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Loudmouth

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Most uncool band ever
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Doing some 'research' on YouTube I got to wondering what was the most uncool, naff band ever and just about remembering their 'work' from the 1970's my award goes to the Brotherhood Of Man.

I had completely forgotten about Figaro, one of their hits and it suddenly brough back vague memories, and also their hit Angelo from around 1977/78. Who actually bought these records to make them Top 10 hits? What were they on?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN314Fy8Yw4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wngCttY0Kc



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noelindublin wrote:

Doing some 'research' on YouTube I got to wondering what was the most uncool, naff band ever and just about remembering their 'work' from the 1970's my award goes to the Brotherhood Of Man.


 I nominate U2. 



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A Tonic For The Troops

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noelindublin wrote:

Doing some 'research' on YouTube I got to wondering what was the most uncool, naff band ever and just about remembering their 'work' from the 1970's my award goes to the Brotherhood Of Man.

I had completely forgotten about Figaro, one of their hits and it suddenly brough back vague memories, and also their hit Angelo from around 1977/78. Who actually bought these records to make them Top 10 hits? What were they on?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN314Fy8Yw4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wngCttY0Kc


 I really liked the Brotherhood of Man!  And Angelo was on my Xmas list (ok I was only about 11) so have to admit some responsibility for record sales!  I admit Figaro wasn't quite so good and I subsequently lost interest in them, though always quite admired the man with the moustache ........

But thanks for the links - brought back some happy memories smile



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Lisa wrote:
noelindublin wrote:

Doing some 'research' on YouTube I got to wondering what was the most uncool, naff band ever and just about remembering their 'work' from the 1970's my award goes to the Brotherhood Of Man.

I had completely forgotten about Figaro, one of their hits and it suddenly brough back vague memories, and also their hit Angelo from around 1977/78. Who actually bought these records to make them Top 10 hits? What were they on?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN314Fy8Yw4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wngCttY0Kc


 I really liked the Brotherhood of Man!  And Angelo was on my Xmas list (ok I was only about 11) so have to admit some responsibility for record sales!  I admit Figaro wasn't quite so good and I subsequently lost interest in them, though always quite admired the man with the moustache ........

But thanks for the links - brought back some happy memories smile


 Despite being uncool both of those songs are appealing in a kitsch, so bad they're almost good way. Its just the BOM image thats a bit lame. I very much doubt that the band's name was in any way inspired by Marxism or Communism or that their songs have secret subversive lyrics designed to overthrow Capitalism. On the other hand you never know...

Don't know if you remember Luton Airport by Cats Uk . I love the tune and the lyrics are really clever -'When we landed in 'Majorker' I was much the worst for wear/ but with those romantic nights ahead  I really didn't care....'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBLyWIRCkg



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One of the 'lost' pop stars of the 1970's was Noosha Fox who released lots of really good singles and also worked with a band called Fox in the earlier part of the decade.

Alison Goldfrapp is a big fan, and admits that part of Goldfrapp's image is 'borrowed' from Noosha Fox. Noosha Fox is really strange and a bit of a cult figure. She's got a really great voice. This song from 1979 is called The Heat Is On, plus If You Don't Want My Peaches from 1981.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujF6COoUqBg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlCKgdVOXcI&feature=related



-- Edited by noelindublin on Wednesday 5th of October 2011 01:02:28 PM

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ArrGee wrote:

 I nominate U2. 


Thinking about it, this is unfair, because up to Achtung Baby, U2 were pretty cool. 

I had forgotten about Genesis.  There were stupendously uncool in their own right yet managed to produce the devil's spawn of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Mike & The Mechanics (The Living Years must be a contender for the lamest rock song ever).    They are responsible for the naffest collection of songs foisted on planet earth. 

I think it's unfair to consider acts like Brotherhood of Man as they never had any pretentions of being a rock band and were simply just put together to enter Eurovision.  Whereas Genecide (sic) actually believed they were a bonafide rock band, along with the multitudes who bought the records and attended the concerts.

