(What's the Story) British Music
Jonny Garwood | 20 March 2016

The masters of the modern music world, bands such as ‘Oasis’, ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Rolling Stones’ – all the ‘rocky’ and ‘punky’ music we all love nowadays, slowly evolved from the UK; but where do we fit in now? I’m not talking about the likes of Calvin Harris, Disclosure or any other British artist or band who produces anything which is not even slightly punky or rocky; I’m not talking about anything even slightly British other than the classic genre of music – rock itself.



But who are our modern focal points? The answer - bands such as The Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks and the more ‘punky’ or ‘hardcore’ types such as Royal Blood and You Me At Six. No disrespect to them – it is hard to keep a place on the charts when you have a British society who are more focused on the mainstream likes of Calvin Harris, Nero or even the ‘original’ Wretch-32 himself, who tries to mix a bit of electronic and hip-hop music into the same pot. But still, much of younger British society has its sights on the more global likes of Nicki Minaj or Pitbull – whom of course devote most of their time towards thinking up their short-versed, repetitive lyrics with a funky beat in the background. Due to this, our classic ‘British pride’ when it comes to music is lost in the abyss – bands such as Oasis fall behind and suffer as only the older, 90s generation who grew up with their music still listen to them, albeit the minority of the younger society.



I myself, a young boy who listens to the ‘rocky’, ‘punky’ British types such as The Kooks, Royal Blood, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend and even older bands such as The Hives and moderately Oasis, have no say in the majority of modern music as most of my generation listens to ‘well-thought up’ music from the likes of One Direction and Justin Bieber. The more local music nowadays is just bands like The Vamps and McFly. What happened to that lost ‘cool’ generation you hear about who were going wild in front of The White Stripes and The Foo Fighters in the 90s or early 2000s?



Ever heard of ‘diversification in modern music’? That’s what some bands have to do to keep up. What happened to Snow Patrol, for example? A classic band who produced that loving, chilling music in the early to mid-2000’s (which in the modern music world, seems a long time ago) went on to diversify into that new ‘electronic-rock’ type of music you hear in all of their new songs and albums nowadays – all of which only the minority still listen to. It pains me to hear that Luke Pritchard, founder and lead singer of The Kooks suggested that his band were trying to diversify their music into a new approach as they simply cannot keep up and do not understand what their fans want as the newer bands keep switching to the ‘modern music’ on display nowadays – not that he actually said he doesn’t understand what his fans want – of course. True, but not to say I don’t listen to their new music, (I listen to a few songs - of course I listen to the likes of ‘Around Town’ and ‘Junk Of The Heart’…;) the prime reason why the majority of their line up at live events and festivals consists of original songs such as ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’, ‘Naïve’ and ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ all from their first two albums – ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ and ‘Konk’ is because only the select few listen to their new songs as they have tried to diversify into something unheard of and unwanted to their fans. The Kooks’ peak time was at the turn of the century – formed in 2005, top of the charts with their first album in 2006 until 2010, a year after they released their second album – ‘Konk’ and then they went AWOL. The majority of their fans from 2010 until now – after their most recent album ‘Listen’ was moderately successful after release earlier on in 2014, and after playing at a major festival such as Glastonbury and Reading – which they did in 2014 for the first time since 2007 – had not heard of their third album ‘Junk Of The Heart’. The majority also most likely hadn’t heard of ‘Listen’ until they sat down at home after seeing the band at Reading and typed in ‘The Kooks’ to YouTube or iTunes only to realise after seeing in a big banner at the top of the page titled something along the lines of ‘buy Listen now’ that they had released a new album.



Another thing that pains me to hear is the constant closure of ‘original’ British bands in recent years. The likes of Oasis and The Foo Fighters have all broken up in recent years. Can you imagine why? All because they simply cannot keep up with modern music and the modern charts as the majority of the younger generation – who still buy music and do not just replay their old Oasis disc lost in the draw at the front of the front seat of the car on a long tip are not interested. The younger generation is only interested in poorly-thought up newer bands such as One Direction and The Vamps. The original bands are not interested in us anymore – only our money. The main reason – we are not interested in them. That is why they have the odd ‘reunion’ every 10 years or so – just to earn a moderate living as they cannot carry on speaking to the loving fan on the radio forever. Even the original bands who do care all find out the truth – this generation, unfortunately, is not interested. Bands such as the Rolling Stones, the most recent to try coming back, found out the hard truth.



Can the original ‘rock’ or even real British bands, artists and music keep up with the modern generation? Will the likes of Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran encourage more of their own to pop up in the future? Only time will tell.

James Routledge 2016