Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wilson crosses the Atlantic

Moving location, as seasoned Jump The Shark watchers will know, is a sign of an attempt to pep up a dead horse. A thought that may or may not be in the back of our minds as Tony Wilson announces plans to do this year's In The City in New York.

Frankly, it looked a bit wobbly when it biked thirty miles up the M62 to Liverpool a few years back, and is New York really going to be as excited by what, to them, is yet another music festival. Only this time with the British involved?

Sure, everyone talks about the British Invasion, and its impact on US popular culture, but it wasn't really an invasion, it was more the Americans co-opting a few British acts who'd already turned themselves into acceptable fare for American teens. The Beatles didn't get onto Ed Sullivan because they'd tied his wife to a chair and threatened slapping sessions unless they got a slot. British invasion? American invitation, surely?

Since then, periodically, British music gets the urge to go and repeat an invasion that's never happened. You suspect this latest effort is somehow hoping to piggyback on Lil and Amy's stateside adventure. But does New York really need some British hoodrats?

"The fact that [the Sex] Pistols were never taken to any of the major markets, I've always regretted especially because punk is my love," Wilson says. "They just went to minor markets like San Francisco, never to L.A. or New York. So for me, taking a major new British band to New York is very exciting."

The bands?
Enter Shikari, the Pigeon Detectives, Blood Red Shoes alongside the Rakes, Biffy Clyro, and the Happy Mondays.

The Pigeon Detectives? Why not get the whole thing sponsored by Marmite and have done with?

Next time: A Very Special In The City, with Ted McGinley interviewing Howard Marks.

[EDIT/UPDATE: In The City have been in touch and pointed out that they're not relocating to New York; this is an extra event which is part of an international expansion - with an event in Perth next year. And it would somewhat churlish of me not to add that while the bands might not have been who I'd have taken to New York, the planned panels chime pretty much in tune with the sort of things we bang on about here, day-in, day-out.]


Mark said...

The Sex Pistols never made it big time in America because the Yanks weren't so easily fooled as us Brits. Anyway, they had the real thing in The Ramones et al. UK Punk is surely the most overrated movement in history. "Can't play that guitar? It doesn't matter. Can't sing a note? Who cares? It's all about attitude". Not if you have to listen to it, it isn't. I don't think that the rock industry has ever quite twigged the amused cynicism with which they are regarded for being the only industry in which amateurism and absence of basic skills are something to be celebrated.

grahame said...

Mark P, I assume...

Mark said...

No, I wasn't fooled for a minute.

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