Trust me, if someone has a Genecide (or a  Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike & The Mechanics) record/CD in their collection they are highly likely to be as dull and pretentious as the band.



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Pretentious, moi! Oh dear - well have only got some Genesis CDs due to hubby's musical taste - though I do like some of Peter Gabriel's stuff ....OMG, am just off to stick my head in the oven!

PS Sorry about making that remark about the back of your head, ArrGee ...you've obviously got your own back now!



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Can't stand Phil Collins and don't know too much about Genesis but Peter Gabriel has releases some good songs like Games without Frontiers (Jeux  Sans Frontiers for Lisa!) Solisbury Hill and Sledgehammer to name but a few.



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But it depends how you interpret cool I guess, and maybe it's best to be uncool rather than depend on popular whim and go out of fashion. Just dug out "my" Peter Gabriel CDS and been listening, I absolutely love "Family Snapshot", and some of the not so popular well-known ones - he does some really quirky but powerful songs. I do like some of Genesis - "Follow You Follow Me" is good - bit soppy and sentimental, but guess it's all subjective. They have done some downright weird bizarre ones, eg "I know what I like in your wardrobe" but don't know if being different makes you cool or uncool.

I know at school The Police were deemed to be more cool than the Rats but maybe that's why I like the Rats so much. Just like to be awkward I guess when you listen to stuff that's not seen as cool, it's because you like it rather than being dictated by what other people think, so guess that's better in a way. As long as you don't mind people laughing at you I suppose

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Lisa wrote:
I know at school The Police were deemed to be more cool than the Rats

I forgot about Sting and his pseudo-Jamaican caterwauling.  As Elvis Costello once said  "Somebody should clip Sting around the head and tell him to stop using that ridiculous Jamaican accent."

Something went badly wrong with them in the middle of their career (i.e Walking on the Moon "Giant steps are what you take" - you don't fcuking say, and De do do do De da da da - WTF????).  

As much as I'd like to rate Sting & The Cops as naff and uncool, they had some pretty good moments (So Lonely, Can't Stand Losing, Invisible Sun, Every little thing she does is Magic, Every Breathe You Take, etc.) so I can't.  Like U2, they weren't all bad.



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In the Long Grass

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Tough question. Depends how you define cool. For me it's partly about having a genuine talent that majority haven't, something to be admired whether it's fashionable or not, but mostly about having courage of your convictions, where the opinions of the majority don't particularly influence you (ergo all Rats fans are uber cool smile).

Think in the immediate consciousness we home in on whatever was popular but not trendy just before you hit about 14 years old, the point at which you start to formulate your own views and identity, hence many of us no doubt selecting Brotherhood of Man, Genesis etc. Could add Paper Lace, Goldie, maybe even ELO, though clearly not Boney M (my faves...apparently). I'd grudgingly admit though they were all at least musicians, who no doubt worked the circuit for years to get their break, so therefore for me deserve more credit than they get. 

There's also the couldn't give a monkeys factor to consider, for those bands who never ostensibly wanted to be fashionable or cool, or act like it, which immediately brackets them as uncool with the fickle masses, but doesn't to my mind mean they're not cool. I'd put Rats, Pulp, Take That and any bands who inject a bit of humour and have ability to laugh at themselves in that bracket. For me, being secure enough to do that is coolness personified.

I glaze over when it comes to things like prog rock and overly earnest musicians who take themselves far too seriously; might be deemed 'uncool' but I just find them predominantly tedious.

So, in terms of all time uncool I'd probably have to go for one of the relatively recent reality show groups, more interested in celebrity than creativity, geared up for fashion and short lived fame, no experience, nothing to say, hand picked for looks and dance moves and not an instrument in sight.

Take your pick.  



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" all i want is another baby" was a really irritating song, basically everything about it........

another female singer who was really irritating too but can't remember her name as i just sort of wanted to forget her....... if it comes to me i'll say it.

oh yeh! just remembered it's belinda carlisle, terrible songs!

