Thursday, July 03, 2003

A HEATED DEBATE: We actually managed to not hear much of the Radio 2 Great Music Debate, though it's available on the listen again feature of the Radio 2 site. There's also a pretty nifty microsite featuring the main contributors and their main arguments, plus a message board where, of course, the debate can filter out into a bunch of ill-considered ranting by people without any knowledge of the subject of which they speak ("continue long after the show is over with contributions from A&R people pretending to be ordinary people").

If going into the debate you had any doubts that the music industry was in trouble, you only had to look at the artists put forward by the Majors for the showcase event (hey, this really was like a little In The City of the air, wasn't it, except without Tony Wilson or the free copies of music week):

CLARKESVILLE Melodic pop-rock with a hint of electronica.
EMMA HOLLAND She's written songs for Moby and makes her debut soon, strongly influenced by Annie Lennox and George Michael.
PEPPERCORN A female singer songwriter described as a 'kick ass blend of folk rock and seamless pop melodies.'
ROB REYNOLDS He's described as having gritty emotion and solid soul, and he's getting ready to release his latest album
SPEEDWAY: 'Specialising in lasting melodies and rousing lyrics,' this Glasgow band are out for U2's stadium crown.'

Do any of those descriptions make you want to rush down to the record shop? This might be being unfair on the acts - I can't help but feel that maybe Speedway have no interest in U2's stadium crown, but have been told they really should be trying to do that; and I can guarantee you that had they been signed three years ago they would have been billed as "bigger than Texas"; likewise, I'm sure there's more to emma Holland than her label have lumbered her with, but dropping the words "Moby" and "Lennox" into a microbio is only one step away from running black and yellow tape round her records, swamping the area in men in full-cover white body suits and gasmarks, and opening fire on everyone who approaches.

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