Here's the piece I wrote in order to gain my new title:
It has been said that ‘September is the January in fashion.’ However to the rest of the world January is January: a time of new starts and looking forward to what the oncoming 365 days hold for us. Cue legions of litanies of ‘new bands you just have to hear or you are doomed to become a muso pariah for the next twelve months’. Everywhere you turn you are served up a hot plate of hype; by the BBC, NME and the Brits, all of whom championing almost identical collections of barely formed bands and artists. The Drums, Ellie Goulding, Marina and The Diamonds, Daisy Dares You, Egyptian Hip Hop, Delphic, Hurts etc, all being shoved down our throats. They’re all given a hearty pat on the back and fitted with saviours-of-music crowns before they’ve barely scratched the surface of carving out a career: for example, Ellie Goulding is to be awarded the Brits Critics Choice Award off the back of two singles and her album yet to be heard. It’s as though the blessed chosen few are given golden tickets to our cultural consciousness for, well, just existing, oh and having perhaps a handful of okay-ish tunes (at most).This ‘new start’ has nothing fresh about it; it’s forced, artificial and didactic. It’s this mass of hysteria that sends me running for the hills and the safety of my ‘most played’ list on Itunes. It makes what I already know that much more appealing for being a fully and perfectly formed entity. What I have been relishing in most recently is a 1960s-70s Dutch group called The Shocking Blue. They were first brought to my attention by the eclectic tastes of Morrissey who introduced them to me in the most natural way possible; by simply playing their 1969 hit Mighty Joe before his own shows. Nothing more needed to be said or done; their laid-back, understated cool and glamour won me over. The grace and beauty of smouldering lead singer Mariska Veres before her band of leather jacket-clad boys delivering golden melodies such as Venus (they wrote this – Bananarama pissed all over it), Send Me A Postcard and Lucy Brown is Back In Town trample all over anything parading around as ‘the next big thing’.