Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Which side Are You On?

The X Factor has finished with professional cherubic Geordie, Joe McEldrey reaping the spoils. His rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing may have been the deciding factor, or the fact that every judge praised him over all others for the past 12 weeks. He was technically very good though, he performed songs like they should be performed on a West End Stage and he did seem a rather pleasant young man, even with his head constantly cocked to one side. It is all done now and at least I no longer have to listen to other professional Geordie, Cheryl Cole saying week in, week out, “You’re a right little popstar”.

There is an internet campaign (they are always internet campaigns aren’t they, never proper marching campaigns trying to save whales or disarm the nuclears) at the moment hoping to rain on X Factor Uber Fuhrer, Simon Cowells parade and install shouty rich kids Rage Against The Machine as number one. Cowell took time off from planning his triumphant move into Poland to issue a statement “Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.” He went on to say that he thought that a group of spotty kids dicking about on Facebook was a bit nasty and it was the Geordie wonderkids god given right to install himself at the number one spot over the festive period with a Hannah Montana cover. Cowell then muttered something about the final solution before fielding calls from people that had performing dogs.

I kind of lie somewhere in the Cowell camp, I don’t feel it is McEldreys god given right, but I do take the charts for what they are, a measure of the popular, the fluffy, the light entertainment. I am not who they are aimed at, even if I do find N-Dubz utterly charming.

The charts are and really have always been about the listening publics liking of the shortlived, the burst of pop that for 3 minutes is the best in their world. If it is Mr Blobby or The Spice Girls, or Chipmunk or even Joe McEldrey, then so be it, its three minutes nothing more. I want my charts to be full of this guff, I like the fact that I don’t know every single single in the charts. I like the fact that it isn’t aimed with me and I can watch harmless inoffensive fluff on Christmas Day, I like it more if it involves females dancers dressed inappropriately for December chilliness. I really do not want Zack De La Rocha disturbing my third Sheridans as I settle down to watch some faceless northerner on Top Of The Pops.

Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine

Early figures indicate that the internet campaign to get Killing In The Name Of to the Christmas top spot may actually be working. The only problem with this and part of the reason I am on the pro Joe camp, is, well, it’s not a very good song. Maybe I am too close to 40 and too close to being middle class to not be effected by its “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” battle cry, may be if it was “sit down and have a nice cup of tea” it may have me rushing to my local online MP3 seller to upset the musical apple cart. As it is Tom Morello and Sideshow Bob’s revolution is best consigned to the bedrooms of 13 year old boys who believe themselves to be so utterly reactionary, as I was when I first heard Do Not Stand In The Shadows by Billy Idol, he said the F word, TWICE!!!

So I say let Joe have his time in the sun, let that awful song be trotted out between bands at festivals and let Syco’s glorious leader have enough money to fund his search for the next Susan Boyle.

Not Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine

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