On Oasis & The Gallaghers
Not into Oasis. I prefer music. Just wanted to note a few things.
It seems that rock’s most famous coprophage Noel Gallagher has been weighing in with typical Clarksonian tedium about woke snowflakes etc etc etfuckincetera. This charmless cunt’s infinitely proud celebrations of pigshit-thickery (don’t forget, he also hates jazz, books, hip hop,Shakespeare and brown people being allowed to play rock festivals — what a ledge eh?) is being annointed with all the usual spineless sycophancy from all those walter-softies in the press who still nurse a semi for this dunderhead and his poltroonish proclamations — his name can ‘t even be mentioned without cliches about him being a great songwriter being suffixed. Heavy sigh. Just a suggestion. It desperately needs logging that despite the retrospective myth-making about the 90s, many of us, from the off, hated Oasis and saw the cowardly commercial acquiescence of the media at that time as enabling a hugely damaging, regressive cultural force.
Here he is hating multiculturalism and state schools.
Noel: “I don’t want my kids coming home talking like Ali G — I’d rather they were at a school with Russian oligarchs’ children. Anyone in my position, you owe it to your children to send them to a school where they don’t have to walk through a metal detector in the morning. We shouldn’t need riot police at schools. This is Maida Vale. This isn’t Handsworth or Tottenham, do you know what I mean?”
For those who weren’t there, or who genuinely in the thrilling pell-mell of 90s pop can find nothing better than the emetic dreariness of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, the 90s were THEIR time. The ladmags, Chris Evans’ grotesque genuflection, that NW1 posh-boy joy about having some ‘characterful’ Northerners to goggle at, all that coked-up reactionary twattery, all conducted in an era in which female artists and black artists were being marginalised by the UK music press and UK pop telly. All that fake lairyness and laddishness. A horrible horrible time, so culturally withering and lastingly damaging, I don’t just ignore Oasis/Noel now. I actively wish these enemies of beauty nothing but misery for the rest of their days. Here’s his brother hating androgyny and mental illness.
Liam Gallagher: “Adam and the Ants? No. Not into a geezer who wears make-up. Especially fucking nutty ones.”
Oasis’ rise meant .. . . The cunts taking over. The ‘proper’ homophobic mildly racist lads. The rejection of ‘poofiness’ stylistically, the reassertion of the English Rock Defence League’s tiny-minded ideas abou’real’ ‘proper’ music, rock regressing into pure soulless pastiche. It meant a cowardly craven press surrendering any critical standpoint in fear of the supposed consensus. It meant national broadcasters and publishers boosting the lads, the coked-up and lairy. It meant a reassertion of racist & sexist music stereotypes & snobbery. It enabled a middle class media to homogenise its ideas about what counted as working class art. This is what you do — and by extension, this is ALL you can do. It celebrated commercial success so long as it was for white blokes in bands, disdained any other popularity (especially for female or black artists) as a reflection of a cultural deterioration only those willing to play 60s-dressup could avoid. It celebrated the mediocre so long as it was arrogant. It created a cultural environment in which anyone can be ‘iconic’ so long as they tediously, endlessly chippily rotate & reassert their ‘legendary’ status. This fucking hoax, this con job, this cowardice, this triumph for reactionary conservatism and this fucking utterly shit music (don’t ever forget just what stodgy waddling dreary shitfests all Oasis songs are) continues to be celebrated for exactly the same reasons that Boris Johnson won power. The English like to see white guys kicking down. Reminds them of Empire. Here’s an Oasis fan, talking about how much he loves Noel.
Just watch this summer. When England fans stop booing the knee and are going through their repertoire of songs about German bombers and no-surrender, see how neatly and fluidly Oasis fit in that mix. At birth, Britpop gave me plenty of reasons to be suspect. Whenever someone puppet-resurrects the past in the kind of laborious, infinitely dreary way alot of Britpop bands did one has to ask — whose dreams are being reinvigorated here? What past is being appealed to? What ‘natural order’/hierarchies are being reaffirmed? Funny/telling how Oasis’ clicking their cuban heels together and diluting 60s style into 90s commerce entailed them ignoring entirely anything that any of their heroes were actually doing back then (i.e listening to contemporary black pop and trying to emulate it), instead summoning the era through the laziest thieving, an almost-nationalist resistance to huge swathes of that past, the most half-witted pastiche, the cannon melted into a soupy, sexless muscle-memory rock, where ‘great songwriting’ is established through GETTING MUSIC DONE, mushed into gruel for easy consumption. Like their spiritual forebear Morrissey, a fake dream of a pre-immigration idyll for British pop, before it got despoiled by all those auslanders and the scary instability of the multicultural city. This is the same myth, the same escape Glastonbury still sells to a million white folk every summer. No wonder NG feels he can gatekeep who can play. Gammons gotta gammon. There is more cherishable renegade spirit in a kid wearing a Primark Ramones tee without knowing any Ramones songs than Oasis’ grisly half-informed necrophilia. In all kinds of ways when someone calls themselves a ‘real music’ fan it’s a dead giveaway not of what they LIKE in music as much as what they want clipped OUT of music. Poofiness. Blackness. Women. Any sense of the non-musician/visionary being part of music. As the godheads of ‘real music’ Oasis deserve nothing but utter contempt from anyone interested in pop or excitement or the true life-swallowing/life-changing possibilities of music — Oasis are barely music in the sense of sound that moves or is arranged in a way to excite emotions or let you dance — they’re more of a convincing backing track for a pasteurised, entirely mercenary, utterly thrill-free collation and rebadge of all the deadest staple-texts of British rock history. To be enjoyed in those conventional ways that fit around lifestyle, to be enjoyed in a field with the likes of you, to be enjoyed after a trip to the seasonal-aisle, to be enjoyed in manly, proper top decent ways where manly whiteness can be kept intact. People like Oasis because their music has a beginning, middle and end and gets it all done in the most dully comprehensible way possible. The urge for Oasis, and their fans, always, is to GET MUSIC DONE. Here’s Noel on what isn’t proper music.
