Wednesday, October 19, 2005


There was a time you'd buy the NME and to either side of the Morrissey/Smiths centrespread you'd learn stuff about other bands. New bands. Good bands. My vinyl collection is littered with the great and the awful, a fair amount of which was all but put there by the NME. I was young, I needed the advice.

This week's NME has The Kaiser Chiefs on the cover. Their last front cover was approximately two weeks ago. Then they made room for Babyshambles. Next week will most likely see a Babyshambles cover. The week after that The Kaiser Chiefs. There's a Franz Ferdinand U.S tour special pencilled in for the next issue, but then we're back to normal. Babyshambles, then The Kaiser Chiefs. This year's Xmas special will have two covers. Babyshambles OR The Kaiser Chiefs. Choose at your discretion. You have to nail your flag to the mast at some point.

You should be getting my drift by now.

Was it always this limited and predictable, or is it just cos I'm old now? Exaggeration aside, it really does seem to rotate around a four band axis. Babyshambles, The Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. It's not even the case that I hate them all. I'm not telling you which ones I can stand, mind you. That's not the point. Although, it's not Babyshambles. I have some pride.

Where are the risks? Where is the 'New' that the title implies? How many more times can they rephrase the sentence 'Pete Doherty takes crack'? My MUM knows that Pete Doherty takes crack. She just doesn't know what crack actually is. But she knows that Pete Doherty takes it.

I know that the NME has been awful for years. I know it'll never be good again. I even double-checked with some young people to make sure I wasn't just some curmudgeonly old git wanting to smash the new machinery in the factory. They told me I was, but that it was by-the-by cos the NME was a joke nowadays.

So what's my point? I think it's that either the NME needs to whither and die much more quickly than it is doing, or that I need help to stop looking at it in W H Smith cos it was once good. It's embarrassing, people think I might be planning to buy it.

Smiths, closed : What this picture doesn't
show is dozens of distraught blokes
panicking cos they've nowhere to stand in
a line browsing magazines.


Post a Comment

<< Home