I can’t quite fathom how Detroit Social Club manage it. In a time of unheard-of musical availability, an era of iPods, myspace, torrent sites, and Spotify, a time in which the eclectic entirety of popular musical history is almost ridiculously accessible to anyone who knows how to work a computer or press play on an mp3 player, this imaginatively-handicapped Newcastle band seem to have lighted on Kings of Leon, The Verve, latter-day Oasis, and Kasabian as major influences to underpin their completely hope-shatteringly boring aesthetic.
In 1994 this sort of thing would have been just about credible, or at least believable. Watching it live in 2009 at Standon Calling (a small-scale ‘boutique’ festival in Hertfordshire) I felt as though I was in some way dying. I felt like the years were peeling away as I hurtled backwards through a suffocating abnegation of everything good that had ever happened to me, like all the stuff that makes you want to carry on – goodness, love, the possibility of change – was being buried under a landslide of dirty, gravelly, archly-conservative, progress-denying, beauty-lobotomised, death-in-life bloke-rock.
I have nothing more to say about this lot, ever, and I apologise without reservation for all the positive things I said about Newcastle in the Findo Gask review.
Fortunately, for the sake of everyone, The Invisible were/are a much more worthwhile proposition. Much is being made of them right now because of their Mercury Prize nomination, and in my eyes they have a pretty decent outside chance of winning (not least because this year’s list is pretty embarrassingly MOR-oriented when it isn’t taking in fashionista shallowness and feminism-as-a-brand mediocrity). . .