Monday, December 13, 2010
The Next Factor
So...some bloke’s won X Factor. Apparently 20million people watched the final. Good grief. It seems like there’s an enormous appetite for new talent (if indeed the bloke in question has any...I haven’t seen him...hold on a mo...nope...not an ounce of it...wow). If only a small percentage of the audience would get off their sofas and pop down to their local gig venue / pub and see some of the real talent that’s out there then perhaps more bands would be able to make a proper go of things rather than being forced to do mind numbingly dull jobs just to make ends meet. Of course the X Factor has nothing to do with music really, it’s just a piece of fluffy escapism to distract us all from the impending economic Armageddon that’s heading our way. Needless to say I think it’s a soul sapping heap of cobblers that’s designed to make the most money for Cowell and co without giving a moment’s thought to anyone else...or, and here’s what really pees me off...contributing anything to our musical heritage.
Here’s a thought though. How about creating a show like X Factor (bear with me here) that features ‘real’ bands/singers, playing their own material week after week? Cover versions are all very well but if we just keep covering stuff we’ll all get very bored indeed. Of course there have been shows like this on Channel 4 (one of which was won by Birmingham’s very own Envy and Other Sins...although I think even that resorted to covers) but nothing (to my knowledge) on a prime time slot. Think of it as a cross between Top of the Pops, The Tube and the X Factor, with the main aim being to ‘break’ at least a dozen new bands each series. By ‘new’ I obviously mean a band that’s got at least an album’s worth of material ready to go but without a deal yet...and there are shed loads of ‘em out there. Unlike the X Factor the great unwashed would get to hear new and original tracks each week from equally new and original bands. Yes, it’s all very commercial and unhip but, given the dearth of opportunities for bands to get on TV these days (Jools Holland seems to be the only mainstream music show willing to take some kind of risk on new artists) I’d rather see this happen than lose generations of bands who just can’t catch a decent break. I guess you could make it a bit cooler if you had tolerable presenters and a policy that encouraged all sorts of different genres. Add a website with downloadable tracks each week and competitions for budding video makers and remixers to do their thang too and you might have something a little more creative than the current lame duck sausage factory pumping out singers who are, let’s face it, nothing more than puppets for Uncle Simon to play with. Of course the acid test would be whether the great unwashed would want to watch Lawnmower Death Factory playing ‘’I’m Going To Dump On Your Grave” but we might be pleasantly surprised...eh...eh?! God, I’m just so naive sometimes aren’t I?