Apr 25, 2010

A music round-up of the 2010 general election so far

As the UK political leaders blind each other with gaudy ties on national television, we're in danger of judging our new prime minister on what he looks like.

Never mind our eyes. Let's plug our ears back into the election campaign. What's the musical judgement on the 2010 general election so far?

There is little in the party manifestos about whether dubstep is dead or whether we are due for an early-noughties hip hop revival. Political pledges seem to be interested in non-musical things like the economy and health and education, which is rubbish because you can't play any of that on the recorder.

Despite politicians' uneasy history with musicians, some of the policital parties have dropped musical hints throughout their baby-kissing trail. I decided to analyse the election build-up so far. Has the 2010 campaign trail been music to the ears, or are we already deafened by the political din?


Dave "Look At My Face" Cameron swiped a Keane track for his campaign and faced the wrath of the podgy-faced piano botherers. Somehow, though, he seems to have got away with using David Bowie's Changes.

Cameron's Tories can rely on the support of the Cheshire set with appearances by Take That's Gary Barlow (seemingly limiting his endorsement to the launch of a talent contest) and getting an approving wink from ubiquitous Cowell-wannabe Sir Lord Baron von Andrew Lloyd Webber. Oh and a grime group called Nu Brand is writing them a 'choon'.

Anyone who doubts Cameron is the new Blair should know Peter Cunnah is now a loyal blue. You know Peter - he was the one who sang Things Can Only Get Better with his band D:Ream back in the days when John Prescott had fights with crusties

Liberal Democrats

Nick "I Agree With Me" Clegg is hoping to be boosted by a Facebook campaign that promises "We got Rage Against the Machine To number one: we can get the Lib Dems into office!" The repeated refrain from that chart-topping Rage track may come in useful if Nick finds himself at the centre of a hung parliament.

Despite their revolution in the polls, the Liberal Democrats are a double-edged sword for music fans. Brian Eno is their youth advisor and Billy Bragg has praised their manifesto. But best not mention that Right Said Fred are writing a song for them, nor that Clegg used to play tennis with Gavin from dreary States-rockers Bush.


What about the defending government? Gordon "Instant Smile" Brown is well connected with "the kids", expressing a love for BBC 6Music and for Glee. He is, of course, lying through his rictus grin, although he does enjoy a broad support from arts organisations.

Labour connect brilliantly with the old, hiring an Elvis impersonator and enjoying support from a Facebook campaign to get Eton Rifles into the charts. Let me make one thing clear: the Elvis thing is absolutely no sign of a political party in the throes of death, no way, sir, no.

Labour connect with the new too - well, they would, being New Labour and that - with Hadouken! writing a song for them and both Cheryl Cole and Lily Allen pledging their invaluable support. Cheryl thinks Cameron is "slippery", although I'm not sure when she last handled him.


As for the smaller parties, Plaid Cymru seem have finally embraced grunge by letting Gwiber play for them, while the Scottish National Party can boast a Runrig member among its ranks. The SNP will also try and cosy up to that annoying mouth from Reverend And The Makers in the Instigate Debate.

Radiohead, meanwhile, have played a benefit gig for a Green Party candidate - a logical connection for a band famous for saving plastic and paper by releasing music online. Their 2003 track Sail To The Moon suggests a much greener method of space exploration.

The BNP had their racist little knuckles rapped last year when they used Manic Street Preachers' If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next. Perhaps Slash 'N' Burn would have been more appropriate for that dribble-faced bunch of gurning pretend-politician reprobates.


What about Plan B, I hear you ask? That's certainly my thought when I come to place my cross. The cheeky grime crooner can't make up his mind in this general election, and will probably set up his own political party. Called the Plan B party. I can hardly wait. Maybe he can visit YouTube's eminently unclickable election song contest to help him decide.

Incidentally, the House of Commons has its own band, comprising cross-party MPs playing Oasis songs and (shudder) their own material, all in aid of chariddee. This is right and honorable, despite making music that sounds like the Proclaimers after a double-stroke.

So on balance then, with the Eno and Bragg vote, the Liberal Democrats have it. Nick Clegg used to be a massive Prince fan, although now listens to cheerful music like Rachmaninov and Johnny Cash.

Next time he's knocking around my constituency, I might ferret him some Venetian Snares - although I might steer him away from 2007 album My Downfall.


jpm said...

you mean that Coldplay's 'it was all Yellow' wasn't a plea for an overwhelming landslide to the Liberal Democrats....

...I'm terribly disappointed now!

Fat Roland said...

Or indeed the classic moustached Swiss band who had a hit with The Race in 1988.