Monday, March 16, 2009

Conceptual Art: Keyboardist not required

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

This week, it's Paul's turn at playing svengali...

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Sticking with Swiss Toni's svengali approach, and with the music-makers of the last few years lined up against the wall like schoolkids in a playground picking teams, it's time for me to take my pick of the cream of the crop who will stand like a colossus over the musical landscape, intimidating all with their brilliance.

Right, let's start with a frontman. Every successful band, like every successful football team, needs an inspirational leader. Someone who the fans can instantly connect with. I want a character, a strong voice, an inspiration, someone who will inspire a nation. Bono? I hear you shout. No.

I want Tom Jones.

The voice, the staying power, the leathery face, the bedpost which has been reduced to saw dust by excessive notch-cutting.

Behind Tom, penning the songs to which his mighty lungs will give life I need someone who has sufficient ego to hold his own when discussing creative differences, but not such a massive ego that it'll go all Stone Roses and lead to years of delay and an eventual irreconcilable split. Equally, I don't want some egotist smashing his guitar after every show (those things cost money) so out goes Pete Townshend.

I need an axe man I can trust.

I need Noel Gallagher. (More specifically I need Noel Gallagher when he didn't have any money, and when being in a band was all he dreamed about, and when he was at his creative best).

On bass, I want an introvert. I want the tall nerdy kid who is going to spend his life staring at the drummer and picking up the girls which Tom and Noel don't want. I want a man who will let genius flow without stealing the limelight. Every team needs its hod-carriers as well as its artisans, and mine is no different. It's got to be John Deacon.

The only member of Queen to retire with dignity (that is to say, to not appear on a record with 5ive), he saw that the good times were over, and he knew when to quit while he was ahead. When my band eventually goes its separate ways, I don't want the bassist to be appearing on every TV show under the sun trying to cling on to the last remnants of fame. Not for John the delights of a bushtucker trial - he knows when to quit, and more importantly for the purpose of this exercise, he also knows how to play bass.

On drums I want energy, I want enthusiasm, but equally I don't want anyone who thinks they can sing. Seriously, who wants to go to a gig where the flipping drummer is worrying about hitting his harmonies? I want my man worrying about hitting his hi-hat and his snare, with scant regard for his or anyone else's safety.

I need an animal at the back of the stage, with a crazed look in his eye, sweat pouring from him to the point where roadies have to keep a mop to hand to prevent any unfortunate electrical mishaps.

I don't need an animal, I need Animal. The muppet show knew they had a good thing when they saw one, and the day Animal entered their auditions, they knew they had a keeper. Ralph on keyboard may have been a sensitive soul, but Animal's the one with the real spirit of rock 'n' roll coursing through his veins.

So there we go: Tom, Noel, John and Animal.

Hmmm, looking at it, this band clearly needs a little more - they need something to keep the fans going, they need a reason for teenage boys to feel a bit uncomfortable when watching the band perform in the same room as their parents (on TV obviously, not in an intimate gig in their lounge).

So, with that in mind, let's chuck a further vocalist into the mix. One who is prepared to give as good as she gets on the tour bus, and could probably teach most people a thing or two. Ladies and gentleman, there is only one person I can think of to fill that role, and it's Ana Matronic from the Scissor Sisters.

For completeness, and because you can never have enough people on a tour bus, let's add one more to get the crowd going and keep them there. Bringing his own maracas and determined to shake his money maker, Bez will be appearing for all live gigs. Yes, that's right Bez - a living, breathing example of what happened if you didn't listen to the kids from 'Grange Hill'.

What's that - keyboards? If you think any good bands have a someone on keyboard, you can just sod off and think again.

Right, so there we go.

If anyone has any suggestions for names, leave a comment, and I'll pick a winner next week.

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Thanks Paul.

Noel Gallagher and Animal in the same band? Surely they HAVE to be called The Muppets?

Next time (Monday 30th March): Caskared


Blogger Paul said...

Harsh, Ben. Very harsh.

8:57 am  

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