The Front


:Wlmmw ' h Militant Martin?

Hail oihe hypocrites

Are Radiohead, U2 and Coldplay making career moves out Of pOIItICS? Words: John D McGonagle

adiohead's new album is to be titled Hail to I/lt’ 'l'lii'iji. in reference to

(ieorge Bash and the 'stolen' ['8 election. My. how outspoken. 'l'heir fans

might get the poim. but what about the general public'.’ Will they think: ‘()f course. Radiohead are making a subyersiye allusion to the fact that (ieorge 811in is president of the l'SA despite w inning less than 50‘} of the Vote.”

.\'o. If anything. they'll think: ‘Boring albtnn title.’ Radiohead aren‘t playing games with silly song names in order to make the world a better place. 'l‘hey’re doing it to delude their fans into believing that they're political. so that they can sell more records.

Somewhere along the way it became accepted that to become a truly great rock band. you lime to be politically aware.

Perhaps it‘s because of Bob Dylan “ml Pm!“t mugs, perhaps it's because of Joe Strummer

and the (lash. But what is definite is that hands

pursuing credibility need to discuss politics. Noel (iallagber was rebuked for calling anti-

war protests pointless. I’m not qualified to

comment on the quality of the man’s music (I were

fall asleep after the first few seconds). but you have to admire his honesty. A few months ago b - ~ ack

lots of rock artists got im'ol\'ed in ‘anti-war~ gigs. but for what purpose'.’ You can rest assured that it had little to do with the people of Iraq. It was to do with their career. (‘baracters who hadn’t got near soap for most of the decade. neyer mind a decent tune. were suddenly back trying to shoVe their opinions down our throats. Protesting against the (ioyernment of the day is pretence of rebellion. a shameless career move. If I were a rock star I‘d be desperate to play the militant too. desperate to utter the same meaningless phrases as Bono (‘l)rop the debtl'i and ('hris Martin (‘Pree trade!‘ l. desperate to play the rebel like Primal Scream and .\logwai . . . until beer and clothing companies (resiwctiyely) offered me sponsorship. And if I felt a pang of conscience as I sat counting the millions in my bank account (earned. incidentally. by

producing songs for capitalistic multinatioruil corporations). l'd remind myself

about the time I gaye the government a right good telling off during my acceptance speech.

I always find it amusing when celebrities launch an anti-establishment rant upon accepting an establishment award. ('an't they see how hypocritical that is'.’ Dissenting is about mil conforming. Bono appeared to say nothing about the forthcoming war during his ()scars performance. althouin he later revealed that he'd subtly altered his lyrics to express his discontent. What a craftsman!

To return to .\'oel (iallagher. I'd have to say that he's wrong. Political protests do haye a point. Tell me. how many (iranunys haye Radiohead. ['3. (‘oldplay and eyery other rock band with a cml-political agenda won recently? Lots. How many haye ()asis won‘.’ lixactly. .\'one.


10 THE LIST :‘ Ma. .‘

Top 10

1 UEFA Cup Final

Sport Scottish football's biggest night for 16 years arrives as Celtic fly to Sevrlle for a date wrth destiny. And maybe FC Porto wrll show up. too. See Big Picture. page 8. BBCI.

2 Dandy Warhols

Music Welcome to the Monkey House is the height of contemporary cool. but the Dandys steer away from empty posturing. It's pop and it's art. See feature. page 16. Carling Academy. Glasgow.

3 Birmingham Royal Ballet Dance After last year's triumph of Carmina Burana. BBB return north wrth sunny ballets. 'cowboy' crowdpleasers and Broadway tributes. See Theatre. page 60. Festival Theatre. Edinburgh.

4 Edinburgh College of Art’s 2003 Fashion Show Art/Shopping Up-and-coming designers from fashion. performance costume and textiles show off their latest collections at ECA’s annual show. Edinburgh College of Art.

5 Fog

Records From sci-fi Iullabies to quirky garage pop. Andrew Broder offers up a classic slice of near-unclassifiable eclectica. See Records. page 106. Ninja Tune.

6 Vietcong

Games Good shooters with artistic credentials are pretty thin on the ground. Big- boy swearing. hot jungle rhythms and rattling AK47s make this a sickening yet scintillating experience. See Games. page 106. PC.

7 Luther Blissett

Books The postmodern historical epic Q is an Italian bestseller amid rumours that the four anarcho-authors may actually be Umberto Eco. Decide for yourself. See Books. page 102. William Heinemann.

8 Secretary

Fllm Maggie Gyllenhaal spars with James Spader in this smart S&M black comedy. Maggie’s the secretary. Jim's the boss. and together they indulge in not a little spanking and bondage. See Film. page 25. Selected release.

9 2 Many DJs

Clubs Not many acts would think of splicing Dolly Parton with Reyksopp or having Daft Punk rub up to Kenny Loggins but that‘s what the elusive Belgians have done. stunningly. See Clubs. page 73. Arches. Glasgow.

1 0 Day That Britain Stopped TV What would happen if Britain's infrastructure came tumbling down? There'd be merry hell to pay. that’s what. This is a scary docu-drama in the spirit of The War Game. See TV, page 108. 8802.