Home > Faggot shit, Fuck all y'all, Gay music critic in-reference > This is what happens when you let people with names like “Hermione Hoby” write newspaper articles

This is what happens when you let people with names like “Hermione Hoby” write newspaper articles

For those of us who’ve spent any time remotely close to the real world, being told to go and produce 1,500 words on The Strokes in 2011 is a bit like being asked to provide a form sheet for Al Gore’s chance of becoming the next president, or writing up a piece on why Ashley Judd is Hollywood’s next golden girl. Thankfully Guardian journalists have never encountered the real world.

Hermione Hoby (I know, right?) apparently writes “on books, music, theatre and feminism” which is Fleet Street slang for “has no practical application in society” and “might occasionally do a piece on how X-Factor is “GOOD FOR SOCIETY” or perhaps “BAD FOR SOCIETY” depending on how dead her commissioning editor is inside that morning.

Anyway, our girl swallowed the king’s dollar to write a piece on The Strokes in 2011 and boy is it a fucking doozy. I think we’ve got a new finest music writer in Britain right here folks.

Conor McNicholas … remembers exactly where he was when he first heard them: in his car, listening to the radio, on London’s Stroud Green Road. “‘Last Nite’ came on,” he says, “and it was one of those moments where you go: ‘Fuck. Popular culture will never be the same again.'”

When you’re looking for a relevant quote to discuss a band would you ask the failed editor of BBC Top Gear magazine? Was Quentin Wilson not available or something? But yeah, OK, this is fair, the most important epoch-changing event of 2001 was that song about satellites that didn’t understand things. That and the episode of Raw where Booker T and Stone Cold brawl through he supermarket.

Quite a claim, but it’s worth remembering how bleak the musical landscape was 10 years ago. Dance music was on a come-down and instead the charts were being battered by nu-metal.

Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy. OK, “Unstable” by Adema did spend 44 uninterrupted weeks in the UK top 20 and won Record of the Year at the 2002 Brits, but other than that this is the dumbest fucking statement you are likely to read until the next time you read some British music journalism. It’s not even a difficult thing to check either.

80 songs made the British top 3 in 2001. Of those, 11 were “dance” records (ranging from straight-up classics like “Resurrection” and “Another Chance” to bullshit like Riva ft Dannii Minogue). The same period saw a stunning three nu-metal top 3 singles, and one of those was Alien Ant Farm’s Michael Jackson cover which is about as “real” a nu-metal track as Mel C’s “Going Down”.

The UK top 75 a month before “Last Night” had three nu-metal singles in it. Just to put this in perspective, there were as many nu-metal singles in the charts in this period when it was “battering” the landscape as there were singles by Fugazi, Kurupt and Luther Vandross combined. And when you think of 2001 pop domination, you think of Fugazi and that fat dead fuck. (Just for comparison sake, the same top 75 had 13 dance singles in).

This whole poisonous concept that dance music fell off in 2000/01 is probably the most hurtful meme in the British musical subconscious. As a kid who was rolling out and enjoying his first Aftershocks and “Six Bottles of Becks for £5” promotions at this point the idea that Jean-Jacques Smoothie and Ann Lee and the Supermen Lovers are being Trotsky-ed out of history is actively upsetting. What this idea traditionally meant from journos of the time “the shitty rave music I enjoyed from the early 90s no longer exists and I am angry that the world has failed to give 1/50th of a shit about Fischerspooner”, but being as while all this was going on Hermione Hoby was having her hymen broken during pony riding lessons… it’s just a case of a dumb fuck repeating dumb fuck memes without the courtesy to her audience to even spend a second checking it up.

It helped, too, of course, that they dressed like James Dean

What does this mean? James Dean was an actor, he wore a lot of clothes. You mean they dressed like Jimmy in Giant, rolling up in the cowboy hat and spurs? That they all had Rock Hudson’s mouth around their cock? Or do you mean “some of them wore a leather jacket”, which most people would translate as “they dressed like the least popular kid in school that had any friends”.

dripped with insouciance and somehow made falling out of Lower East Side bars drunk seem desperately romantic


There was such demand to see them that organisers moved them from a small tent to the festival’s main stage.

