Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's not snobbery

Some people wear music snobbery like a badge. A worn-out, badge of course, not one of those shiny brand new ones - ugh. They constantly proclaim their love for the obscure and their dismissal of the mainstream. They accuse their friends of being lazy with their music choices. Oh and they laugh about it and say that in the end it's all in the name of fun and yes, music taste is personal and no, don't cry, your taste is not shit. I didn't mean it that way.

Oh hello.

Last night our little popgang put on a little popshow. It was one of those things we wanted to do to make January slightly more bearable. The idea was to get three bands we really love play a bright pop night and if anyone turned up we would consider that a bonus. It turns out loads of people wanted to brighten up their January; it turns out people were ready for indiepop in large doses; it turns out this bloody thing works and it's all worth it and everything is going to be OK!

The room was packed all night which made me smile so much I almost passed out at one point. I watched the nervous bunch of pretty kids called The Deirdres try to find their instruments, wear capes and get on stage with the sole purpose of making everyone as happy as possible and felt relieved because seeing the surprise on people's faces, I knew that their version of fun was the version of fun that the people in that room were after. And when Pocketbooks started singing out their shiny pop poetry and everyone was watching smitten, I realised that I am not a snob and Pocketbooks shouldn't be obscure. They are glorious and sparkly and I wished I could explain to a lazy music journalist what they sound like but all I'd get would be how they should do this and that and the other and then maybe, *maybe* someone might notice. I am not a snob. I just like lovely music. Sparky's Magic Piano had everyone mesmerised because their songwriting is really quite stunning. They didn't want to stop playing because they could see that girl down the front swaying and singing along and I bet they could also see just how miraculous everyone thought they were. You couldn't miss it. I'd love to claim the night as a Spiral Scratch triumph but I know that it was a triumph of the quiet sparkly minority that doesn't listen to indiepop because it's obscure but because it matters and it's not ambitious in any way other than striving for the lazy perfection. It's flawed and it's pretty which is as perfect as anything can ever be. So stop calling me a snob: it's not about obscurity, I am not trying to be clever, I only want to have a dance and a cuddlejump.


Anonymous said...

Aww, it sounds like an ace night, girl. January DEFINITELY needs some nights like that to put the sparkle back into the cold, cold greyness of it all. Eesh.

Say, are Sparky's Magic Piano a very quiet sort of twinkly band (like, soft girl's voice and piano much of the time)?

Marianthi said...

Yes, that's them. I should have put a link, really: Live they are quite a bit louder and sound like Pipas crossed with St Etienne and, er, Pocketbooks!

Dennis said...

If you don't bring one of those nights to Amsterdam soon I might have to bring myself to England!

Trev Oddbox said...

Snobby-ness? I got called an 'obscurist' online somewhere this week. Wasn't sure how to take it. My fun is often had with the thrill of the new. So that's what I like.

Either way - this was a cracking gig. It was fun and even if one of the bands didn't connect with me - I still had a great time.