At Nuis@nce a week or so ago – a night of otherwise pleasant throwbacks to a now long-gone indie-rock heyday – we were also reminded of the godawful side of Britpop. That of the lad-rock band. You know the kind. Boorish, bellowing and lumpen indie rock with vapid songs, and sometimes equally vapid fans. Watching a number of people last week in cagoules, going mental to Oasis with their beers thrust into the air, brought all those memories of the shit side of Britpop back.
So, here are ten bands we can blame Oasis for in one way or another. Yep, it’s the return of the occasional series of “Adam shoots fish in a barrel”…
Oh, and as I had to listen to all of these muppets, so do you.
Remember them? Exactly. A bunch of spotty teenagers from the north decide they can play at being Oasis too, and somehow end up with a record deal – another of those classic feeding frenzies once a “movement” takes hold within the music industry that sees any old shit signed up to keep those CDs and T-shirts selling. Somehow, also, this band’s lumpen rock saw them hit the cover of Melody Maker, too, such was the “buzz”. Interestingly, the only teenage, northern indie rock band I can recall hitting the big time immediately – and actually being good – in the past twenty years are the Arctic Monkeys. Most importantly, though, they had clever lyrics and a good acquaintance with the concept of a tune. This band had neither. Incidentally, their wiki suggests that they reformed in 2006 and 2007. Talk about scraping the barrel…
They are facing tough competition, but I think it’s fair to say that this band are the shittiest in this list. Not only were they championed by Oasis and the king of bore-(dad)rock in the form of Paul Weller (The Jam were good, his solo stuff blows), but Chris Evans used The Riverboat Song as the theme music for the otherwise great fun TFI Friday (the last time there was essential viewing early on a Friday evening), granting it far more airplay than it ever deserved. Their love of everything retro – ‘cos the modern was so shit, man – even stretched as far as naming their best-known album Moseley Shoals as a nod to the great soul city of Muscle Shoals. The comparison is an insult to classic soul. What’s even more incredible is that they are still going.
Until Daisy suggested this band for the list, I’d totally put their hit out of my mind. Now I’ve heard it again, I wish I could again. Living For The Weekend: more lumpen indie rock, with an “orchestral” backing to make it sound more serious and “huge” – and a song about living your life purely to go and get fucked up at the weekend. Come on, there’s more to life than this, right? Discarding five days out of every seven, and doing nothing but go and get drunk? Well, I guess that’s as good as it gets if you come from Staines.
Apparently noted by the NME (hardly a bastion of taste nowadays, granted) as the band “most likely to break your windows”. Having listened to the tedious We’ll Live And Die In These Towns – which has reminded me why I hated them in the first place – I’d be quite likely to break windows to make them stop. One of those bands that seem to think they are much better than they actually are, they instead stooped to copying Common People on Nation of Checkout Girls. If you are going to rip something off so blatantly, it normally helps to pick something not quite so well known. Fucktards.
In this Tuesday Ten series over the past four years, I’ve written about songs with a deep sense of historical meaning, songs with political fire, and bands that happily sing in multiple languages. Here, we have a band whose breakthrough hit was entitled Same Jeans. That this band have had more success with this vapid, plodding indie rock than the various others featured in the links makes me want to weep.
Oddly enough, this band went to the same school/college as Daisy – and by all accounts were not viewed fondly then, either. Seemingly taking the idea that seventies glam rock was a good idea to mix with a wannabe baggy sound, it comes out sounding like an awful mess (evidence for the prosecution: Shoot The Runner) – kinda Oasis if they decided that having a funky electronic backing was a plan. It’s not only the runner I’d like to shoot for having to listen to this.
Such tough and ‘ard Leeds lads that – as I heard it once – they wrote the song “…Riot” about the Prince of Wales pub in central Leeds (Now, unless there’s another I don’t know about, that used to be an old man’s pub…). On the Wiki page it suggests it’s simply about a night on the tiles in Leeds. Well, Leeds can be a tough town on a night out, particularly if you’re an alternative type and you have to deal with the be-shirted hordes that hunt in packs along Boar Lane, but unless you are in a tiny handful of clubs it’s a pretty joyless experience – in fact, much like this band.
Ah yes, the latest big hype. Proclaiming on the front of the NME that you are going to be “the biggest band in the world” may well prove a millstone around the neck – and calling your debut album Famous First Words isn’t going to stop the backlash. What really worries me, though, is that this heap of tuneless shit – fucking hell, the singer can carry even less of a tune than Liam Gallagher – probably will be massive. The public wants what the public gets.
Well, I could hardly avoid including this band, could I? I suppose it was a bit of an ask for Liam Gallagher and the rest of his bandmates to have evolved their musical sound beyond being in thrall to chord sequences and tunes of the Beatles – this is, after all, Oasis without Noel Gallagher. They’ve also continued one of thing from Oasis – the law of diminishing returns. A far cry from the big sales of the nineties Oasis – their debut album has only made Gold status in the UK. That’s only 100,000 copies. Be Here Now sold four times that on it’s first day of release.
Ah, speaking of Be Here Now…I had to include Oasis, too. That is, though, the Oasis from 1997 onwards. The band that released Be Here Now – an album that should stand alone in history as the ultimate, salutary lesson of the dangers of too much cocaine. Unbelievably bloated, full of songs that go on far too long, and full of big, meaningless proclamations. What’s remarkable is that the band, despite hating each other by this point, never mind later on, released four more albums that continued to get even worse before finally disbanding (see above). Now, if only they’d released just two albums, I and many others may be viewing them in a very different light…