Major label band with largest publicity push of the year plays large festival stage during album advertising run! It’s the story of the century!

“They reminded us what it could be all about,” says McNicholas. “It was hip-swaying, tight jeans, boy-sex on stage and we hadn’t had that in a long time.”


Drummer Fab Moretti, who always seemed to have the sunniest attitude, positively sashays in to the studio in exquisite Phillip Lim trousers

This is like the bit in profile pieces where the hack just desperately pads shit out by saying stuff like “Alexa Chung picks birdishly at her pretzel”

The rest of the article is just massive copy-and-paste from an interview that reveals absolutely nothing about The Strokes other than “How can this band call still upon the fawning of every fifteenth tier British music hack a decade after trhey were last relevant”. I suppose that’s one of the plusses of being the one band that changed popular culture forever. Also, wait… Conor McNicholas heard The Strokes for the first time on the radio? Not, like, during his editorship of the NME when presumably he would have been plied with cocaine and Russian whores by PR execs to listen to this stuff? Well you learn summat everyday. Let’s end this article on some positive notes:

  1. DVB
    February 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    This is one of the most horribly spiteful and (ironically) ill informed pieces of ‘journalism’ I’ve ever read. I don’t even know where to start, but how about the childish way you make fun of her name? Grow up, mate.

    • Dom Passantino
      February 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for contributing, Duncan Vicat-Brown. I’ve thought long and hard about your comment and my response is:

  2. DVB
    February 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Well done, you worked out who I am. Clap clap.

    Did you really not have anything better to write about?

  3. F
    February 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    This is the shortest gap I’ve seen yet between a troll article clowning a shit hack and a defensive response from a dude with two surnames, kudos

  4. DVB
    February 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    What can I say, I’m nippy when I’m riled.

    It’s not that I’m on Hermione’s side; the article does sound like hacky filler of the kind that so frequently infuriates me. I just found this ‘critique’ reactionary, sexist, petty and, ultimately, pointless.

  5. Neil Diamond
    February 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    This article disgusts me. That supermarket fight was clearly on Smackdown.

  6. February 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    ha dom your killin em.

    nah but what are the chances of you just stumbling across this post bout someone with a similarly unfortunate name, i smell a rat. she gave ye your first handy in eton so theres that sentimental attatchment but best let it go, theres probly heapsa horsey broads who hang round after the polo match or whatever thatd lap up your captainsaveaho shenanigans. shes not worth gettin nippy over bro

    i could never take stone cold seriously after seein him in the leg braces, lookin all forrest gump

  7. nys
    March 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    leider kann ich kein englisch..!..worum gehts hier überhaupt..?! :p

  8. bro
    March 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    dom weasley, y’all

  9. Rach
    March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    If you didn’t like her article, that’s fine, but your response is pedantic, sexist and offensive. I’m assuming you don’t know this journalist, so why be so personal? If you really had a case to make you would let the facts speak for themselves without relying on digs about her name. You are a lot less funny than you think.

  10. J
    March 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I know hermione and, whatever you think of her article, she’s a really decent person and in no way deserves the personal attack you’ve sent her way – which, seeing as we’re criticising quality of writing here, isn’t even original. This blog is far more guilty of lazy, dull writing than the article it’s criticising.

  11. alex
    March 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I also know Hermione and I find this attack f***ing bizarre… I mean, I have no problem with people criticising her journalism: it isn’t my field and I won’t pretend to know much about music, but her work has nothing to do with her name or her background. At all. In the years I’ve known her, I have always admired Hermione as a really hard working and very smart girl, not to mention that she isn’t actually anything like that offensive posh-girl cliche you’re so happy to wield in thorough ignorance. Shame on you. If you really know as much you think you do about music, why don’t you make it about the music, go and get yourself a job like hers and prove yourself with some integrity.

    • Jon
      March 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

      “In the years I’ve known her, I have always admired Hermione as a really hard working and very smart girl.”

      Lol. You’re a c**t mate.

  12. Vince
    March 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Not sure your criticism of ‘dance music was on a come-down’ is really that legit. You use charts stats, but does the Top 3 ever really represent the real music scene? As soon as a genre gets big enough to start infiltrating the charts, it’s no longer relevant to what the ‘kids’, if you will, are really listening to, is it? What’s more, by 2001 most music fans were downloading their music.
    I assume you were a bit a late comer in your dance music phase?

