Friday, 25 January 2008

Everything Changes...But The Music Industry - Noize Makes Enemies

Take That’s impressive selection of Brit Award nominations include; Best British Group, Best Album, Best Live Act and Best British Single- but what does this say about the future for music in the upcoming year?

With Take That dominating the recently revealed Brit Award 2008 nominations, could it be that British music is stuck in a lethargic rut of nostalgia or does the renewed success of such bands reflect an array of talent that is still relevant to music lovers over a decade later?

I would suggest the former. Where once images of a Lycra-clad Barlow, Orange, Owen, Williams and Donald prancing around with an air of homoeroticism to stadiums of packed teenagers and their equally excited mothers were commonplace, ten years on and one member down, tank tops have been replaced by M&S suits but fundamentally we’re back where we started.

Despite this, bands such as Take That do undebatably have a unique degree of longevity that not many bands today will be able to boast of in years to come. Their toe-tapping beats and quirky lyrics lost to fickle scene fans quick to jump on the next bandwagon before they even have time to straighten their fringes. As a result, bands like Take That’s loyal fan base and subsequent high level of recognition would appear more deserving of a Brit Award than current bands.

But whilst their talent is undisputable and their ability to please a crowd unarguable, the reappearance of bands such as Take That and the Spice Girls simply make it even harder for new bands to get noticed in the cut-throat music industry. Innovative and experimental bands such as The Klaxons hold little hope of grasping Brit Award for Best Live Act when placed up against the commercial four-piece. And even then hundreds of bands, worthy of similar acknowledgement slip under the radar of recognition for another year as Posh makes £10 million for every show she pouts her way through on recent comeback tour.

It is somewhat gratifying to see bands such as Bat for Lashes, Kate Nash and The Hoosiers sneaking their way into the mainstream competition for a Brit Award. Though, everything from their skinny jeans to Nash rather being with your friend (mate), make it hard to detect whether industry bosses selected these more as token Indie acts for credence rather than as a reflection of a shared appreciation.

There may be hope for bands that exude refreshing individuality with television programmes such as Channel Four’s MobileAct Unsigned which promoted the emergence of new bands with unsigned groups competing to please judges such as Jo Whiley and Alex James to win a record deal.

Yet, though frustrating that new bands fail to get the recognition that many deserve and often need, it could be argued that it’s all pretty irrelevant in the greater scheme of the industry. Great new bands not being nominated for Brits don’t coincide with a decline in credibility in the same way that the prospect of Leona Lewis winning Best Single for ‘Bleeding Love’ does not make it any less of a mind-numbingly overplayed song. Perhaps we should simply continue to just let bands of now thirty-something men, with an affinity for pop music and gyrating, obtain their metallic statues whilst the rest of us seek out original music that doesn’t encourage jazz hands.

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