Alvarez Kings and the Dolly Rockers @ Club NME, Friday 4th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Gigs - 2009 Gigs
Written by Matt Killeen   

Let’s be crystal-clear on this issue, for the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever: there will always be Girls Aloud, The Spice Girls, Bananarama, whatever. Sometimes they will genuinely touch the zeitgeist, sometimes you might even get a decent pop song.  They are ephemeral, disposable and worthless.  They will always be ‘the enemy’ to a certain degree because they are the mainstream, the establishment, the government approved music.  In the end, however, they don’t count because the real stuff is going on somewhere else.

If you aspire to that something else, to be meaningful and emotionally significant, even in the throwaway world of popular music, then you’re stepping up to another level.  You will be judged by other criteria, be held by higher standards to justify your efforts.  If you aim high, there’s further to fall.  That’s how it works.

‘Indie’ comes from the word independent, firstly from the status of the labels involved, but predominantly it’s about the ethos, about thinking for yourself, with all its inherent hypocrisy and in-built dichotomy.  I state the obvious, but I’m going somewhere with this.  Club NME is, in theory at least, the heart of indie-land and it should set the tone.  The bands are there for ‘The Kids’ not the other way round and should represent the best of what’s up and coming.

What we get is the rotting state of Denmark, the fountain poisoned at its head that infects the body.  What is served up tonight is a sandwich of the insipid from the bad to the truly wicked.

Headlining are Alvarez Kings, a turgid, dull, paint-by-numbers excuse for an indie band that seems to have been constructed by committee.  Shall we vote on the amount of Artic Monkeys gentlemen?  40%?  Is that the opinion of the whole board?

Competent and slick in the way you would expect, they will amount to nothing because there is not one memorable thing about them, not their songs, not their singer, not even their name.  History has vomited up many such efforts and one can at least pretend that there’s some artistic effort being made, if only by someone who should quit and go to work in a shoe shop.  They are just not very good.

On the other hand, The Dolly Rockers are a record company manufactured girl-band aimed at the ‘indie’ market and as such are the putrid corpse of major label mass-consumption, animated by electric shocks, right here, where art, aspiration and defiance are supposed to be at least the excuse for the whole shebang.

Miming with a coquettish ineptitude, overwhelmed only by their drama school choreography, not one thing about them is interesting or important.  They weren’t even blessed with a single decent pop song.  They were so bad, so offensive that I had to start booing.  That no-one joined in is a damning indictment of the alternative scene.  There’s a precedent for this.  Daphne & Celeste, a group that was quite an interesting joke in actuality, played the Reading Festival.  ‘The Kids’ wouldn’t have it and bottled them off.  D&C never played live again and died a premature death.

Some man, or should I say boy, came up to me to stop me booing because ‘they looked nice’.  “You wouldn’t go to the Louvre and boo the Mona Lisa would you?” he asked.

There it is.  That’s the Nuts and Zoo generation for you, priapismic, lager-fuelled morons, devoid of taste and discernment of any kind or any perspective on the relative merits of anything except the plasticised sexuality of starving glamour models in their pants, ready to suck down whatever faeces the bloated and rotting corporate machine is prepared to squeeze out to distract the populace from the true horrors of the modern world and essential meaninglessness of existence.  There they are, in our alternative clubs, watering down aspiration and endeavour, spreading cheap misogyny and mediocrity, when they should be jerking off to The Saturdays in the privacy of their own home.

My brother approached the Dolly Rockers with every intention of remonstrating with them but chickened out at the last minute.  He said, and I quote, “I’m not sure I like your stuff but you seem like nice girls, so I won’t try to upset you by saying anything mean.”

My brother is a good man. However, I have no such qualms.

The Dolly Rockers are truly appalling, the construction of middle-aged men who hate music and hate women.  They are not just bad, they are a tool of evil and oppression, tainting our palate, making us settle for less when music should make us want more.  Bill Hicks would call them “suckers of Satan’s cock”.  They disgust me and they should be ashamed of their involvement in the whole thing.

You think I’m taking this too seriously?  If it’s all so pointless why don’t they quit?  Oh yes, the money.  Money is all the matters, everything else is secondary, everything else is a commodity to be traded, reprocessed, repackaged and re-sold in fun size bags of the banal, delivered by SUV to our repossessed houses and battery-chicken lives, our cage walls smeared with images of freedom and happiness. To paraphrase George Orwell, that’s the future, a sparkly high heel stamping on a face, forever.

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