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Up until the age of twenty two I always knew who was in the top-ten in the music charts.

I no longer have any idea. I’ve discussed this with my rough contemporaries and I am not alone.

It is the misfits parade of boy-bands, girl-bands and X-factor wannabes that’s done that. The last great hurrah of the British music industry chart-wise was in the mid-90s with the likes of Suede, Portishead, Massive Attack, St Etienne and Pulp and now it’s primarily just stuff Otis would reject. And I don’t mean Otis Redding. I mean the lift manufacturer.

But do not be down-hearted! There is more to popular music than that drivel. I suppose if it oils your skidoo runners there is always the Cold-Playing Arctic Monkeys on Snow Patrol. Or, if you’re like me you could listen to something a little warmer.

Goldfrapp have a new album coming out and Alison Goldfrapp has also just been outed as having a girlfriend. This is The Pledge you see. This apparently was big news over the weekend. The lesbian relationship that is. Not the album. Now call me… I dunno what but I like Goldfrapp and Gregory’s electro-pop and who Ms Goldfrapp sleeps with is a mature of such supernatural irrelevance to me I’m having to type this one-handed whilst texting Derek Acorah.

Cheryl Cole is still gripping the headlines for no reason at all obvious to me. She truly is a veritable a Large Hadron Collider of a hard vacuum when it comes to matters of intellect, personability, coolness, musical talent or sex-appeal. I mean Alison Goldfrapp once played a Theremin with her groin live on stage. Now that’s rock and roll. I would have paid good money to see that. I wouldn’t cross the street to see Cheryl Cole’s off-key caterwauling of songs of such mediocrity that the play of track one of a sample CD put a Muzak producer into a catatonic state. To be fair mind she doesn’t do too much of that these days being mainly pre-occupied with giving toilet attendants black eyes, being married (or not*) to a scrote, blubbing on ITV1 and revealing all to the Daily Mirror. She’s not going to do an interview with Piers Morgan is she? That would be a televisual singularity that would blow the whole of spacetime to kibbles and bits. I could cheerfully, whilst whistling a medley of songs from the shows, torture Piers Morgan to death with a runcible spoon. I have looked through a microscope at nematodes that deserve more rights than that profoundly cunticulated fuckbastarding shitemonging veritable pugwash of a prolapsed rectum of an excuse for a proto-simian.

Anyway. You can read the interview with Alison Goldfrapp here and if you want to go mad and tear out your eyes with an allen key from an IKEA flat-pack coffee table you can read about Cheryl Cole pretty much everywhere else.

Or just judge from these videos…

This is a daft slag who is a complete charisma-free zone trogging out lyrics that make Dr Seuss read like Jorge Luis Borges…

God almighty! That’s absolutely fucking awful for even embedding it here I expect the SAS to kick down the door any moment and drag me off to the Hague for a trial for crimes against humanity. If they fitted Reaper drones with speakers and played that over the ‘stan bin Laden would emerge from his cave and beg to surrender.


Which do you reckon is better? And also – and this is a factor – Cheryl Cole is perhaps more classically physically beautiful (though the obvious fact that behind her eyes she has a 1K Sinclair ZX-81 rather than a brain does count against) but which of the two do you reckon you’d find more attractive (a different thing) or have more fun in bed with. That (obviously now) applies to both male and female readers.

Alison clearly rocks and Cheryl clearly sucks (but doesn’t swallow**)

*On the back of Cheryl Cole’s neck is a tattoo declaring she is “Mrs C”. Cue Nelson Muntz – Ha Ha!
**In my book the sign of an utter slag who doesn’t view sex in terms of passion, love or desire but in demented terms of power and cash and control.


  1. With you on the whole music thing but especially Cole. I have two kids who are just waking up to pop and want to listen to it all the time. The radio stations they want to listen to are filled 24 hours with unimaginative pap. Quite simply no redeeming features at all and I’m not saying this as a grouchy oldie. As you say, there was always elements of originality around and only a few years ago there was much talk of the resurgance of guitar-led music, but al charts are filled with now is vacuous pap such as that you mentioned.

    Incedibly, though, even in this poor musical environment, Cole shines brightly as a beacon of quite astounding shite.

    Her celebrity seemingly ensures a hit even if she just read Humpty Dumpty to a synth backing.

    (I see I’m not on your blogroll by the way. Something I said?) ;-)

  2. Stonyground says:

    Historically the pop charts have always had a very basic linear progression as new songs entered the charts, rose to their highest point and then sunk down to become part of the oldie repertoir.

    Now things are very different, all kinds of different ways of accessing music are available and all kinds of ways of finding out about stuff that you were unaware of. On this last point, radio, buying an album blind or recommendations from freinds used to be the only ways to find new music, today things are much more interesting, but much more difficult to keep up with.

    Dick P, your kids will tire of this material very quickly if it has no merit and will then look for something more stimulating.

