Monday, 6 October 2008

Class war on the indie dancefloor

Class war on the indie dancefloor [The Guardian].

This article raises some pretty crucial points. I've personally grown more and more distant from certain forms of music because of what I perceive as some sort of posh-boy piss-take hobby. I don't think the article properly asks the question of class in pop music, but it goes half the way, it talks about perception and of the distance, I personally feel there's a big difference in infrastructure, which may not interest a lot of people but I think it's the truth. It's always easier to sit and claim the other side has it better, but I know that unless I become a pastiche of my background then I'm going to have trouble being pigeonholed. Or I can pretend to be one of "them" and get myself pigeonholed in a much easier box for certain areas of media and press to associate. If I could draw for examples such as Goldie Looking Chain, a great group, a great bunch of lads, but their success comes from the pastiche of the working class, not in a negative way (in my opinion), they entertain in a very British way. Mike Skinner though, a couple of great albums, he managed to paint a pastiche working class character for Britain to follow and its managed to follow him all the way to the other side. His new album seems like a pastiche of the middle class (with all due respect) but he fits on Radio 2 now, he fits on Radio 1 regardless, he's in The Observer, The Guardian and The Times, but he's also in NME. Either way there are enough important people able to tap their noses and go "We've got them now" for Skinner to keep pumping it out, if it doesn't work this time around? Well he can always be a lad on the next album. Again, I mean no disrespect here, it's the politics of the top, I'm nowhere near there so I couldn't begin to imagine what pressure's you're under up there. Just like I couldn't imagine what pretending to be something you're not would be like. It's not new, great bands from The Clash down have had "Working class heroes" who were in actual fact nothing of the sort. Does it breed resentment? Absolutely. But the resentment from the working class to the middle and upper class is a hot topic in Britain at the moment. We've had a rough 10 years, we went from Hoodies, to ASBOs, to knife and gun wielding murderers, so much so that top ranking politicians absolutely would not walk our streets at night. Quote unquote. Unfortunately for us though, there are too many "Artists" who should be giving voice to this frustration, trying to blend in with the status quo. Those who are not completely oblivious of course. I've gone off on a bit of a tangent here. A lot of people want to create a problem between politicians and the working class on the issue of "Walking these streets" when actually common sense is absolutely not class exclusive, if you've got it, you've got it. Community policing? Bullshit. ASBOs? Bullshit. Big government? Bullshit. I could go on. I won't, I'm way off topic. I wake up some days and I think "I just want to do this for poor people". It's a genuine emotion, but I know I have fans from all walks of life and they all take something from my music, maybe something different, maybe the same things but that's the challenge. I have to say things that make sense, that cross any boundary, not by design but by default, I never structured my music with a specific audience in mind. Maybe that's my bad. But that's definitely why I feel so separated from the kinds of music this article is about. I get the sense that a lot of bands make music for their class group, it just so happens that the middle-class is the class that buys your records, merch and tickets. Maybe I'm just bitter.

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