Thursday, 12 July 2012

I am a music snob

If you look at my Twitter feed, there are plenty of entries this week relating to the Stock Aitken & Waterman concert in London that was due to go ahead at the weekend, but was cancelled a few days ago and also far too many comments about Steps.
I do not like and have never liked Steps. There I said it, a gay man not liking this plastic pop shit.  Whatever next?!  The old PWL acts were bad enough (yes, even Kylie), but Steps were embarrassing to watch with their little-girlie type twee dance routines and songs that I assume had been Sonia rejects.  The songs were instantly forgettable.  The dancers (can any of them sing?) were just puppets with Pete Waterman pulling the strings.
The comparison made between PWL and Motown is just not acceptable.  And let's face it, the only person that perpetuates the comparison is Pete Waterman himself.  Yes, both "hit factories" had many hits, but Motown music was cool, PWL was never ever cool.  Motown was amazing, PWL had it's own PR machine telling everyone it was amazing. 
Motown had teams of highly skilled songwriters and some talented session musicians. The songs were crafted and classy - I admit not all of them, but we all make mistakes.  PWL on the other hand had Stock and Aitken throwing songs together with almost identical backing tracks (but Pete made sure he got his writing credit).  If you listen carefully, actually not that carefully, you can work out that the songs would have started life as a title, which became a "catchy" chorus. Verses were added to fill the 3 minutes.  Of the hundreds of songs they produced, only a couple have survived the ravages of time.  The rest deserve to be junked - they are simply low quality.
My musical tastes are varied and yes, there is some saccharine pop on my iPhone that I enjoy, but in the main it's proper music.  Someone somewhere has taken time and effort to mould the song and produce it (even the pop).  There is skill and judgement in action and for many artists I like, you know they have practised hard and stressed themselves trying to get the right sound.  One reason I dislike PWL is that they were happy to repeat the formula until it was almost dead.
The PWL concert that should have gone ahead this weekend would have been painful, but I don't doubt many would have enjoyed it despite themselves - and let's face it, we need variety in this world so I'm not saying that the PWL shit should be banned.  We need the bad stuff to make us appreciate the good stuff (and my good stuff will be another man's bad stuff).  I am sure that the weather played little part in the cancellation however - considering the heavy promotion by Pete Waterman over the past 7 days, it was obvious that it just hadn't sold enough, so perhaps a get out was required.
I honestly don't get the gay fascination with plastic electronic awful music and childish dance moves that Steps, Sonia, Jason Donovan (now there's a man who can't sing) have shared with us over the years.  I will never get it, I'm sure.


  1. Come on, that's a bit unfair. Pete is highly talented. He co-wrote and produced a killer Eurovision song a couple of years ago and it did brilliantly.

    Nil points? Really?!


  2. As I read that, I have my new Kylie DVD (a bargainous Fopp purchase) playing...

    ...and it may be from 2008 but it includes a few of those old SAW numbers!

  3. Did Fopp pay you to take the CD?

  4. I think this you're employing a very cunning ruse to distract us from suspecting that a 'Steps' track was your secret closet choice in #3 of your 7/7 blog. Nice try, Stephen, but you've been rumbled!