  3. RAB says:

    I had the great good fortune to grow up in the fifties and sixties when we had brilliant innovative music coming at us every week just about.
    Access was limited though, as Stony says. Until the Pirate stations like Caroline and London started up we were restricted to about four hours on the Beeb with Easy Beat and Saturday Club, or there was Radio Luxenburg, which was pretty crap and faded in and out rather a lot.
    When you got a Beatles album for your birthday say, and you saw a number like Roll over Beethoven on it written by a cat name of C. Berry, well you went down the record store and checked out what else they might have by him.
    We swapped albums with mates, and taped off the radio on reel to reel recorders. One of my mates always taped pick of the Pops and another John Peel’s programmes, then we passed the tapes around. Much like file sharers today, except that the quality was low, so those things that really took our fancy, we went out and bought.
    Now that there is no charts to focus on, no musical youth movements like punk, Two Tone, New Romantics to go for and join, even though access is across the board via digital mediums, everything has gone bland and homogonised X Factor, Pop Idol pap.
    Kids still must work at it if they want to listen to really great music.

    Nice to know that two of the bands on Nicks last hurrah list are actually friends of mine. Not hard to guess which two is it? ;-)

  4. Sam Duncan says:

    I got to know the staff of one of my local record shops fairly well back in the ’90s when there were such things, and round about ’97-’98 a conversation took place along the following lines:

    “You haven’t been in much lately.”

    “I know. There doesn’t seem to have been much worth buying recently.”

    “Yep. Know what you mean.”

    I’m sure it’s not just me getting old. Because the telly was the same. It all just seemed to turn shite quite suddenly around the time NewLabour got in. (And no, I don’t think the two are connected.)

    There’s still some good stuff around, though. The late lamented Teletext music magazine once mused as to why Kylie sold shedloads while the utterly magnificent Ms. Goldfrapp was (then) virtually unknown. And Minogue’s fucking Beethoven and Feynman rolled into one compared with wor Cheryl.

    So Alison’s got a bird, eh? Nope, don’t care either. Although I’ll admit my imagination is running even more riot than it usually does whenever she enters it. Blimey. Is it warm in here… ?

  5. NickM says:

    The blog-roll is in a right 2 and 8. We shall sort it, eventually. As shall your kids develop taste.

    My beef with Cole dates from her as an X-Factor judge and her shedding tears as she had to reject a contestant who she’d met in a previous life on a similar show. She was basically telling the bloke that he was and would remain a pub-singer (which he was for good reason) but her tears were the sort of thing you’d expect if a diagnosis of terminal cancer was in the offing. It’s the horrendous “All must win prizes!” thing.

    Much though I’d love my contemporary beat combo (what I don’t have because I can’t even play the triangle) to pack-out Wembley Arena it ain’t gonna happen. I prefer Cowell. I hate the audience for booing him when he calls shite, shite. It’s ultimately a kindness on his part. Can you imagine wasting years of your life chasing an impossible dream because no body stood-up and told you the truth?

    Although as Pontius Pilot once said, “what is truth?” and I guess if a talent-free zone like Ms Cole can luck-out then my cat is gonna sell-out Carnegie Hall.

    “Wor Cheryl” Don’t remind me she’s a Geordie. I haven’t felt this embarrassed since Robson Green got to number one.

    I think it was Tricky who introduced Goldfrapp to Gregory. Thanks for reminding me of the Bristol scene. I’m now comparing Kerry Katona to Beth Gibbons singing Roads in NYC. Atomic Kitten – well named. They sounded exactly like the aural result of shoving enriched uranium up a cat’s arse which I believe is what they are currently doing in Iran or something. The bastards.

  6. Mummy x says:

    Goldfrapp’s A&E is not only a smashing song but the video is blinding.

    With you on this call Nick.

    Cheryl Cole (whoshe). Like DickP my squids are just getting into music, eldest Squid is a girly girl so there is no hope there (yet), middle Squid doesn’t do music, youngest, well his passion is Ska.

    Mummy x

  7. Kevin B says:

    I was scrolling through the comments on this post at Tim Blair’s site when I came across this piece of… Well, I’m not sure what it is.

    Just to say, put down any drinks and sit back from your keyboard if you watch it. It might make you laugh, cry, or just go gibbering doolally.

    Or not.

  8. RAB says:

    Jeez! Sounds like a tune that was written for Oaklahoma, but got elbowed at the last minute because someone forgot to write the words, and ended up in Russia.
    The bloke is mimeing too!

  9. NickM says:

    Love that one. Playing it now. Alison rocks.

    Ska! Wow! There is hope.

    But then I like Kylie, Blondie, St Etienne, early Madonna…

    There might be a pattern there but I’m also partial to Elvis, Cash and Palestrina.

    Anyway, the gorgeous Sarah:

  10. permanentexpat says:

    Both performances confirm my argument that good music disappeared in the mid 80s….is it possible that the demand for visualisation is partly responsible? The video-clip being, commercially, far more important than the ‘music’.
    Earth, Wind & Fire….where are you?

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