Saturday, July 24, 2004


I sure hope not. Barely got over the demise of M. Distel when someone I know who works in Record Retail told me this afternoon that The Streets were number one in the mid-week charts. Damn.
    It seems like Mike Skinner can do no wrong in The Land of Blog...even, er, Grant Morrison likes him, but then Grant used to like The Smiths. Sorry, but someone's got to put their foot down, make a stand, draw a line in the sand, etc.  The bottom line, boys, is this:
    I. Can't. Go. For. That.

    It's dull. It's worthy. It's crap.It's Paul Weller.   
    Cue Dick Van Dyke in soot-stained chimney-sweep clobber:
    "Yeah, I know, mate, but it's 'sposed to be like that: Neo-Realist, innit. 'E's the bollocks, mate; the real deal, the Biz. The doggy's knackers. It's working-class poetry...stories from the street...'e's just tellin' it like it is, 'e is...y'know, 'ow it is on the streets: 'ow people...real people...not poncey, posey, middle-class gits like you, you fuckin' Joe-90 lookalike...'ow they're livin' their lives; what they're doin' to get got a fuckin' problem with that, eh?  You jus' don' like it cause you're a pretentious twat, that's why. 'Cause it's ordinary and normal.  An' you think you're above all that..."
     Yeah, you're probably right: we're just too posh down here in the West Country. Or thick; I forget which. Maybe we can't relate to his dark and gritty tales of urban ragamuffins, dodgy scams and wasted afternoons at the bookies. Or perhaps it's his accent: truth be known, we don't actually understand what he's on about. People who talk like Reggie Yates are stoned to death on a regular basis down here. Well, why shouldn't we? They come down here with their fancy city ways, taking our jobs...Yeah, that must be what it is. His accent, I mean.  Come on, none of my friends talk like that. They say things like: "Aw- reet?" and "Proper job..." and "Wos this Grime stuff, then? Wher' can you hear that to? Ain't playin' it in Cru'kern, then, is 'em?" while we sit on the back of a tractor-trailor cidered-up en route to a Wurzels/Yetties double-bill in a barn somewhere near Shepton Mallet.
     No, I don't like it because...because despite its apparent authenticity, its over-pushy, pumped-up realism, it still somehow fails to's like there's something essential missing from its centre; there's a hole; a gap; a spectral frequency...a feeling that's gone awol from its core, like an old LP digitally-remastered so that it now sounds theory, there should now be more information, more bandwidth present, but somehow there's less and it just sounds off in some way that's hard to describe. Mike Skinner's music sounds like that to me: leaden and shouty, and as dead and dull as The Jam. He's trying too hard. Or not hard enough. It doesn't tranport me; it doesn't scare me or surprise me or make me laugh or take me from behind. I get nothing from it, nada, no excitement, and there's nothing I can do to get past that. It's 'Hersham Boys' with a GCSE in English. 
    No, that's condescending and unfair: 'Hersham Boys' is ace. 


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