Gary glitter makes me cringe for obvious reasons.

boy george was terribly overrrated.

but i haven't said an actual band yet..........hmmmm........ i used to hate wham and duran duran when they were about but strangely prefer them now.

jedward are particularly annoying mostly because some better acts missed out on account of people with bad taste.

most sappy sounding male singers around these days are pretty bad, can't remember their names but they are well known.

not sure if i know what 'uncool' actually means, just posting what i think is naf.

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ArrGee wrote:
ArrGee wrote:

 I nominate U2. 


Thinking about it, this is unfair, because up to Achtung Baby, U2 were pretty cool. 

I had forgotten about Genesis.  There were stupendously uncool in their own right yet managed to produce the devil's spawn of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Mike & The Mechanics (The Living Years must be a contender for the lamest rock song ever).    They are responsible for the naffest collection of songs foisted on planet earth. 

I think it's unfair to consider acts like Brotherhood of Man as they never had any pretentions of being a rock band and were simply just put together to enter Eurovision.  Whereas Genecide (sic) actually believed they were a bonafide rock band, along with the multitudes who bought the records and attended the concerts.

Trust me, if someone has a Genecide (or a  Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike & The Mechanics) record/CD in their collection they are highly likely to be as dull and pretentious as the band.


 oh yes phil collins = pretty naff



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suss wrote:

I'd put Rats, Pulp, Take That


How could you favorably compare Fat Gary's Boy Bland (sic) along with two of the greatest bands of all time? disbelief  Do they play their instruments?

Interesting you mentioned ELO.  They aren't a band I would think of as cool nor do I really like them, so they could rank as the most uncool band, but then again I don't particularly dislike them.  I'd probably put them alongside Dire Straits as DLT favourites.  They were the sort of things that older people liked when I was young.  I did get to see both live at Wembley Arena and was quite underwhelmed by both.  I used to get a lot of free tickets/stage passes off my uncle at Wembley.  I also saw Sting & The Cops and have to admit they were brilliant live.

I just can't see pass Genesis on this, but the trouble now is I can't get that song "State of Confusion" off my mind.  I hate that when you start playing songs you hate in your mind.   Normally Stock Aitken Waterman songs in my case (I should be so lucky, never gonna give you up - Arrrrrgh!)

NOTE - DLT - Dave Lee Travis aka The Hairy cornflake Aka Smashy or Nicey - quack quack oops - maybe the world worst DJ before Geldof's stint on XFM smile



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A Tonic For The Troops

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Still think it depends on whether you think being cool in itself is desirable....

Re: Genesis/Peter Gabriel - not overly keen on stuff released as singles but some of album stuff is good or maybe just grows on you after being brainwashed by listening to it over years! Always remember a friend of mine whose wife loved the single Kayleigh by Marillion (another band I have had played at me a lot in the past!!) and then bought the album and was shocked at all the expletives as it wasn't what she had expected. So maybe bands sometimes mislead people into thinking they are something they are not in reality. But I guess that's how they make money!

Re: Dire Straits, love the music but saw them live many years ago - and it was very disappointing as they never talked to audience or had any rapport with them, just played the songs, not sure if that was an attempt to seem cool - if it was, it didn't work! Just seemed a bit rude! And pointless - could have stayed at home and listened to the CD

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ArrGee wrote:
suss wrote:

I'd put Rats, Pulp, Take That


How could you favorably compare Fat Gary's Boy Bland (sic) along with two of the greatest bands of all time? disbelief  Do they play their instruments?


 Fair point, not best example in light of my comments about x factor type bands. Just struggled on spur of moment to think of bands that didn't take themselves too seriously.



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Lisa wrote:

Re: Dire Straits, love the music but saw them live many years ago - and it was very disappointing as they never talked to audience or had any rapport with them, just played the songs, not sure if that was an attempt to seem cool - if it was, it didn't work! Just seemed a bit rude! And pointless - could have stayed at home and listened to the CD


 Always considered the "Straits" part a bit superfluous myself....right up there with those tedious prog rockers. Too dull to be rated on coolness either way.



