Wednesday 11 October 2006

still I'd rather be famous than righteous or holy...

One of my pet musical peeves is when musicians become so lost in showbusiness that they start to write songs about their life as a celebrity. I know it's probably inevitable to some degree if that's what your life becomes, but at what point do they start to think that anyone might actually be interested in them telling us about how they can't snort coke in bars any more for fear of camera phones (The Streets) or listing their grievances against ignorant journalists who have dared to give them a bad review (Sterophonics, Guns n'Roses)?

Actually, I suppose it's not the subject matter per se that grates. Has anyone made carping quite such an art form as dear old Stephen Patrick Morrissey? He's been loudly railing against his detractors (real or imagined) for years, from "Frankly Mr. Shankly" onwards. What about Eminem? He'll have a pop at anyone, from his ex- current- ex-wife all the way through to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Hell, he even has a pop at Moby, which frankly seems a bit like kicking a hamster. No, it's not the subject matter that makes me hate songs like this so much - it's when they are delivered without a hint of wit or guile that they get to me; when they are just charmless rants or crass, clumsy name-dropping.

Speaking of which, have you heard the new single by the Ordinary Boys?

Previously, I haven't been much bothered by this lot. I'd noticed that they'd taken their name from a Morrissey song, but that was about it. As soon as I did hear some of their stuff in all its honking, sub-ska glory, I decided to give them a wide berth and tried to forget about them. They created a small ripple in the music press (I think Morrissey may have mentioned he liked them) and then they looked set to disappear due to a terminal lack of interest.

....and then their lead singer (Preston) appeared on "Celebrity Big Brother" and revived both his and his band's flagging careers by copping off with the fake "celebrity" plant (and ultimate winner of the show), Chantelle. They fell in love before our eyes on TV and the unwashed proleteriat was hooked (well, I say "our eyes", but obviously I wasn't watching. Well, not much - but did you see George Galloway as a cat?). Preston and Chantelle subsequently got married, and they've pretty much been in the pages of Heat magazine ever since.

Aw, bless.

I read a quote from Preston in the NME the other day about how the band had been moving away from their ska sound, and that the new album was going to be a great leap forward.

And then I heard the lead single off this putative masterpiece.

Rather unbelievably for someone who voluntarily appeared on a reality TV show, it appears to be a song about what a drag it is being famous (if you can stand to, you can read the lyrics here and watch the video here). Bless him, the poor lad seems to think he's "at the top". Well, if marrying a cheap version of Paris Hilton and appearing in the weekly gossip mags is your idea of the top, then you can keep it.

More importantly, would you mind keeping it to yourself?


  1. Wow, a cheap version of PH? Does that make you, like, cheap squared?

    *retracts nails*

  2. *yawn* Celebrities are so last season...didn't anyone send them the memo?

  3. A friend of mine was accosted in Cast (next to the Playhouse) this afternoon by a bloke who swore he remembered her from twenty years ago. She managed to persuade the inebriated / coked up gent that he was mistaken, at which point he got very offended and started a rant of the "don't you know who I am?" variety. She didn't, so he told her; she can't remember his name but he was one of the not-Thom Yorke members of Radiohead which she confirmed from a picture when she got home.

    Not the kind of behaviour you'd expect, but then he didn't expect the response "Oh, that's the band that sounds like Coldplay isn't it?"

  4. I love the way you deliberately mis-spelt Steweofonix so that you wouldn't get their fans hitting your page on Google and infecting it with tedium.

  5. I didn't used to mind the Ordinary Boys, they're a good wee live band, but lost all respect for them after the Celebrity Big Brother incident. (And I'm shameless, I watched all of it.) Not only has Preston sold out, he also sold the rights to his wedding to Hello, or was it OK, magazine. Quite, quite horrible. Even if their next record is the best thing I've ever heard, I won't be buying it.

    (And less of your slagging off Morrissey, young man.)

  6. Heheh... always amuses me to hear proles talking about what they think is 'the top' or 'posh'.

    I know a family across the road who think having mayonnaise in your sandwiches is 'posh', and they think I'm 'upper class' because they saw an issue of The Times in my recycling box. No, I don't get it either.

    It wasn't even mine... someone gave me it for shredding up as pet bedding...

  7. My pet peeve is when bands I like become famous, period. Their music always seems to change and it isn't quite as good as it once was...maybe because they have "made it" they don't feel the need to put in as much effort, or maybe the corporate interests that takeover have too much control over the sound...

    But I hear what you are saying.

  8. I believe Chantelle was often refered to Paris Travelodge...

  9. i liked the first Ordinary boys album, didnt like the ska stuff though (they just can't do ska! they think that a cod jamaican accent in "boys will be boys" makes them ska, it just doesn't!) or the "big brother" thing either! i don't think i want to hear their new stuff now...
    funnily enough, i went to school with Preston. rumour was that the Boys were rich and had loads of links (mostly relatives) in the music industry, which helped them get a deal. there was even a rumour that they paid Warner bros £1m just to listen to one of their demos! that rumour was an exaggeration of course, although there is some truth behind it, they weren't exactly poor or without any links in the industry...

  10. "because they saw an issue of The Times in my recycling box. No, I don't get it either"
    Indeed, puzzling... Why would you buy The Times when The Guardian is a far superior paper? ;-)