Tuesday, February 08, 2005

THEY DON'T SELL SOAP POWDER, BUT BOY DO THEY SOUND LIKE THEY DO: Talking about this year's Brits, gorgeous, pouting Matt Phillips gets so excited about the likes of Franz Ferdinand that you can just hear him itching to send out a one meg powerpoint slide to everybody in his address book:

"There is a massive appetite for artistic bands like Radiohead, Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand that the industry has spent time investing in. We have a solid base of bands coming through that have durability."

Hold up a minute, there, gorgeous pouting, while we do accept that EMI did a lot of work to build Radiohead and give them time to find an audience - in fact, Thom and the boys might have been the last band to be allowed to do such a slow start on a major label - surely the original groundwork for Coldplay was done by Fierce Panda - not "the industry" as the BPI would portray it; and Franz Ferdinand have pretty much built themselves, and, again, are on Domino, who while strictly speaking are part of the music industry aren't really part of the Music Industry. Indeed, what the success of those two - and The Darkness, come to that - shows is that the mainstream industry is more reliant than ever on waving a chequebook to buy up acts whose first steps are invested in by independent, free-thinking labels. It disproves again the great lie that major labels invest in the talent - they don't; their skills and investment are targetted on marketing, something they do do rather well. But if we were relying on the Big Four to bring us our kicks, we'd be stuck listening to Elvis re-releases and Dido. Maybe the Brit awards should have a Best Advertising Campaign gong?

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