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suss wrote:
Lisa wrote:

Re: Dire Straits, love the music but saw them live many years ago - and it was very disappointing as they never talked to audience or had any rapport with them, just played the songs, not sure if that was an attempt to seem cool - if it was, it didn't work! Just seemed a bit rude! And pointless - could have stayed at home and listened to the CD


 Always considered the "Straits" part a bit superfluous myself....right up there with those tedious prog rockers. Too dull to be rated on coolness either way.


 Will bring some of my CD collection along on Friday in an attempt to educate you!  Plus a mallet if that fails to impress ....... furious

Regards

Mrs Too Dull To Be Cool no



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Lisa wrote:
 Will bring some of my CD collection along on Friday in an attempt to educate you!  Plus a mallet if that fails to impress ....... furious

Regards

Mrs Too Dull To Be Cool no


 Wouldn't bother, I've got a Ford. The designers put in an engine cut off as soon as CD player detects a Dire Straits disc.

Apparently it's a safety measure to prevent driver falling asleep at wheel.



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suss wrote:
Lisa wrote:
 Will bring some of my CD collection along on Friday in an attempt to educate you!  Plus a mallet if that fails to impress ....... furious

Regards

Mrs Too Dull To Be Cool no


 Wouldn't bother, I've got a Ford. The designers put in an engine cut off as soon as CD player detects a Dire Straits disc.

Apparently it's a safety measure to prevent driver falling asleep at wheel.


 Well I'll bring my Jiggerypokery CDs instead if you like .......

Or maybe we could just play I Spy!

Or I could just poke you with a stick from time to time.  Or all three if you're feeling adventurous.

biggrin



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I meant Jiggerypipery of course .......

Oops - don't tell Simon!

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suss wrote:

 Always considered the "Straits" part a bit superfluous myself....right up there with those tedious prog rockers. Too dull to be rated on coolness either way.


Dire have some really good songs on the earlier albums (perhaps I just identify with Guitar George in Sultans of Swing). Of the later stuff, Money for Nothing is classic stadium rock and Theme form Local Hero is just brilliant.  I have to confess whole albums or gigs can be wearing, but in small bursts they ain't too bad.



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Some random observations....

I've never taken fully to The Strokes who are considered 'cool'. They always have that studied cool look, like an authentic New York band from the late 1970's but I find their music weak, though not necessarily bad. They come across to me as a bit contrived, musically as well as in 'supercool' looks. I call this look 'designercool'. Geldof's line  from Don't Talk To Me sums them up -'You seem so real/ but you feel so fake...'

Prog Rock might be ok if the songs were a bit shorter, but one of my pet hates is overlong pieces of music that just meander on and on after they have made their point. Prog Rock can be quite interesting if the pieces are less than six minutes but that rarely happens. I think the punk rock retort to prog was having songs that generally lasted three minutes. Recently The Vaccines released a song which was 1 m 45 secs long called Wrekin Bar as a single.

Finally did you hear about the Irish comedian who complained that he wasn't being taken seriously?  (groan)



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suss wrote:

Wouldn't bother, I've got a Ford. The designers put in an engine cut off as soon as CD player detects a Dire Straits disc.

Apparently it's a safety measure to prevent driver falling asleep at wheel.


That's cool.   I have never owned a car with a CD player. I wish I had a car with a CD player.  I wish I had a car!  biggrin

Until I gave it up earlier this year, my old Alfa just had Bowie, T. Rex and Dr. Feelgood playing because they were the only tapes I had.  My daughter liked to sing along to Hey Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut! by the Feelgoods.  Not sure my wife cared too much for it disbelief

My wife's Panda only has one tape.  James Seven which only gets played when I'm in the car and we are avoiding football results.  Oddly it was the soundtrack to our honeymoon in Hawaii, as it was the only tape we could both agree on listening to driving around for the fortnight we were there.



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noelindublin wrote:

Finally did you hear about the Irish comedian who complained that he wasn't being taken seriously?  (groan)


 Yep, apparently everyone laughed at him when he told them he was going to be a comedian.  No one's laughing at him now...



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Loudmouth

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ArrGee wrote:
suss wrote:

 Always considered the "Straits" part a bit superfluous myself....right up there with those tedious prog rockers. Too dull to be rated on coolness either way.


