It only took one comment from Brett Anderson from Suede and all hell broke loose, well not excactly all hell but a now retracted Robbie Williams blog on his own site about boy bands v indie.
His stout defence of boy bands has now been retracted but was he right? or were those famous insecurities rising to the surface? was the errant Take That member who we once saw run around after Liam Gallagher at Glastonbury and released several records that sound like a weird cross between boy band and indie like a thrilled fan getting a bit tetchy about his lack of acceptance in indie world? and does ‘indie cred’ mean anything any more? isn’t it all varying degrees of pop music when you look at it?
The whole handbags affair started when Brett Anderson had a go at pop music in a recent interview, saying that there “has always been crap pop music” and that the current popularity of boyband One Direction comes as a result of skint record labels creating stars by committee and taking the easy option.
Former king of pop Robbie Williams took umbrage at this and in a psycho analysts dream typed his missive in block capitals claiming that “Any quarter-decent three-chord knobheads could and did get a deal in the ’90s. I won’t name names because it would be unfair on… Echobelly, Shed 7, Symposium, Menswear, Sleeper, Hurricane Number 1, Ride, The Bluetones, Northern Uproar, Chapterhouse, Curve, Salad, Adorable, Cud, Spacehog, Kula Shaker, The Audience, Powder, King Maker and Geneva.” Geneva came in for particular criticism with Williams calling them “sub-Suede” and adding: “Can you imagine?”
What is really impressive is his in depth knowledge of smaller indie bands- was he actually a fan of of the genre or did he spend all afternoon on wiki looking up band names- we very much doubt that anyone can remember that many boy bands names!
The missive continued “Should I go on? Cos I could and they sure fucking did. There were a few special indie bands then just as there are in every generation and just as some pop bands are useless, some are magnificent. I feel sorry for the people who are too bigoted to appreciate the latter. The world’s a lot more exciting with One Direction in it and more hearts will genuinely race at a new 1D album than they ever have or will at any Suede album in any period.”
To be fair he obviously had a rethink and wrote a second blog shortly afterwards stating “It would appear that I’ve gone off on a tangent not entirely created by Mr Brett Anderson of pop combo Suede. It won’t be the last time this happens and it felt good to get it off my chest. Thank you Brett, Suede’s new album ‘Bloodsports’ out now.” He adds: “It’s good too.”
Was Robbie right though? or should you leave this blogging business alone until you are sure what you are doing? does pop music and the record labels crush all other musics or were the nineties a time of two thriving music scenes? is there much difference between boy bands and the poppier end of indie music?