Here’s a list:
Yes – UB40 – Crowded House – Brian Wilson – Arab Strap – Erasure – Cliff Richard – Level 42 – The Temptations & The Four Tops – Deep Purple – Kim Wilde – Suede – The Sweet – James & Happy Mondays – Belinda Carlisle – Alanis Morissette – David Essex – Gabrielle – Marillion – Jarv Is – OMD – Scritti Politti – The Beat – Al Stewart – The Stylistics – Faith No More – Slade – Fatboy Slim – Wet Wet Wet – Billy Ocean – Gary Barlow – Elton John – Simply Red – Blondie – Melanie C – The Charlatans – The Stranglers – The Human league – Average White Band – Ozzy Osbourne – 10cc – Pete Tong
These are all taken from a Google list of what’s on in Birmingham, music-wise, this year.
Yay! Live music! I’ve missed out from this list any acts who have become successful since 2000 or who have released anything new and notable in the same time frame. Those acts are massively outnumbered by the above.
I understand that some people might disagree with the inclusion of national chancer Jarvis but receiving is judging; my ears received and I judged. I might try to go to see one or two of these – I’m intrigued by Scritti Politti having a go at his fiddly, intellectual electronic jazzsoulpop live and to see if Green is now Grey. Happy Mondays and James would be fun, just to observe the crowd for half an hour. The Human League because they are a great on-stage soap opera (cor, Phil still looks sexy even without his half a fringe). Some others I’ve bumped into live or on telly in recent years and I have no wish to watch that desperate public scream of ‘look at me, just one more time!’ one more time (Elton, I’m looking at you).
What’s my point? My point is, air. Rocknroll air. Sound system air, punter air, promoter air, publicity air. While all these old people are sucking the air, there’s little left for the young people, for something significant and brilliant and new to appear and be noticed. While all the noise generated by the sound of motorised chairs and pension discussions and money counting is filling up our ears how will we hear about the New Thing? And, more importantly, how will the New Thing get a chance to make a buck for a bit?
There’s a shit-drift. All that old clutter, huge platform boots, died hair and wigs clogging up sinks, third, fourth wives, managers with needs, session musicians, three minute pop tunes being murdered in lower keys at slower paces. Capes. Original Stone Island anoraks. A non-recyclable shit drift, up against the door leading to the future, keeping it firmly shut. Do you remember the terrible winter of 1963? (Some of the above were teens). It’s like that. You just don’t expect that kind of weather in the UK. Constant change, is what we expect, or even need, rain followed by a bit of sun with very occasional snow. But, here we are, stuck indoors and the heating’s fucked and we can only get two channels on TV and they’re both broadcasting Now That’s What I Call Pop in the 60s/70s/80s/90s all day fucking long.
No wonder teenagers are going off music as a way of life. They can see the results of lives lived that way and it’s pretty ugly. My message to Rick and Jon, Debbie, Vince, Tim and Bez and co: retire. Now. You’ve all got your houses, your royalties. And even the drummers have a little rehearsal studio or greengrocers. Leave what’s left of your ragged legacy to rot in glory. Have some self-respect. Let your fans bask in memories of something pure. And let the door to the future open up.