Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Blur V Oasis (Part 94)

After the televised Brits Award, my wife came upstairs, pronounced herself a convert to Blur and then asked me if I was a fan of theirs. My own wife!!!

We all remember those Blur versus Oasis stories and call outs between the two bands. I couldn't have and didn't care less. I detested them both. Part of Tony Blair's "Cool Britannia" set, Noel gallagher's invitation to cake and drinks at Number 10 Downing Street, sort of underlined exactly how unsubversive both bands were.

But my dislike was deeper than any notion of sell-out.

Let's start with Blur shall we? Like Primal Scream, in the early days here was a band that changed their whole musical style with each album, not as some great artistic statement, but more a desperate lunge to ride the crest of whatever commercial music wave was prominent. From Madchester to Shoegazing until finally they found their sound, cheeky Cockney guitar pop. And fair enough they made the sound their own, but their sub-Kinks nostalgia for elements of working class life just didn't ring true. Especially Damon's vowels. They were from Essex not London after all.

And now Oasis. Boorish, thuggish, "Northern" Oasis. But their unrestrained, newly monied behaviour wasn't my sole reason for disliking them, after all it's about the music right?

Now I am a proud Londoner as anyone who knows me, or pays heed to my tweets will have realised by now. But the one realm where I acknowledge London's inferiority, is in the recent history of music. Manchester has produced amongst other bands, Joy Division, The Fall, Magazine, Buzzcocks, Patrik Fitzgerald, Durutti Column, Section 25, 808 State, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses... I never liked the Smiths, but they were huge as well and could be added to the list. None of these bands could have emerged from London, with the possible exception of The Smiths, because of their sound, their lyrics, their attitude.

And then there was Oasis. Who wanted to be The Beatles. Not Manchester, but Liverpool! Who betrayed Manchester's proud tradition of music that could only derive from the city and its satellite towns. In the same way that Blur wanted to be from London, Oasis doffed their flat caps- or rather threw them away and prostrated themselves towards the Mersey. The irony being if The Beatles were all about Peace and Love, Oasis were all about drink and aggression.

So yes I thought both bands had no soul about them. I didn't care who won the battle between them that seemed to have the whole country split down the middle. I just hope Blur's appearance at the Brits, doesn't give the media an excuse to reintroduce a spat that is over ten years old.

My wife has just become a fan of a band who split up ten years ago. Sigh.


Elly said...

Damon Albarn spoke out eloquently against the number 10 schmoozing, a while back. He won me over a bit.

Sulci Collective said...

Yes but not at the time. Too easy in hindisght to my mind. One of the Gallagher's has recently criticised Milliband.How soon they turn....

Elly said...

I think we are bound to be disappointed if we expect pop stars to be ethical. Look at Jarvis he made his name with Common People and then couldn't perform it for years because he was a) irritated by how popular it was and b) embarrassed its popularity had made it meaningless!

Sulci Collective said...

I don't think it's that I expected them to be ethical. More that both were without any soul whatsoever - not in the narrow musical sense of soul- more in the sense that Blur I felt were a calculating band chasing after the image that would make them and Oasis because they were too thuggish to possess any soul whatsoever.