Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indie guitar routed, says chart company

For reasons that aren't immediately apparent, the official chart company has decided to tell indie rock that it isn't good enough:

"2009 was the toughest year of the Noughties as far as independent guitar music was concerned," said the [Official Chart C]ompany's managing director Martin Talbot.

"We're going through that period where guitar music and electronic-driven pop music is winning through over guitar bands."

Goodness. That sounds like something that might even be worth trying to interest journalists in as if it was some sort of trend. Well, almost. I suppose if your job involved compiling lists of what records were selling slightly more copies than other records, you'd have to be able to come up with some sort of fact that doing all that compiling might reveal. However banal it might be.

But can Talbot explain what is almost certainly just a cyclical change?
Talbot knows exactly were the blame lies. He said, "You only have to look at the charts over the past 12 months to see we're going through a real period in resurgence for pop music.

"The biggest stars of the last 12 months have been the likes of Lady Gaga and Pixie Lott. Dizzee Rascal having three number ones in a year. I can't see that changing over the next 12 months either."

So, Talbot's explanation for pop doing better than guitars is that... pop is doing better than guitars. Watch out, Gennaro, somebody is after your crown for chart commentary.

Hang about, though, Martin - are you sure that it won't change for the next twelve months?
"It's about trends and movements. Sometimes movements can be sparked by one act coming out of nowhere and doing something different to what everyone else is at that particular point in time."

Well, yes, a movement would require someone doing something different for it to start, wouldn't it? If you came along doing the same thing as everybody else, you wouldn't really be in a position to start a movement.

In summary, then: Indie-style guitar rock is now selling relatively less well than other types of music, because other types of music are selling more strongly. It's unlikely that anything will change that in the foreseeable future, unless something happens to make it change.

I only hope that the newspapers haven't yet sent their front pages to print.