Dire have some really good songs on the earlier albums (perhaps I just identify with Guitar George in Sultans of Swing). Of the later stuff, Money for Nothing is classic stadium rock and Theme form Local Hero is just brilliant.  I have to confess whole albums or gigs can be wearing, but in small bursts they ain't too bad.


 One of the great misheard lines in music is' Money for nothing and the chips for free' but then again some bands are maybe lucky to get chips rather than starving! The chicks come later.

Dire Straight are a band I have never actively disliked- they come across as 'serious musos' maybe lacking a bit of verve and humour. The fact that they were the vanguard act when cd's were introduced in the eighties may have put people off (esp the earlier punk generation).



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Some bands come across as more cool live than on CD. One of the most cool acts I have ever seen is Geno Washington and his Ram Jam Band!! But have never been tempted in the least to listen on CD. Also at Penn Festival in July, Snap were there and it was very OTT but maybe given their energy and enthusiasm plus rain which gave opportunity to smuggle alcohol into ground in various raincoat pockets, just came across as very entertaining even if slightly naff. Though must point out that in normal circumstances wouldn't ever listen to them! And Dr and the Medics were there too - now you've got to be cool to be like that! Also seen Bon Jovi years ago which slightly resembled a panto but was hugely enjoyable maybe because they weren't trying to be cool, just seemed to be enjoying themselves.

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One of the best performances I have ever witnessed was The Wonderstuff in Dublin about six or seven years ago. I had originally liked them in the late eighties/ early nineties when they were quite big on the Indie scene.

Out of sheer nostalgia and not expecting too much I was really blown away by Miles Hunt and the band. They had nothing to prove, were no longer hip or cool or part of any scene yet impressed me hugely and they took the audience along with them. Some old bands just go through the motions but this was out of all expectations and was one of the best gigs I have ever attented- a real pleasant surprise.

PS Dexys must have revived the career of Gino Washington in a big way. Sorry that should be Dexies Midnight Runners, rather than the drug.....!



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Lisa wrote:

Still think it depends on whether you think being cool in itself is desirable....

Re: Genesis/Peter Gabriel - not overly keen on stuff released as singles but some of album stuff is good or maybe just grows on you after being brainwashed by listening to it over years! Always remember a friend of mine whose wife loved the single Kayleigh by Marillion (another band I have had played at me a lot in the past!!) and then bought the album and was shocked at all the expletives as it wasn't what she had expected. So maybe bands sometimes mislead people into thinking they are something they are not in reality. But I guess that's how they make money!


 Kayleigh was from the album Misplaced Childhood, which didn't have any expletives. But the previous album, Fugazi, did in the song "She Chameleon", so that must have been the album she bought.

BTW, for me there is one band that is surely the least cool band in the world, and that is Marillion, who I think have to be even less cool than Genesis. I could give numerous reasons why they are the least cool band ever (a prog-rock band in the '80s when prog was supposed to be dead and buried, trying to sound like Genesis when even Genesis didn't want to sound like Genesis), but I think the keyboardist Mark Kelly summed it up perfectly:

We have got a bit of a reputation. I had a conversation with Noel Gallagher at a party once and said to him, 'I'm in a band but it's the most uncool band in the world - Marillion'. He went, 'Yeah, you're right.' Deadpan! Not even smiling.

End of debate I reckon.



-- Edited by Matthew Wright on Thursday 15th of March 2012 08:19:00 PM

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Matthew Wright wrote:
BTW, for me there is one band that is surely the least cool band in the world, and that is Marillion, who I think have to be even less cool than Genesis. I could give numerous reasons why they are the least cool band ever (a prog-rock band in the '80s when prog was supposed to be dead and buried, trying to sound like Genesis when even Genesis didn't want to sound like Genesis), but I think the keyboardist Mark Kelly summed it up perfectly:

We have got a bit of a reputation. I had a conversation with Noel Gallagher at a party once and said to him, 'I'm in a band but it's the most uncool band in the world - Marillion'. He went, 'Yeah, you're right.' Deadpan! Not even smiling.

