We should probably talk about that Raygun YouTube clip, then.
Dear American readers of ILB: I apologise, but this post concerns some inane UK indie bullshit that you could only possibly care about if, as a kid, you timed your Sunday baths to ensure that you wouldn’t have to watch Last of the Summer Wine on the family TV. Just be happy your nation has More to Love and leave us limey cocksuckers to it.
Most of you are pretty clued-up types around here, but for those of you rocking the tardy pass on this one: Raygun are a major label British “indie act” who, three days ago, conducted an interview on Channel 4’s “4Play” slot. Said interview was then uploaded to YouTube, went viral, and now when you type “Raygun” into Twitter search, you get the same 50 low-end UK music industry media figures posting exactly the same thing over and over again, alongside thinskinned funnyman Graham Linehan. Sony BMG are currently in the process of ordering all videos of the interview with the music snipped out offline, so when viewing part one up there, and part two right here, you’ll have to sit through some music. Sorry.
We can probably start with the music first off actually: it’s ridiculously inoffensive, if strangely non-English… they have the feel of an American college rock act who sold nothing in their homeland but managed a few low-end top 40 singles in Central Europe circa 1998. It’s possibly worth noting that their bassist, who now goes by the name “Benny Lyonsmith”, is in fact Ben Smyth, formerly of failed boyband Rooster.
As for the interview itself… I believe the correct parlance is “idk mayne”. A lot of people are going with the “it’s the new Gay Dad!” motif, and to be fair, there’s the classic mix of self-aggrandisement and inane bullshit that Cliff Jones thrilled us with for six glorious months in 2009 (sample line: “If you stuck Iggy Pop, James Brown, David Bowie and Shirley Bassey in a life, then you’d probably have our band”. Surely if you did that you’d just have four people in a lift?). But what most people get twisted is that Gay Dad weren’t the only band pulling out endless jibber-jabber back then, indeed it seemed de rigeur to skim through the NME and catch the latest pearls of wisdom from, say, Mogwai or Dawn of the Replicants.
Also, now that Twitter has been successfully monetised and we have to accept it’s here to stay, you can see musicians talking utter shit any time you want. Just randomly click on any major popstar’s “@”, and you can be swept into a world of bitter resentment, pathetic sycophancy, and general bullshit. Fifteen years ago we needed journalists to coax these pearls of wisdom out into the real world, now they’re proferring them up for free.
One thing I don’t get though… the guy driving a lot of the coverage of this is face-drawn-on-a-boiled-egg-in-felt-tip technology journalist Rhodri Marsden, in The Guardian. Before all this, before the Guardian decided that these self-unaware tricksters were worthy of a boying, they’d only ever written about Raygun once before. A sample quote:
One minute they’re funk-rocking out and appear to be taking themselves ever so seriously a la INXS, say; the next they’re ooh-aahing and screeching and upturning rock cliches as though the whole enterprise is a camp joke about the inherent preposterousness of the form. Then again, it really doesn’t matter either way because the Darkness proved ironic pomp-metal can be popular and besides, who cares about the degree of premeditation when the songs are this strong, this pumped full of rawk power?
Paul Lester there: taking what journalists have said on webzines and quoting them without any attribution whatsofuckingever since 2005. Still, one of these cats, the beardy one: his real name is Adriano Buffone. I gotta say, that’s the most Hindi-looking paisano I’ve ever clocked eyes on in my life.
In summary: Raygun, the band Palladium could have been.