Wednesday, September 04, 2002

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: RIOT EDITION
we've already burbled on at length about Boy George, now officially installed at the Sunday Express as some sort of expert on this music the young people listen to, so we'll instead rub our eyes with wonder and ask just what on earth the Independent on Sunday were doing giving their profile slot to Morrissey, a person who they believe the nme no longer feels any emnity towards - well, probably not; but since the current nme views Morrissey in the same way it feels about Werthers Originals, cream teas and the early work of Alan Bennett, it's not really surprising, is it?...

FHM is, in a bold new move for tack, selling its current issue on "Girls next door" - i.e., it's Readers Wives, only for people who've not quite got a relationship yet. In a strange twist, Maxim has got one of Atomic Kitten in their nix; until recently, of course, Atomic Kitten were the girls next door to pop papers' home...

the New Statesman marks the 2000th edition of Top of the Pops by getting a lot of facts about the show completely wrong ("the format has never changed" an impressive attempt to paint out the Tony Dortie years; since most of the writing about the Staggers recently has been Martin Amis-inspired poking about in its Stalinist era, maybe this is just an old habit dying hard) or else treating them unfairly - sure, the Pops did havethe likes of Travis, Saville et all presenting quite late on, but they weren't actually that old back then; besides - they were also presenting on Radio One at the same time; it's not as if the team at TV Centre went out their way to drag 'em in from the Day Centre. And why shouldn't people past their 20's present a programme designed to reflect the taste of the whole country, anyway?...

not that anyone over about 13 buys singles these days, anyway, if the Friday Review is to be believed - in an interesting exercise, Alexis Petredis gave a nine year old twenty pounds and let them loose in HMV. They came back with Nickelback and Puretone. Winningly, they also said Robbie Williams records would only ever be bought "for my mum or something..."

Music Week has had one of those perplexing mini-revamps that magazines sometimes do shortly before full on overhauls. I've never quite seen the point of these - why relocate the coffee table if you're about to start knocking walls down? - however, they find space for the nme's Conor McNicholas (the editor now, you know) to pledge that the paper won't take the dumping of the evening session lying down...

the cover of the nme has the faces of coldplay hanging over a dry, arrid desert. The naughty design department deserves an extra rub of the belly for that one...

never one to over-react, all of page three is given to a picture of a bloke stood in front of some fire with the words "Festival In Flames." It occurs to us that if MF do get to hold one of these next year, they should revive their Phoenix Festival title. In a five-page special, the nme pretty much bury any hope the Mean Fiddler might have of getting a licence next year, parading a range of reports from gig-goers criticising the organisation and stewards, and the police. And some words of support: "If the local residents have a problem with five days of a 365-day year being taken up with noise and mess in their beloved park, why don't they move?" - mmm, yeah, thanks for totally useful input, you moron. But, seriously, there are some huge questions that need to be addressed here - claims of police over-reaction, stewards bottling customers, fears of explosions. Some people put the numbers of rioters at 1,000; others at less than the claimed 500. What's clear is something went wrong at Leeds - perhaps not terribly wrong, or perhaps seriously, seriously wrong. The West Yorkshire police says it's had no complaints about police brutality to theme (some may not find that surprising); Melvin Benn says that the complaints he's heard are "not specific" (a rather selective reading of them, we'd suggest) and describes the events as "surprisingly good natured", which seems breathtakingly arrogant compared to the emails the paper publishes from gig-goers: "people running to get awat... people crying... no help on hand... tear gas thrown at us... a kid no older than 17 bottled by security... like being in a war zone... cops kicking and beating someone... people beaten brutally... police charge down the hill swinging their batons. Lots of different perspectives - almost everyone saying that, aside from the riot, it was a bloody brilliant weekend - but nobody much seeming to know exactly where the truth lies. Amusingly, Ikara Colt weren't allowed to play Leeds because they'd inspired a few fans to clamber on stage at reading the night before. Quite right too, Mean Fiddler. Can't let people get away with that sort of thing...

other news: coldplay "triumph" at London gig; eminem booed at MTV awards; blur split mystery deepens... I'm starting to wonder if they shouldn't have strung the leeds riot out a few pages more; U2 are going to put out a greatest hits album, covering 1990-2000, although oddly it'll also contain a new single, which surely means it'll be 1990-2002, doesn't it? Anyway, it covers the period long after they'd moved from decent music to being the Steve Penk pranksters of pop, so it doesn't really mattter; dave grohl has added his weight to calls to Save Lamacq; Beck has written a song for Winona Ryder - it wasn't meant to be for her, she only said she was taking it out to look at it in the light, and that was half an hour ago; Craig Nicholls isn't nuts, he tells the nme, clutching his arms to his sides, rocking and muttering "Craig is fine... Craig is fine..."; Richard Ashcroft goes through the tracks on his new album one by one - delights such as the troubles of a sharedealer, with his homelife going to pot because he's at the golf club trying to make deals. So, the sort of thing we can all relate to, then; there's also stories about Andrew WK and Kelly Osbourne, but we can forgive them...

on bands: the catheters - the nme reckon they're the best band named after something you shove up your urethra... ever (oh, yeah? what about the banana splits?) and murderdolls - another spin-off from slipknot, they look like Coronation Street's idea of what goths dress like...

Tim Wheeler does ten tracks for a CD - Avalanches, Super Furry Animals, Stiff Little Fingers... we'd like to be on his tour bus, please...

Johnny Davis asks Coldplay "if you weren't in this band, what would you make of Coldplay, reading your interviews? Will replies "I'd probably be very bored." He's not wrong, believe me...

reviews: ash - intergalactic sonic 7"s ("never lost the ability to twist their high velocity passion for pop into a stream of great singles", 9); john squire - time changes everything ("70's bardic rock", 8); Mark Rae - Rae Road ("come on, sun", 7); delta - hard light ("truly great", 6); various - 4scott ("two quid goes to charity; KLF; Charlatans; Badly Drawn Boy - what more could you want?", 7)...

sotw is death in vegas - hands around my throat ("welcome to the dark side"); not kelly osbourne - papa don't preach ("daddy must be so proud"); or mudhoney - sonic infusion ("bangs along like there's no tomorrow")...

live: jj72 in camden ("dark; difficult; at times brilliant"); the kills in new york ("fucked-up and ragged"); pretty girls make graves in glasgow ("disco-trash-hardcore-sleze-rock of the highest order")...

and, erm, that's it, since the heart of angst (sorry, nmemail) has been ripped out to make a news feature, although there are some moans about the trains at reading...


No comments:

Post a comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.