End of debate I reckon.


 Not having that.  They ain't famous enough to be uncool.  And as for Noel and his Angry Birds, they ain't exactly coolness personified.  It's just an album of the songs you'd skip on Oasis albums because Liam wasn't singing on them.  There was nirmally a rush to the bar when Noel took to the mike...

 



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Lookin' After Number 1

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ArrGee wrote:

 Not having that.  They ain't famous enough to be uncool.   


 They were famous enough in the '80s. They played a packed Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986.

Most young people today have probably never heard of them (but that's only because they've been totally frozen out by the media and music press since the '80s because of the very fact they were so uncool) but they still sell albums (I spotted at least seven in my local HMV store recently) and to people who remember the '80s music scene, Marillion will always be one of - if the most - embarrassing band to admit to ever liking.

I maintain that back in the '80s, they were the most uncool band around by quite some stretch. Do you know any other band that has to put on their website a statement like this:

MARILLION - The Truth

Marillion are used to fighting misconceptions. Marillion are not what you think they are. No, really, they're not.

An undisputed fact that is worth repeating. Marillion are not what you think they are.

Just remember that whatever your pre-conceptions are about this band, chances are they are wrong.

Listen!...find out for yourself.

http://www.marillion.com/band/pressroom.htm

THAT is uncool!!!



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Matthew Wright wrote:
ArrGee wrote:

 Not having that.  They ain't famous enough to be uncool.   


 They were famous enough in the '80s. They played a packed Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986.


 Think I might have seen that - unless my addled brain has confused dates again smile Did it end up with a firework show?  Or maybe I'm imagining that confuse  Anyway have to admit I saw them a fair few times and they did a bloody good live show, very entertaining, lots of energy and charisma (from Fish at least).  Maybe it was just the fans that were uncool.  I mean some bands just seem to attract a certain kind of weirdo biggrin  Maybe I should leave it there .......



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Matthew Wright wrote:
I maintain that back in the '80s, they were the most uncool band around by quite some stretch. 

Now that is some claim given the competition in the 1980s.  I don't think Marillion are an uncool band to like.  Their picture discs appear from time to time at our local Oxfam , and they get snapped up quickly.  I have one of their albums.  I didn't like it, but I wouldn't hide it in the same way I would a Phil Collins/Genesis LP, if I had one.  Which of course I don't.  I don't have anything associated with them.  



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The single Garden Party by Marillion from around 1982 is really good and hardly prog rock, at just four minutes, with really sharp lyrics about class consciousness in England. Fish must have had one of the strongest Scottish accents in musical history, but Garden Party is one of those lost gems.

Marillion were popular, and the archetypal 'album band'. I wouldn't necessarily call them uncool, more an acquired taste, but when so much music is just childish melody and nonsense lyrics at least they fell on the side of 'difficult' rather than easy.

No idea is Fish split with the band forever, as he went solo in the 1980's, and produced a few good singles and albums. Kayleigh was a good pop single.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Friday 16th of March 2012 02:28:11 PM

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ArrGee wrote:
I don't think Marillion are an uncool band to like.  

Bollocks. They've even described themselves as the most uncool band in the world. They have printed T-shirts called "Uncool as ****".

 

From Wikipedia:

 

 

Marillion in the media

By their own admission, the band have never been fashionable in the eyes of the media. On the subject of joining the band, Steve Hogarth once said: "At about the same time, Matt Johnson of The The asked me to play piano on his tour. I always say I had to make a choice between the most hip band in the world, and the least." In the same interview, he claimed: "We're just tired of the opinions of people who haven't heard anything we've done in ten years. A lot of what's spread about this band is laughable."[20]

