Wednesday, 16 April 2008

99 Problems, But Race Ain't One

There's always complaints about a Glasto lineup. Kate bloody Nash my arse, for instance. And at the back of what charity shop did they find Will Young? Jesus wept. But these oddities have been overshadowed this year by National Heritage has-been Noel Gallagher's condemnation of the choice of Jay-Z to headline. My initial reaction - well, it was actually surprise that Gallagher was alive, I thought he'd died a few years back due to chronic lack of anyone caring. But then a quick glance at the NME website reveals Gallagher to be expressing a peculiar Toryism felt by a number of Glasto's target demographic. The "guitar music" thing is an obvious smokescreen - The Prodigy headlined in '95, Fatboy Slim's played a load, nobody's saying this is wrong for the festival. But the white middle-class boys here don't want to be shaken out of comfortable grooves. One commenter is particularly telling:

"The reaction we've got from people has been really positive"..... Really?!?! are you sure because all the reactions I've heard are pretty bad and not being able to sell tickets seems a pretty negative reaction. And also "amazing" and "Historic"hmmm... Not as amazing as Radiohead, Oasis or Led Zepplin would be....

Ah, Radiohead and Oasis - the music of the 90s, today! Led Zeppelin would certainly be "historic" in the Natural History Museum sense, once you dusted them off. Never been to Glastonbury, never intend to (junk food, not showering, and Radio One? That's just a weekend at home, except it's dry and I've got a Wii), but I thought it was all about modern, fresh, new music? Whatever your problems with Jay-Z, and I've got a bunch (it's the misogyny that really turns me off), he's a fantastic performer, and he's way too huge to ignore. But I'm not trying to preach hip-hop to the unwilling masses, I'm just disappointed by another reminder of how conservative the rock crowd can be. Give it a listen, at least.

Mind you, I can hardly complain about middle-class festivals. This year, I'm going to Latitude. It's got a fucking poetry tent. White people like it.

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