The vet looked at the poor little animal and decided that it would be far more humane to put it out of its misery. However he was a sadistic bastard and decided that instead of euthanasia he would keep that animal alive until its body, overcome with problems stemming from the side effects from the life enhancing drugs, finally gave up the ghost.
Now lets translate this tale of woe to real life, with the cute little furry animal that invokes pity in the hearts of everyone as the Manic Street Preachers and the evil vet as a multi headed Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and assorted Management and Sony Types. Having read Wire’s comments in this week’s NME about Napster: “I have no interest in Napster…..They’re an American company who are desperately out to conquer the world and sell their shares for as much as they can. They are just as evil as Coca – Cola. Napster to me is a symbol of the laziness of modern Capitalist culture. People sit on their arse, pressing buttons. The antithesis of this record.”
Now just to be anal, Napster isn’t quoted on the stock exchange in any country simply because it isn’t a public company. Whether it’s American or not is irrelevant, the software could have been put together by a monkey trained in IT. The software is, for the moment at least, free, and despite the amount of backing they’ve received it is doubtful whether they have made a profit. Then again, I’m not their auditor.
However I digress. This little ramble was simply to show that if Napster is the epitomy of “the laziness of Capitalist culture”, then Wire personifies the dullness of rockstars minds.
The Manics have gone from a band who wanted to leave before people wanted them to go, to a dinosaur that doesn’t know when to leave the party. The musical equivalent of a rogue uncle who has never quite got over the fact that he left his teens several decades ago, but nonetheless insists on coming along and “shaking his stuff and spinning a tune” to his nephews’ and nieces’ parties.
Of course we can all empathise with the three remaining Manics burning desire to achieve success. It would be churlish to ramble on about “keepin’ it real” and “selling out” but as a fan who was too young to be there at the start, and who is too cynical to hero worship them, or listen to their rhetoric without a large bucket, never mind a pinch, of salt I get the feeling that they are being pushed into the limelight not out of choice, but of duty in their quest for recognition.
Having listened to some of their new songs, from the singles on Top Of The Pops, to the odd extra gleaned from the internet I can safely say that I wouldn’t spend my hard earned cash on them. The new songs are the sound of a band that are stale. There is the sense that they sat in the studio to work out what their “average” fan would want, armed with a wheelbarrow-load of letters from the Melody Maker. They have shoehorned themselves back into rock, when they would have been more comfortable with MOR. Miss Europa Disco Dancer sounds, at best, like a song from New Order clumsily tagged onto a disco beat with a riff nicked from Boogie Nights. At worst it sounds like Wham!. The rest sound like the stuff on This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours speeded up.
On seeing their performance on Top Of The Pops I don’t know whether to laugh till I fell down the back of the sofa, or throw my DMs at the screen. I did both. It was the most painful thing I have ever watched as these three old farts shuffled around the stage trying desperately to look “passionate”, “revolutionary” and gawd knows what else.
Although it is true that music has always come second to rhetoric it seems that now the music is up there on its own. With absolutely nothing interesting behind it. If I wanted to read an interview of PR spiel I would read something from a rookie band who has just signed to a label and who is just getting publicity. Bands like Travis and Coldplay who were marketed at the mass from and early stage who aimed not to be controversial and who probably had protective PRs. The Manics selling point is that they actually do have something to say, but at the moment Sean Moore seems to be the brightest one as he’s keeping his silence. Whatever James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire say seems to be more and more irrelevant, badly thought out and about as shocking as seeing an old person eating Werther’s Originals.
Could somebody please just pay them to go away and mow the lawn, or something else that’s useful.