Shame on the nation

Matt’s hack alter problems that would have sunk a lesser man. Philip Dorward gets the details in black and white.

A lull 38 hours alter the eyent that snapped a million teenage hearts. ('redit To The Nation's .\lalty llanson wasn't distrattght. only tempted to draw comparisons. ;\s the media scramhle to proclaim Take 'l'hat's (iary Barlow as the new (ieorge .\lichael. .\lalty aka I .\1(‘l’usion. ponders on the time he was side by side with another pillar ol‘ the British music industy. ‘l was once ' compared to Phil (‘ollins and l was a hit cut up ahout that.’ eyplains the twenty -year-old. ‘I just had to laugh though when time ()n! .said that tny new alhum had “as tnttch se\uality as l)a\'id \lellor"s arsc”.‘

Alter a fraught couple ol years. Many has learned to tottgh ottt criticism. His new album [halt/y Always Him/ell .llr' ill) (irmr .‘l Pair 0/ lit-Itgy' has been accused by the hlaek press ot' not heing hard enough. hy the alternatiye press as being too pop. and hy‘ the pop press as too hard. (‘an't win. won't win'.’ He don't care. .‘ylatty's had to deal with a lot tnore than lahoured criticisms.

Alter hursting onto the scene as a fresh-laced lil'teen-year-old in I'Nl with anareho-popsters ('humhawumha. ('redit To The Nation took oil on their own mighty yerye. :\ couple ol‘ hit singles. a top twenty alhutn 'lii/a' I)i.\' and Credit hecamc regulars on the testiyal circuit. lloweyer. oyerworked and generally conlttscd ahout lil'e. .Matty's mental health began to deteriorate. He started hallttcinating and helieying that eyerything he was writing ahout. no matter how weird and wonderful. was going to happen to him. Mattyk then manager decided to ptit him in an institution lot" a couple ot‘ weeks. .'\t the end ol' that lortnight he catne out for a week. only to return lor another three week stretch 'l he light at the end of the tunnel w as his new album. which has helped pull him hack from the hrink.

\Vhateyer the complaints are ahout “(It/(It .rl/u'tiyy Hint/('t/ .l/e lit (ii'ou‘ .\ i l’tar ()1 lt‘mgx. it doesn't matter to : .\latty; the tact that this alhutu has been cotnpleted is triumph enough. llis lyrics are still as lrank and potent as they eyer were. l’rom racism to egos. . the alhum is riddled with parody. Here i is a young guy who goes to great i

l l

lengths to explain hintsell. ‘I want people to lind me as they wottld in my own house. l'iycn onstage I l'eel that people should see inc as i am. rather than pill on a character. it. lint clumsy and l'ot'getlul in real lite I won't try and hide it on the stage. It! run otit ol' words to say then luck it. it's not a

Matty extends his credit

ceremony. just dance.‘ Perhaps the subject that Many is hest yersed to explaining is racism. like

(.‘humhawutnha before them. (‘redit

hay'e been the subject ol racist ahuse. The album is aimed at the w hite indie kids with passiyely' racist parents. in the hope that they won't make the mistakes of their lorehearers. lior .\latty. it‘s all a

The new album has been accused by the black press of not being hard enough, by

the alternative press as being too pop, and by the pop press as too hard.

question of understanding.

‘1 can understand racism lrom people who admit it. htit there are too many who are nice to your lace and then attetnpt to stab you in the hack. Racism in America is tnuch more in your lace. It‘s whacko and. it. they‘re t‘acist. they will say that they are. Racism is scarier in Britain hecause a lot ol' people are qttiet ahottt it and can't admit it.

The people we haye to change are those that don't realise that they are racist. The white suh-class. like Ii’rrmksir/e's Ron l)l.\‘()tt. who think it's all right to tell coon jokes. They are the impottant people because they are the ones that bring their kids tip like them and perpetrate the same situation. 'l‘hey are the reason why there are still

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Hanson in the hood

generations ol people saying. “Immigrant go hack hut not you Many. you‘re all right". It you question the typical type ol' ls’on l)i\ou. they 'll say. "l‘m not racist. l'ye got all ol Holt Marley is alhums atid I went to school with a black kid...

The real quandary is that. while most white indie kids only hay e to wrestle with their conscience. those w ho arc the suhiect ol' racism are no longer taking it lying down. .\latty helieyes that in order to light groups like (’omhal l8 and their ilk. the hlack population in Britain has to rey ise the yiew s ol their parents.

‘I don’t think that the younger generation are scared hy people like (‘ottihal l.\’. :\ lot ol‘ the older lilack generation think that we should inst he quiet ahout the black and white thing. Sure they hate racism. hut they just think w e're making things worse hy speaking otit. A lot of black kids now don‘t giy'e a shit and they w ill tight hack. I know l will.‘

.\latty pauses to let ottt a trustrated sigh. ‘I don‘t know man. He got no answers. l‘lltsl keep on doing what I do and hope that it will make a dilterence to anyhody that listens.‘

('i't't/tl 'Iii ill/It" Nit/tun [i/tiy' '/'/1c \t'llllt‘ II! lat/in/mrg/i m. lift :7 (HM! lying 'lttry [II (i/ttyguu mi Hit! IN. New slug/c Illttt/ Dog I\ out on 3/) It/t.

42 The List 33 Feb-7 Mar WW)