don’t want to listen to somebody who gets up at 9am on a Sunday morning to watch Country File. I do that.
What grated most about The Brits, wasn’t James Corden. It wasn’t even Blur shuffling onstage reminding us how middle class they actually are. It was the amount of upstarts playing at being rock n roll stars. Having a sleeve of tattoos does not a rock n roller make. Dougie Poytner take note.
The days of Jarvis gate crashing the stage and Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood floundering are long gone. It even makes you nostalgic for Geri emerging from the yolk of a giant pair of legs. This is not right.
Then there is the Twee brigade. Noah can stuff his ukulele right up his whale’s arse. These people do not inspire revolution, or invoke kids to question the system. They inspire tea and vomit. In that order.
To address the small matter of Amy Winehouse and Whitney. Look what happened to them, people sanctimoniously cry out whilst getting their boiled ham off the Deli counter in Asda. Yes, tragic. Yes, a waste. Yes, expected. But what happens when these legends grow up? They turn into Debbie Harry. Or worse still, Yoko. A tragic waste of talent, maybe. But would that talent have been so potent if they’d not been so fucked up in the first place? I doubt it.
The British music scene needs to man up or shut up. The past few years have seen the steady decline of credibility. Even Alex Turner keeps a low profile these days, probably so embarrassed by the state of affairs that he keeps it at arms length. We have to believe that the next generation of Sid and Nancys are out there somewhere, playing guitar in a bedsit, scratching each others names into their thighs with dirty compasses. For that we have to truly hope.
Until then, we’ll have to make do with Will Young.