Friday, 29 August 2008

Why I Fucking Hate The Cribs

This article originally appeared on the peerless (yet now sadly defunct) It's owners are now Suburban Tarts, who should be visited post-haste...

As I’m sure you all know, the delusions of Cribs frontman Ryan Jarman began last summer, when he - essential
ly - proclaimed himself and his band to be the saviours of indie music. At Glastonbury 2007, he made the unwise choice to cite the current state of indie music (a state which, let us not forget, pays his fucking mortgage) as a bigger problem than global warming. I half expected Jarvis to appear and bear his rump in protest. This comment could perhaps be construed as a mistake - too much fizzy pop getting him a bit hyper - had he not gone on to justify himself in a lengthy interview with NME. “Music is rubbish right now,” he drawled “There aren’t any bands with ethics. [People are just] doing the same and jumping on the bandwagon.” Whether or not this is a fair comment is not my place to say. It should be pointed out however that, with his Glasto rant in mind, his own ethics could do with a little work if he is to wear them on his sleeve.. 

Having alienated just about everyone, and clearly hoping that a Manics-versus-the-prevaling-music-scene sort of spat would erupt, Jarman continued to wedge his halo in place by sulking his way onto MTV2’s Review of the Year 2007. Without cracking a smile and finding not a trace of irony in the rest of the panel’s poking fun at him for being a sour-faced git, our saviour proceeded to pass judgement on a whole range of bands, many of whom showed a much less derivative attitude to the musical canon.

Since this time, Jarman has reinstated the noble tradition of stage-diving, which he probably invented in the same way he did Live 8 (keep up at the back...). Does anyone out there remember JJ72? And more specifically their lead singer Mark Greaney? No? Well, Mark made it his “thing” to trash his guitar at the end of almost every set. I saw them twice or thrice and the result was always the same: matchwood. You may not immediately see the relevance in all this, but the point is this: having a hook stolen from far-more-trend-setting musicians kept alive interest in what was essentially a fairly ordinary band.

So let’s wrap this up. Three mediocre albums that really sound not that much different from the rest of the “rubbish” indie scene. A one-trick performance copied from someone else. An attitude that has typified rock stars since about 1976. A set of “ethics” that boil down to belittling the current state of environmental crisis. A self-absorbed frontman whose sulkiness make Nicolas Anelka look like the perfect dinner guest. Given all the evidence, can anyone answer me the following question: What the fuck is Johnny Marr doing?