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Blog: Start Stretching Your Jumpers

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Apparently (I read it on the interweb, so it MUST be true) INDIE SCHMINDIE is due to make a great big lovely comeback in the near future*. COOL. As I believe I've mentioned before, in nearly all the gigs I've done just lately I've been a bit perturbed to find myself the ONLY person still singing in his own accent - goodness me, if Tim ever let me do the count-ins for songs I'd be the only person doing THAT in his own accent. One of the mahy ACE things about INDIE SCHMINDIE was that it dragged out a whole NEW range of accents and voices that people used to speak about things that mattered to THEM - it was like an 80's English version of THE HIP HOP.

Oh yes it was - it was REAL, it didn't necessarily talk about the things that the mainstream was talking about, it put enthusiasm and IDEAS way ahead of "professionalism" and "ability", and by GOLLY it wanted to experiment with new sounds. How many times did you read interviews with Indie Types saying they wanted to try out a Dance Direction, or ROCK, or use weird instruments, or get into remixes, or even get in some JAZZ? Answer: all the bloody time. OK, they might not have done it very well, but they WANTED to find out more, and learn more. Yr INDIE legions took PRIDE in having weird and different records stacked next to Hatful Of Hollow.

I think the reason Indie gets so rubbished now is because, like with Punk, the crap that's the easiest to copy is the crap that gets recycled most. I'd say that, on the level of Live Gigging Bands, people like Peter & The Test Tube Babies or Sham 69 are FAR more influential than The Sex Pistols simply BECAUSE the sort of (i think) half-arsed lazy formulaic songs they peddle is INCREDIBLY easy to emulate. Similarly Indie has become associated EITHER with Travis and Coldplay (i.e. DIRGES) or terrible ham-fisted SHITE that's still trying to replicate the boring imagination free wankfests that Sarah Records and the like churned out. The reason your modern representative of Indie Schmindie is a shambling incompetent mumbling into his sweater about unrequited teenage lust (even though he's probably in his 30's) is because he's trying to directly COPY the easy bits of the music he loves, rather than follow the IDEAS behind the bits that were actually GRATE.

I think it'll be wonderful if the whole DIY ethic PROPER comes back again. I'd LOVE to see actual REAL Young People getting on stage and singing songs in THEIR OWN VOICES about things that actually matter to THEM. I don't mind if they look stupid, or if they make mistakes, as long as they have something of their OWN to say it will be BLOODY BRILLIANT.

* NOTE: the same sort of people, however, used to say that 'Electroclash' and trying to dress like the your dad at an 80's fancy dress party was The Next Thing, but thankfully police have managed to contain this gigantic fcukwittery within London's Fashionable London area.

posted 15/10/2003 by MJ Hibbett

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