Much of the bands enduring and unfashionable reputation stems from their emergence in the early 1980s as the most commercially successful band of the neo-progressive rock movement, an unexpected revival of the progressive rock musical style that had fallen out of critical favour in the mid-1970s. Some early critics were quick to dismiss the band as clones of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis due to musical similarities, such as their extended songs, a prominent and Mellotron-influenced keyboard sound, vivid and fantastical lyrics and the equally vivid and fantastical artwork by Mark Wilkinson used for the sleeves of their albums and singles. Lead singer Fish was also often compared with Gabriel due to his early vocal style and theatrical stage performances, which in the early years often included wearing face paint. In fact, Marillion's influences were more diverse than that. Fish was heavily influenced by Peter Hammill, two of guitarist Steve Rothery's biggest influences were David Gilmour and Andrew Latimer, keyboard player Mark Kelly's biggest inspiration was Rick Wakeman, Pete Trewavas especially loved Paul McCartney's bass lines and Mick Pointer was fond of Neil Peart's drumming.

As Jonh Wilde summarised in Melody Maker in 1989: "At the end of a strange year for pop music, Marillion appeared in November 1982 with "Market Square Heroes". There were many strange things about 1982, but Marillion were the strangest of them all. For six years, they stood out of time. Marillion were the unhippest group going. As punk was becoming a distant echo, they appeared with a sound and an attitude that gazed back longingly to the age of Seventies pomp. When compared to Yes, Genesis and ELP, they would take it as a compliment. The Eighties have seen some odd phenomena. But none quite as odd as Marillion. Along the way, as if by glorious fluke, they turned out some singles that everybody quietly liked "Garden Party", "Punch and Judy" and "Incommunicado". By this time, Marillion did not need the support of the hip-conscious. They were massive. Perhaps the oddest thing about Marillion was that they became one of the biggest groups of the decade. They might have been an anomaly but they were monstrously effective."[40]

The band's unfashionable reputation and image problem has often been mentioned in the media, even in otherwise positive reviews. In Q in 1987, David Hepworth claimed: "Marillion may represent the inelegant, unglamorous, public bar end of the current Rock Renaissance but they are no less part of it for that. Clutching at Straws suggests that they may be finally coming in from the cold."[41] In the same magazine in 1995, Dave Henderson wrote: "It's not yet possible to be sacked for showing an affinity for Marillion, but has there ever been a band with a larger stigma attached?" He also claimed that if the album Afraid of Sunlight "had been made by a new, no baggage-of-the-past combo, it would be greeted with open arms, hailed as virtual genius."[42] In Record Collector in 2002, Tim Jones claimed they were "one of the most unfairly berated bands in Britain" and "one of its best live rock acts."[43] In 2004, Classic Rock's Jon Hotten wrote: "That genre thing has been a bugbear of Marillion's, but it no longer seems relevant. What are Radiohead if not a progressive band?" and claimed Marillion were "making strong, singular music with the courage of their convictions, and we should treasure them more than we do."[32] In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, an article on Marillion written by Mick Wall described them as probably the most misunderstood band in the world.[44] In 2007, Stephen Dalton of The Times stated: The band have just released their 14th album, Somewhere Else, which is really rather good. Containing tracks that shimmer like Coldplay, ache like Radiohead and thunder like Muse, it is better than 80 per cent of this months releases. But you are unlikely to hear Marillion on British radio, read about them in the music press or see them play a major festival. This is largely because Marillion have how can we put this kindly? an image problem. Their music is still perceived as bloated, bombastic mullet-haired prog-rock, even by people who have never heard it. In fairness, they did once release an album called Script for a Jester's Tear. But, come on, we all had bad hair days in the 1980s."[45]

Despite publishing a very good review for their 1995 album Afraid of Sunlight and including it in their 50 Best Albums of 1995, Q refused to interview the band or write a feature on them. Steve Hogarth later said: "How can they say, this is an amazing record... no, we don't want to talk to you? It's hard to take when they say, here's a very average record... we'll put you on the front cover."[20]

In 1999, DJ Simon Mayo commented on BBC Radio 1: "Marillion ... where are they now? And who cares anyway?" Fans objecting to the comment brought the station's computer system to a standstill with thousands of emails of complaint. Mayo subsequently apologised for his comment to keyboard player Mark Kelly when he phoned the show to take part in a quiz.[46]

