Band Bios

January 13, 2009

Musical propaganda is at an all-time high. Websites, the radio, magazines and TV shows bombard us with information and well, let’s be honest, lies about one sensational new talent after another.

The seed for all these musical wrong-doings is the band or artist press release / biography. And what better way to examine just how inaccurate they are than by looking at three randomly chosen samples, and by randomly chosen of course I mean viciously pinpointed because they angry up my blood. Let us begin…

Having read hundreds of the things I most definitely buy into to the Aereogramme philosophy “No crappy press release has ever made me want to listen to a band. It’s all smoke and mirrors”.

First up is a singer / songwriter who if her press release was more truthful would state “her ability to fuse Vic Reeves-style club singing with pie-gargling is second to none” or “lyrically she uses words” and maybe even “sure to sell well to bored mums who watch Loose Women”. Yep you’ve guessed it we’re talking about Amy Burger King, sorry Miss MacDonald.

Accompanied by an air-hoovered photo, the first line of her biography, and I promise I’m not making this up states quite clearly “It’s all Pete Doherty’s fault. No, it’s down to Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Or do we finger Fran Healy of Travis?” I know what you’re thinking, “Sounds great, I’m off to iTunes to download Big Mac’s debut before it sells out.” But wait, what does it mean?

Let’s get it out of the way and deal with the final part of that statement first “do we finger Fran Healy of Travis?” The answer is no, we most definitely don’t. One McNugget fan did try but the Travis bassist blocked the advance with his nose.

Sure taken out of context it sounds like an open invitation to participate in some deviant behaviour. The image is overpowering – the thought of those two chinny crooners harmonising as a group of people – it did say “we” – perpetrate the deed is one that, let’s face it, none of us want to have to deal with. So we’ll move on, backwards to the beginning.

“It’s all Pete Doherty’s fault”. “Fault” seems a strange choice of word when you’re trying to be positive about someone, but laying the blame at Pete Doherty’s vomit-strewn door actually makes sense, after all most post-Libertine Doherty-inspired bands and singers have been woeful. Personally I’d like to blame Kate Nash for no other reason than she has a vocal style that makes me want to invent, own and sell cement earplugs.

As for the rest of Fillet O Fish’s bio it’s as illuminating as a Top Shop teens fading glow stick at a Klaxons’ gig. I got as far as “Instead of buying a tenner’s worth of ice-cream she bought a CD: The Man Who by Travis”, then lost the will to live.

When you go to countless gigs it’s fair to say you have to wade through a lot of shit to find the odd golden peanut. For every The National or Twilight Sad I’ve had to endure a Dykeenies, Paddingtons, Joe Lean or I Was a Cub Scout. But November 2007 I discovered possibly the most irksome group ever to step foot on stage – The Hoosiers. While the idiots around me danced, laughed and cheered as if possessed, I was left to wonder why, why and oh my God why?

According to their bio “what The Hoosiers have created is a shiny great dollop of what the band like to call Odd-Pop”. Again I partially agree with what’s being said. The “great dollop” is apt but “Odd-Pop”? Surely “plagiarised pop-pap” would be a better fit. What they should have said was “what The Hoosiers have created is a steaming dollop of what the band like to call Odd-Pop but what others, who can hear, are more likely to call Diet ELO”.

Moving on, who do you think the writer is talking about here? “They have delivered a record that is resiliently upbeat in sound, and yet delves deep into the soul – posing questions and answering them in one swooping, rushing, head-spinning melody.”
Yes you guessed right, it’s chart-topping Elvis-denial monkeys Scouting For Girls, a band so insipid they make Keane look positively edgy. Exactly what questions does their album pose though? The only ones I can think of are “who the hell is buying this crap?” and “how easily can you sneak a firearm into one of their gigs?” As for “delves deep into the soul”, well that’s just plain silly.