Noel Gallagher: “ I fucking loathe hip hop. Despise it. I’m not having hip hop at Glastonbury, it’s wrong. If the word ‘artistry’ can be applied to someone like Beyonce then . . . fuck me.”
Crucially — rather than being some kind of high point for anyone who was there and interested in the sheer diversity and range of British music in the period it needs pointing out just how much Oasis fucking ruined the 90s, finally and fatally winning Britishness back for the non-fey and charmless for good, putting phrases like ‘fuckin ‘ave it’ in the mouths of systems-analysts from Guildford, and perpetuating intensely parochial/patriarchal notions about ‘proper’ music that you can still see allowed to fester across the cultural landscape. And the press — craven, cowardly, desperate, cheerleading— let it happen, bowed with a bourgoise eagerness for a bit of ‘rough’, a tabloid hunger for ‘character’ and gobbiness which meant turning off all critical perspective to simply suckle at the juggernaut’s teat, hold out the begging bowl for snipey offcuts, mewling lapdogs at a table where Oasis could sit with their true confederates — the Sun, The News Of The World, Talksport, Loaded. Like those confederates the Gallaghers are at a cellular level, deeply and intrinsically conservative. Like those confederates they have — and continue to have — ‘legitimate concerns’ about what ‘passes’ for culture ‘these days’. So entirely unsurprising that NG this week tells the Sun that ‘Little Mix aren’t in the same league as Oasis’. Thank fuck for that. Little Mix shit on Oasis from a great height. Here’s Noel, for what I think is the only time, talking about young women in music, and their insistence on speaking.
Noel: “I think there’s a trend, unfortunately, in the game, at the minute, of girls desperately trying to be provocative or desperately trying to — in inverted commas — ‘start the debate’ about some old shit or other. Because, really, they’re not very good.”
The press inevitably need to keep the myth of NG as great songwriter intact — it’s something suffixed to any mention of his name, and those mentions will keep happening. He always has some new shit to flog and NG makes for good copy, just like his spiritual partners like KT Hopkins and Laurence Fox. But anyone who actually likes music intuitively knows that songwriting is more than dilution, blanching, blanding-out, the agglomeration of finer moments into a simulation of rock n roll. What the Gallaghers — without a doubt one of the most culturally ossifying forces in the last 40 years of British music— have done is simultaneously burnish themselves with a self-avowed ‘renegade’ schtick while nsisting that songwriting has to be entirely conformist, bereft of joy or delight or surprise or anything that doesn’t sound familiarly retrograde, lumpen, reactionary. They are exactly the old figureheads, the old heroes, the legends, the icons, this contemptible age of obnoxious white male self-pity deserves and of course a shitrag like the Sun is gonna eat up these pearly tagnuts-of-truth from King Gobshite himself. But when histories need writing please can we knock off the rotation of cliches about this boring-as-piss band, and the fuckwitted siblings who form its heart? Call it like it is. Tory music. Bigots music. Music for people who’ve heard fuck all and are thus impressed with these deoderised simulacras of when rock ‘mattered’. Hope, as I have for 30 years, that the enervating stain of withered ambition and outright hostility-to-beauty these wanksnaps have sewn into British rock can be overthrown soon. Gallagher, like Ian Brown, like Morrissey, really needs to stfu and foad. It will take another 40 years to dislodge the barbs of toxic mediocrity and shrivelled pathetic ‘will-this-larcenous-bullshit-do?’ standards they’ve engendered in a whole generation of dads and lads and ‘real music’ fans. None of us should rest until their poisonous legacy of atrophied expectations is wiped off the face of the good earth.
Not into Oasis, see. I prefer music.