Saturday, August 11, 2007

Facebook gets its Arctic Monkeys

One of the key moments in turning MySpace (remember that?) into a brief phenomenon was the discovery that bands were using it as a kind of hothouse fan-growing environment. It made the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen what they are today. Or rather it didn't, but it made for good copy to pretend it did.

Now that Facebook is enjoying its growth spurt, it's little wonder that it, too, is now being credited for making stars out the otherwise obscure:

Facebook band to sing World Cup anthem

A band formed on the internet site Facebook have been plucked from obscurity to play England's official rugby World Cup anthem.

Blimey - so is it really true that Facebook works as such a super-networking space that it can even make you official musically anthemites?

Erm, not quite:
Blake, a four-piece of ex-choristers, got together online four months ago after discovering a shared interest in classical music.

Last month, they signed a £1 million, five-album deal with record giant Universal.

So, in effect, Facebook played little more than the role an advert in the Melody Maker would have done 20 years ago, and the rest of the heavy lifting has been done by an old-fashioned record label.

Even that much isn't entirely true:
The band had mutual friends but had never met as a group before they discovered a shared background in classical music.

Still, it's surprising to see a fusty old institution like the English rugby team going with a new band rather than just dusting off Swing Low Sweet Chariot for the umpteenth time, eh?
Their version of Swing Low will be the England rugby team's official anthem for the 2007 World Cup.



Anonymous said...

Yes, this was a very interesting story, I saw it too - my brother and I were actually at Twickenham on the weekend to watch the England'v'France match - these Blake guys were there singing their version of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", their voices were amazing! They also sang beautiful versions of the English and French national anthems. I think that the media jumped on the facebook bandwagon when they found out these guys had networked to find group members on the site, but ultimately I guess that Universal Records will only sign acts they like. From the blurb in the program for the match, it appears their debut album comes out in November - to my ears they sound like a better (full english) version of Il Divo. We'll have to see, but either way, they are nothing like the "Arctic Monkeys" or Lilly Allen - only time will tell, but I'll be following their success with great interest - gonna look them up on facebook today, they have a group on their apparently.

take care,


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