Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Noel Gallagher: TV game shows 'not real music'

James P emails to bring Noel Gallagher's latest pronouncements to our attention. Noel doesn't think that The X Factor has anything to do with music:

The X Factor "has absolutely nothing to do with music and everything to do with television", he said.

That's strange that, what with it being on a TV network and everything. Presumably Noel is holding back on the observation that Casualty isn't part of the NHS.

Noel makes his views in the current Radio Times - as James points out "the controversial bad boy of rock is lending his outrageous thoughts to a page opposite an advert for beige slacks (two pairs for £20), or possibly a 'Face Behind the Voice' Q&A with Late-night Radio Norfolk favourite Sue Marchant."

Like a man returning from France with a passion for wine, Noel reveals the horrible truth about ITV's starmaking programmes: they tend not to make you a big star:
"You spend a year slogging around the country and then what? You can't go back to Barnsley and be a check-out girl cos that would look bad.

"So you end up either trying to be an actress or trying to sustain your profile by going on celebrity shows."

He said: "Instead of instant fame and celebrity and all your ex-boyfriends and girlfriends coming out of the cupboard and your family being ripped apart the prize ought to be: 'I'll introduce you to someone who might introduce you to someone who might, if you're very lucky, know a producer who'd record one of your songs.'

"That's the only way to make any money. Otherwise you sell 5 million records and earn 50 grand."

Noel is so far out of touch with ordinary people it's almost Shakespearean. He talks about earning fifty thousand quid as if it's not worth doing; if you offered that prospect to a shop girl from Bolton she'd probably figure that a better deal than earning that amount over ten years on the Tesco tills.

And what songs does Noel think X Factor contestants are going to be selling to producers? Does he really believe that Leon Jackson was carting about a sledgefull of top-quality songs looking for an artist?

Does Noel really think that most of the contestants on the X Factor care about building a career as a credible musical act? Does he not understand they're seeking fame, not critical acclaim, and for most of those people who queue up to being ridiculed by Cowell, the idea they could do some acting and make a living bouncing from Heat cover shoots to Celebrity-themed gameshows and back again is the dream come true?

It's like Noel has no understanding at all of popular culture... maybe he has no TV... a TV that doesn't work... perhaps he only watches the nature shows and the news... maybe there's a reason he can't watch TV... looking the wrong way... way...


robin carmody said...

The fact that Noel Gallagher is a tiresome old bore does not alter the fact that there is absolutely no defence for X-Factor et al, that these shows are part of a steady collapse of the fabric of British society and an ongoing disconnection of the British people from their own culture and history, brought about mainly by neoliberal economics.

Anyone who defends them does not deserve to be called a socialist. It is not the fault of the contestants themselves that this is all they know, but to defend this state of affairs at all is to defend neoliberalism. But then trendy-lefties are really Thatcherites in disguise, and were so even 25 years ago.

simon h b said...

You're right, Robin, that they are horrible shows. But that doesn't make Noel any nearer the mark when he says they've got nothing to do with music and that the winners won't be expecting to be picking up the Ivor Novello award in ten years' time.

Pointing, as Noel does, at the X Factor and saying 'all that programme does it make you famous' is a bit like pointing at chocolate and saying 'all that does is give you a mildly happy feeling for a short period'. There is much to criticise about the Cowell-Fuller axis, but Noel seemed to miss that what he thought was damning criticism was actually damn near a Radio Times listing for the show.

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