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Same as it ever was – T in the Park 2012 line-up announced

If, in the build-up to the official announcement, you had asked me to name the line-up for T in the Park 2012, I’d have looked at the one headliner already announced – The Stone Roses – and then added two more. ‘Fucking Kasabian‘, I would have said, before adding drily ‘oh, and Snow Patrol, obviously.’ Then we’d have laughed at my little joke and then speculated on who it might actually be.

Well, the announcement came today. And the headliners are in fact The Stone Roses, Fucking Kasabian and Snow Patrol. Really.

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Snow Patrol and sponsorship

There are a lot of reasons to be dismissive of Snow Patrol. Their inoffensive music and it’s hegemony seems to irritate many, though as they embark on a series of massive summer shows, it appears that many more find their mix of easy listening indie rock and superficially meaningful lyrics irresistable. Snow Patrol started life as a fairly average alternative band, and have since found a groove that their bank manager, at least, will be highly appreciative of. They make money and it is hard to argue with them. Surely that’s the point? Continue reading

Detox with the Ramones

It’s quite fashionable to detox these days. We live in a toxic world, full of bacteria, viruses and poor people, where lurking round every corner is a potential deathtrap contained in a pork pie or a pint or something. Anyway, what you do to defeat these demons is detox. This means buying some stupidly expensive pills from Boots and taking them for a month whilst only eating leaves and drinking water – filtered, that is. You will feel a bit ill for three days, give up and then tell everyone how great you feel whilst existing on a diet of Mars Bars and lager.

The thing is, your body doesn’t really need cleansed. Your mind though….whoa Nelly! Think of the clagged up filter it must have. Especially the bit marked music. Yes, yes, you’ve tried to live a healthy musical life, but it doesn’t always work that way. There really are toxins everywhere. If I say ‘Snow Patrol’, chances are your brain starts playing one of their songs whether you want it to or not. Chances are if I say ‘Fireflies’ then you’ll be hearing the latest Yankee one-hit-wonder Owl City’s current song. Chances are if I say ‘N-Dubz’ you won’t know one of their tunes, but you’ll still want to punch the berk with the stupid hat. You get my meaning though.

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So the song of the Noughties was…

So, the Great British Public have spoken. Well, some of them anyway. Channel 4’s mania for list shows at this time of year was given a fillip by it being the end of the decade and all and they brought us the Top 100 songs of the preceding ten years. And the winner? The one voted for by the people on the streets, the soundtrack to this most fractious of decades, this history-packed era?

‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. No, really. Continue reading

Giving the Gift of Music – The ELM Guide to the Christmas Charts

‘It’s Christmas!’ sang Noddy Holder, and how right he was. Indeed, come this time of year, he’s right again. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, though not as fat as your mother, who remains a fat cow. Christmas is the time when miracles happen, Jesus is praised and companies try to make as much money as is humanly possible whilst the plebs are spending like there is no tomorrow. The music industry is no different. This is the time of year when a marketing strategy planned in more detail than the Normandy landings gets put into full-throttle and product is shipped. These albums may never be listened to, but they will do for Mum/Dad/Sister/Brother/Aunt or Uncle.

Here we go through this weeks official chart and put it into simple terms so that you can make an informed choice; Continue reading

The Friday 5 – Like snorting candyfloss; 5 cloying songs

Dildo (Obvious joke, no apologies)Sentimentality is a blessing and a curse. In truth, it helps separate us from the animals, but in the grand scheme of things, the ability weep at the Care Bears movie has probably blunted our ability to rip heads off animals with our bare hands and eat their flesh raw. Were Vikings sentimental? I doubt it. I can hardly see Olaf and the boys setting sail with visions of their own route to Valhalla whilst tucking an etching of their cat down their bearskin pants. Wouldn’t really get you in the mood for all the action would it? (Interestingly, the one place spared from such atrocities was Aberdeen, after the initial scout party came back and said ‘take my word for it boys, stick to pillage here.’)

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Snow Patrol Refute Claims They Are ‘The Most Boring Band in the World’….Boringly

We don’t have much time for Nicky Wire round these parts, for several reasons. The main ones being he is a total twat and the other he’s in a really pissingly average rock band who haven’t done anything of note since 1992. He also scores highly on the hate-o-meter for his tedious attempts to be controversial over the years. So, blow me, but ELM was knocked for six when we read his latest and actually agreed with the whey-faced golf bore. Just goes to prove the old adage about a stopped clock being right twice a day is correct.

Wire’s latest target are Scottish/Irish bedwetters Snow Patrol, whom he labelled ‘boring’. Which, as anyone who has ever heard them will attest, they most certainly are. Snow Patrol fall into that Coldplay thing where it’s not a case of actually disliking them; they aren’t bad per se, they are just so very blah. It’s music with it’s balls removed, eunuch rock if you will. It’s anthemic but forgettable, it’s deep but meaningless, it’s just so dull that you could put it on the One Show and it would sit comfortably. And let’s face it, the One Show is the modern by-word for dull. It’s so bland it’s terracotta.

But it appears the band are comfortable with it. Rather than a scathing attack on Nicky Wire for being a prick, singer Gary Lightbody merely asserted he doesn’t think they are boring, but a rock legend like Nicky is entitled to his opinion/ Aw, fer fuxake Gary, grow a pair and at least hit back with some panache, eh? A Morrisseyesque withering put-down, a sarcastic comment about relevance, a press conference where you simply say ‘boring?’ then play ‘If You Tolerate This’…these would all have worked. mild disagreement simply confirms that he was right in the first place.

There is another possibility, namely that deep down, they know they really are quite boring. I once heard Lightbody DJ on XFM and he was terrific. Funny, witty and with excellent taste in music, both past and current. And then you hear the dismally dreary opening chords of ‘Run’ strike up and you just shrug your shoulders and go ‘nah’. Because it’s not worth getting worked up about. Music should either inspire or irritate. Anything else is pan pies. And sadly, that’s all Snow Patrol are; indie for elevators. And even an arse like Nicky Wire can see it.