The Brits and the rise of Range Rover Rock

Of course, music is always moving and redefining and that’s great. Of course, we have no expectation that a TV spectacular full of laser beams, lights, high decibel dayglo bombs presented, as ever, by a shouty comedian is be able to reflect all of modern music. Of course, the Brits has great moments- Little Simz was fab and of course lots of modern pop is great and, of course we don’t expect our culture to be on there.

The trouble is that with so little music allowed on TV apart from Jolls Holland’s dusty old cupboard of cosy mates and the annual award show shindigs, it means that everything is squeezed out for the bombastic behemoths.

We love pop culture of all types but there are flashpoints of odd – alternative music for a long time has been dead-end term that somehow now describes boy bands with guitars, watered-down indie Wildebeest stumbling around the prize laden watering holes. Their hair is carefully ruffled by stylists and their music is carefully ruffled by teams of super-smart brand experts. As a culture, style of music, a cosy lifestyle choice or even as a thing it’s meant nothing for years – what precisely are Mumford, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran alternative to? of course they can ‘do their thing’ but them and their avalanche of chums are not ‘alternative’.

What we propose is renaming the alternative category Range Rover Rock..the kind of polished music that sits well in a Chelsea Tractor driving expensively around the well-tarmacced streets of West London. Last night most of these ostentatious gas guzzlers  would have been parked outside the O2 for the Brits last night. Musically, stylistically and symbolically they perfectly represent the Brits idea of alternative – a form of music which has seen the goalposts moved so far that any truly alternate music has no chance of getting onto the tightly controlled 6music playlists mainstream media idea of ‘Alt’

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. John a good review summary of what the Brits has become. Let’s hope when covid restrictions are relaxed there again will be greater outlets for alternative rock from many pubs and small clubs.

  2. Sez the fella who hasnt questioned the Govt Covid narrative since it started merely parroted the ‘official’ line. Much less the punk rocker than the media sucker you are these days John in the well tarmaced streets of West Didsbury.

    • Righteous Ralph hope all is good with you, Would love to see links to where John Robb has parroted the official line because I can’t find any. Or any links to him parroting the Piers Corbyn line or the ‘5G is brainwashing you’ line or the Gillian McKeith and Eric Clapton line. I’ve lived in West Didsbury for years and never seen John Robb here – I think he lives in Hulme and is a long way away from the Cheshire set or millionaires row with added butler set.

    • Bless you, Ralph. I think like your mate David Icke you’ve had one too many bangs on the head. All the best to you wherever you think it is that you are.

  3. Homogenised Rockers like Dave Grohl who laps at Neil Youngs worn out shoes and frazzled brain ( to many drugs ) Keep on Rockin in the free world ……what fucking lies
    They won’t except anyone in to there gigs unless your vaccinated
    As for Range Rover Rock it’s a stylists paradise
    Rock n Roll is alive but covered in plastic foliage
    We need Monty Don in a Range Rover to drive over it to expose the truth


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