Tuesday, October 31, 2006

go and tell the king that the sky is falling in...

Right. That’s it. I’ve had enough of this. Apparently Oasis are the “Best Band in the World Today” and Noel Gallagher is a “Classic Songwriter? Well, according to the 2006 Q Awards they are.

Are they bollocks.

The same magazine (well, their readers) also decided earlier this year that “Live Forever” was the “Greatest Song Ever” (with “Wonderwall” coming in at number 2).

No. No. No.

What is it with this national fascination with a band that has now failed to produce a really good song for over a decade? I don’t care how many times they tell us otherwise, Oasis are not the greatest band in the world. They’re not even close.

Don’t get me wrong: they certainly had their moments. “Definitely Maybe” is a good record. “What’s the Story (Morning Glory)?” has a few moments of genius, but even there you can start to hear the hubris and the filler. The gigs at Knebworth were monumental (I was there), but by the time “Be Here Now” came out, the magic had definitely gone, and nothing has happened since to make me think that they are ever going to get it back.

They’ve sold 50 million records worldwide, but for all the millions swilling around their bank accounts, rarely has such a successful band been so creatively bankrupt. When I listen to them now, all I hear is a workaday pub rock band with a decent singer but a totally unjustified swagger. And yet for all this they enjoy a mystifying level of continuing success. Liam Gallagher really has got a remarkable voice, I’ll grant you that, but will he be remembered for more than his simian swaggering and Neanderthal posturing? Is Noel Gallagher really a classic songwriter, or is he just a guy who had a single, remarkable purple patch that he hasn’t got anywhere near it since? They are a band that had their moment but singularly missed their cue to leave the stage.

Does it matter? History will probably remember Oasis as guiding lights of Britpop, and may even be kind enough to mark out their first two albums as classics of their time. The rest of it? The best part of the last ten years, plus however much longer they manager to hold it together? Surely no more than a footnote before their merciful (and no doubt acrimonious) departure.

Yet even as the records have declined in quality, Oasis have managed to build and maintain a towering reputation as a live act. They are an enormous draw and sell out arenas and stadiums across the world. I’m not convinced. They were certainly good at Knebworth in 1996, but that was as much about the moment as it was about the actual show. The only other time I have seen them, at the Glastonbury Festival in 2004, they were awful. The sound was muddy and the band strutted about the stage as though they owned it. Dreadful. Louder was most definitely not better, and the songs just didn’t justify the swagger. Worse still were the fans they dragged to the festival with them, all anoraks and ape-like gaits, desperate to look like Liam, their idol and spiritual leader. Even if I hadn’t hated them for their performance, I could easily have hated them for their fans.

And still they remain.

And maybe that’s it; perhaps the most remarkable thing about this ‘people’s band” is the way that they have managed to present themselves to the world. Right from day one they have held themselves up as the greatest band in the world. In the early days this seemed silly but charming; now it just seems amazing. It’s hubris, but it seems to work; people still seem to believe them and they still go out in their millions to buy the records.

What exactly are they expecting to hear? Does anyone seriously think that Oasis will one day surprise us all with a timeless classic?


Use your ears. The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A journey into sound?

Like music?
Yeah, so do we.

This place was created to speak about music. About it's ups and downs, about it's performance and trajectory, about it's peaks and it's ultimate downfalls.
Anybody can contribute in the comments sections. And we'd welcome other people's reviews, opinions and just general disgust at what we've just written.
It's all about communication people.

We want to hear about other people's interpretation of songs we know.
We want to be introduced to new songs that we've never heard before.

We thought maybe other people might like that too.