    I’m not sure why I really even wrote that, as your post is so badly written, offensive and sexist that it doesn’t really warrant genuine criticism or even engagement.

    Are you a little bit jealous of old Hoby for being a successful Guardian journo, while you sit here writing your shit blog? Did you fail your NCTJ? I hope you grow a pair.

    Also, you have a pretty funny name too.

  13. Naartjie
    March 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

    She didn’t go to a private school you asshole, or have any of the special privileges you imply: Did you ever consider that perhaps her name is the result of a feminist mother who didn’t want to give up her identity to be subsumed by her husband’s? Unlike you she worked fucking hard at being a good writer and got herself to where she is now – a place it seems you’d very much like to be, except you never will because you’ll be too busy sitting at home fantasising about breaking hymens.

    Editor’s note: Hermione Buckland-Hoby attended Sydenham High School Junior School, which charges a cheap as chips £9,342 a year in order to educate those who have worked very hard in their life to ascend to the place they are now

  14. Laura
    March 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

    It doesn’t matter which school she went to, or her name. You can’t just waltz into a job at the Guardian because you went to a school that charged fees. This article is ridiculous.

  15. R
    March 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    This is a pathetic attempt to insult a very good journalist. I’m sure Hermione is laughing at how ridiculous you are, and how you’ve wasted a good half an hour of your life to write such crap.

  16. March 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    ha. the double-barrelling isnt the only excess naming apparantly, making them a little ethnically diverse was a smart move too in light of recent revelations. “r”s just lazy tho. makin these assumptions cos my class/gobshite prejudice refuses to allow me to believe she has more than 2 friends willing to go the extra length like all these “people” here

    “how you’ve wasted a good half an hour of your life to write such crap.” noticing irony makes me feel all clever.

    this posts a bottomless pit of lolz kudos

  17. james
    March 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm


  18. March 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I thought this was gonna be about that Heroine Headliner guy who did the Rick Ross tumblr TYPED….. LIKE…. THIS…. BAWSE.

  19. Leon
    March 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Personally I find its hard to deny that Is This It, deserved or underserved of for better or worse, changed the musical landscape of the UK in 2001. Of course there were other bands around at the time doing similar things but this is the album that got the hype, praise, publicity etc. that led to the change in direction for mainstream music.

    I saw someone on another blog point out how Kid A came out a little while prior to this album and as such shows that guitar music wasn’t on life support at the time, which just baffled me – how many guitars can you hear in Kid A? The fact that the biggest guitar band in the world at the time had moved over to electronica speaks volumes.

    The icing on the cake is the author of this piece – who I must agree with about the fawning, uberpraise tone of the article by the Guardian writer – spends half of the piece above complaining about how utterly irrelevent The Strokes were in 2001 and how Is This It’s influence was virtually nil and then ends his article with this doozy:

    “How can this band call still upon the fawning of every fifteenth tier British music hack a decade after trhey [sic] were last relevant”

    So they were relevant? its all very confusing.

  20. March 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Laura :
    It doesn’t matter which school she went to, or her name. You can’t just waltz into a job at the Guardian because you went to a school that charged fees.

    No, you have to make upwards of three phone calls to well-connected media chums first.

  21. Dom Passantino
    March 10, 2011 at 12:10 am

    “dom weasley, y’all” is probably the best comment ever on this blog, fyi.

  22. OJ
    May 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I get the point that’s being here – that the Guardian, like much of the media, is riddled with nepotism and it’s frustrating to see those ‘born in the inner circle’ getting paid for trite, poorly articulated opinions. I don’t know if that’s true of this journalist or not.

    At the same time, I can’t help but feel that this post was motivated by spite and a particularly ugly jealousy. I’m not sure that the examples you’ve cited show particularly ‘bad’ journalism, either.

  23. asanka G
    September 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    geez you’re a hater.

  24. Jenny
    January 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

    This is brilliant. Fuck the Guardian and their shoddy, nepotistic writers.

  1. March 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm
  2. July 8, 2011 at 12:59 am
  3. October 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm
  4. October 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm

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