Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

This is an article I wrote a few weeks ago for an application to be a columnist. I did not get the job, and it is no longer especially topical. But nevermind.

Like God remembering the night when He created Bono, or Kanye’s fat kid when he ran out of cake, the internet is angry. Angry at THE MAN for taking a middle-of-the-road rock song and letting a middle-of-the-road singer release it in the name of money and fame.

What are you talking about, some of you might say in tones of barely concealed boredom. It could only be Matt Cardle’s Biffy Clyro cover song. He is this year’s X Factor winner, they are a band from Kilmarnock who used to be very good about eight years ago, then evolved into an averagely good rock band.

According to the NME, front man Simon Neil said at the start of the year the X Factor is “for the kind of people who buy fucking Robbie Williams calendars.” I didn’t know there were such calendars. Clearly nobody was thinking of the children when they came up with that one. He then said the show was not “a threat to 'real' music at all. It's just entertainment. Simon Cowell isn't the devil. He just wants to make shitloads of money."

Now, perhaps as recompense for the unexpected good press, Cowell is using a song written by Neil to make them both, in the latter’s own words, “shitloads of money.”

Biffy fans are apoplectic with misspelt rage, and have started a facebook page to propel the original version to Christmas number 1. Unfortunately numbers are so low that they all have to buy it 10 times to achieve their goal, spending £8.90 to obtain one track which they presumably already have. The two Simons must be killing themselves laughing as they go to sleep in their gold houses with furniture made of money.

“how dare they change the name of the song just to appeal to the f*ckwits that will buy his music, they should have used a different song if that wasnt paletable for the ‘fans’,” argued one musical misanthrope.

“I would not expect X factor fans to understand the carefully crafted genius of this song,” waffled another. “Biffy wrote this in “drop C#”, the matt guy mimes a strum in basic C scale tuning, pretty lame stuff. But what do you expect, X factor fans would cheer any shiney tuneless gimp Cowell puts up.”

Of all the bands you could choose to be pretentious about, Biffy Clyro? Really? They’re named after a spoonerism involving a Cliff Richard pen! They’ve had some good musical moments in their time, but over the last couple of years they’ve also had some yawningly tedious ones. And the difference between writing a song in drop C# and C is negligible at best.

I can’t think of a good reason to begrudge them making enough money out of the X Factor to support their families, drug habits, next album, or whatever. And all poor tonsillitis-ridden Matt Cardle is guilty of is liking a boring song. Internet, you should take a step back and have a long hard look at yourself.

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