The nation’s stage schools spew out their finest products every year for 25 000 people (average height 4 feet) to perform a kind of stadium karaoke show at our national football stadium. It is kind of fun, if you try not to spend too much time analysing the music – in this context, Sugababes are pop genius. The rest is somewhere between tragic and hysterical. Here’s the review from The Herald. Thirty “acts” in six hours in 300 words – managed to erase Peter Andre from both memory and review.
Live and Loud
Hampden Park, Glasgow.
One of the inherent problems a festival that is so tightly aligned to one genre of music has, is that its quality control is very much in the hands of the producers in the field.
Live and Loud is therefore suffering from the chronic lack of imagination of the reality TV producers and music industry executives who dictate the market.
Hastily assembled karaoke is a recurring theme. Worst offenders are the five piece, V, whose version of the Jackson Five’s ‘Can You Feel It?’ is so anaemic it makes Michelle McManus‘ run through of ‘On The Radio’ and Girls Aloud‘s attempt at ‘Jump (For My Love)ï¿½’ appear brilliant by comparison.
Sam and Mark attempt ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ as if the original was by Wet Wet Wet, and are positively upstaged by Megan Love, the 13 year old winner of the festival’s karaoke competition. Blue illicit the second highest scream count (after Busted) but appear to relinquishing their pole position in a fickle market place.
Equally unappealing are the insipid melodies of Deepest Blue and the utter desperation of Angel City‘s ‘Touch Me,’ but the nadir comes in the form of Pete Waterman’s latest invention, Pop!. Think of The Reynolds Girls with two added blokes. Appalling.
If this is painting a depressing picture of the current pop scene, then there are a few moments that offer some respite. Emma Bunton, Mark Owen, Sugababes and Girls Aloud are almost veterans, but they have redeeming qualities and the odd great pop song. The latter’s ‘Sound of the Underground’ is the best pop song of the day.
Add to that Jamelia (who has the best voice) and the attempts of McFly and Busted to match pop with punk energy (albeit with decidedly mixed results) and there is enough to sustain interest, but the otherwise excellent event, like the pop charts it closely mirrors, needs an influx of genuinely exciting new acts to avoid extinction.