I’m not sure about the term ‘guilty pleasure.’ I’ve certainly said it a few times on the radio, when I hear a pop song for the first time, hate it, then grow to love it within a couple of weeks. Take That’s latest single for instance, is a good example of this. But I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t lay awake at night wishing I hadn’t liked that song. It just goes against the supposed ‘cool’ stuff that I like; Jungle, Alt-J, etc.
I think I’ve always been drawn to ‘uncool’ bands and slightly put off by the cool ones. Firstly what is cool? Who decides? The Fonz? If someone says something is cool, then we get drawn in to it, simply because cool is cool. But is it? Cool for me, is authenticity. It’s being original and true to yourself, not following the crowd because it’s the cool thing to do. Am I making sense? Cool.
The first live gig I ever went to was Queen at Knebworth in 1986. It was also, sadly, there last ever live show with Freddie. But Queen were a band that were seen as very uncool at varying stages in their career. In fact the year before, just before they blew away all the other acts at Live Aid at Wembley, critics had already written them off. Even now, there’s a lot of Queen hate but the more I criticism I hear of them, the more I love them. But also, for me, it’s cool to like the uncool.
Coldplay are a recent example, where everybody loved them initially and then the tide turned and suddenly it was most definitely not cool to like Chris Martin and co. It may be justified on some level but who decides? And where does one get on and off the bandwagon of hate? So, despite being critical of Coldplay at times (they can be terribly bland), as public opinion turned against them, I found myself drawn towards them.
Royal Blood are playing Brighton soon. A great band, from the local area, who have come from nowhere to have one of the best albums and be one of the most exciting acts of the year. They are NME cool. But will that be the case in a couple of year’s time? Or will said magazine decide they’ve had their time and they’re throwing their weight behind Colin and the Credit cards?
Do you know what I’m doing on the night Royal Blood play to a sell-out crowd at the Dome? I’m taking my Mum to see Status Quo and Chas n’ Dave at the Brighton Centre. Now, that’s cool.