To accompany the release of Anoraknophobia in 2001, the band issued a press release asking critics to review the album in "a manner that is both accurate and fair. So, our challenge to you is to firstly listen to the album. Then write a review without using any of the following words: "Progressive rock", "Genesis", "Fish", "heavy metal", "dinosaurs", "predictable", "concept album". Because if you do, we'll know that you haven't listened to it."[46]

Reviewing the band's appearance on BBC Two's The Future Just Happened in 2001, Gareth McLean of The Guardian described the band as "once dodgy and now completely rubbish" and their fans as "slightly simple folks". He also dismissed the band's efforts to continue their career without a label by dealing directly with their fans on the Internet, claiming: "One suspects that their decision occurred round about the time that the record industry decided to shun Marillion."[47]

Rachel Cooke, a writer for The Observer and New Statesman, has repeatedly referred negatively to the band in her articles. She has characterized the band's fans as "geeks" and as "repulsive, bedroom-dwelling, ball-scratching, Y-front-wearing and sock-masturbating".[48][49][50][51]

In an interview in 2000, Hogarth expressed regret about the band retaining their name after he joined: "If we had known when I joined Marillion what we know now, we'd have changed the name and been a new band. It was a mistake to keep the name, because what it represented in the mid-Eighties is a millstone we now carry. If we'd changed it, I think we would have been better off. We would have been judged for our music. It's such a grave injustice that the media constantly calls us a 'dinosaur prog band'. They only say that out of ignorance because they haven't listened to anything we've done for the last 15 bloody years. If you hear anything we've done in the last five or six years, that description is totally irrelevant... It's a massive frustration that no-one will play our stuff. If we send our single to Radio 1 they say: 'Sorry, we don't play music by bands who are over so-many years old... and here's the new U2 single.' I suppose it's something everyone has to cope with every band are remembered for their big hit single, irrespective of how much they change over the years. But you can only transcend that by continuing to have hits. It's Catch 22." However, Hogarth was still able to be optimistic: "You know, at some stage, someone has to notice that we're doing interesting things. Someday someone will take a retrospective look at us and be surprised."[52]

The band have been prepared to send up their unfashionable status, naming their 2001 album "Anoraknophobia" and printing T-shirts with the logo "Marillion: Uncool as F*ck."

Despite a return to the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart with 2004's "You're Gone", the media's perception of Marillion failed to soften.[53]

 

 I think "repulsive, bedroom-dwelling, ball-scratching, Y-front-wearing and sock-masturbating" is my favourite line. biggrin

 

 

 



-- Edited by Matthew Wright on Sunday 5th of May 2013 08:13:08 AM



-- Edited by Matthew Wright on Sunday 5th of May 2013 08:14:56 AM

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Loudmouth

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I picked up a cd of Marillion B sides in a charity shop some months ago, called B Sides Themselves. Some good songs, others are way too long for my attention span. Market Square Heroes is good, as are some of the others.I'd have 'nae problem' with Marillion, as our Scots friends might say But then I was always baffled at the popularity of Oasis- a very workmanlike band with big egos.



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A Tonic For The Troops

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Well, I'm up to the smoke to see Steve Hackett on Friday - lucky me! Cool or what? Just wish I hadn't found the following description:

"Hackett, who had little on-stage playing experience, when he joined Genesis, had some initial difficulty performing with the group. But he soon settled into his role, and his unique stage image (wearing glasses and seated in a hunched position over his guitar) served as a counter to Gabriel's extravagant costumes and theatrics."

I expect he's improved with age, like a fine wine ... well I will just drink a lot of wine, and then I won't notice if not .. or maybe I'll just close my eyes and fantasise about Peter Gabriel being extravagant and theatrical

PS Sorry to remind you of the devil's spawn again, Arrgee! I promise I won't buy any t-shirts - I'm still holding out for a Rats one

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A Tonic For The Troops

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Oops! Well I drank some wine, closed my eyes - and then woke up in a bit of a daze wondering why everyone was on their feet and starting to leave ... Am sure I was only resting my eyes for 10 mins or so though! I did enjoy most of it - and at least I didn't fall asleep on the train home

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