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Mark, My Words: want to save guitar music? Kick out boyband indie

The Bastilleification of guitar music must stop, for all our sakes, says NME columnist Mark Beaumont. Opinions all his own!

As the baby Trump blimp rises over Westminster as if Clinton Cards have branched out into political satire or, by some disastrous clerical error, Roger Waters was made head of Trump’s welcoming committee, I salute it through gritted teeth. Not out of any form of support for America’s premier ball of furry orange poison but because it’s in serious danger of upstaging my own blimp-based protest. I’m planning to fly an inflatable Dan Smith from Bastille over the Electric Ballroom, wiping his arse with ‘The Queen Is Dead’.

Why? Because Bastille are the endgame of a 30-year plot to tame, contain, castrate and commodify alternative guitar music. We used to call it ‘indie’ back when ‘indie’ translated as ‘meaningful often drug-dazed antithesis of whoever your generation’s Nick Grimshaw attended the wedding of’. Before someone ruined it all by adding the word ‘landfill’, several generations of us defined ourselves as ‘indie’. We got ‘indie’ haircuts, wore ‘indie’ trousers and had ‘indie’ sex – depending on your era, it was either morose, on fire or desperately trying to keep pace with The Wedding Present’s ‘Shatner’. Being ‘indie’ was a badge of cultural honour; we were wild-eyed, dangerous-to-know rebels from the wrong side of the Our Price racks, like Marlon Brando in The Wild One but with Reni hats and eczema.

‘Indie’’s biggest mistake was to become financially viable. Back when The Buzzcocks got the DIY ball rolling by having minor hits with self-produced 7-inches, much to the bewilderment of the major labels tossing The Sex Pistols around like an unpinned hand grenade, being ‘independent’ was an underground oddity. But as homegrown labels gained traction and success through new wave, goth, C86, baggy, grunge,

Article source: https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/mark-words-want-save-guitar-music-kick-bastilles-boyband-rock-2353885

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