Saturday, September 08, 2007

The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day

I know it’s futile to get worked up about music prizes, governed as they seem to be solely by considerations other than music, but it really is a travesty that the Klaxons should have won the Mercury Music Prize. Why, they’re terrible! I know this from personal experience at Summersonic in Tokyo. By unhappy coincidence, they were on the dance stage before Maximo Park. My sister and I had fought our way to very near the front in anticipation of "the Park" coming on, only to be completely blindsided by hordes of Japanese kids moshing like demons to the crass sound of the Klaxons. Their only half-decent song was a cover ("It's Not Over Yet" - a song title just begging for the response "But We Wish It Was"). Their lead singer, for some reason, was in a wheelchair. Their between-song banter was a joke. So we discreetly moved backwards and geared up for another forward surge.

Inexplicably, once the Klaxons finished, the crowd rapidly dispersed (perhaps because US mouthy shouters Sum41 were on next door) and there were relatively few people staying to see Maximo Park, although they were headlining. So Claire and I got right to the front, hanging on to the railings and gazing up in awe like star-struck teenagers.

I'm in two minds as to whether I really care that Maximo Park weren't as popular as the Klaxons. It's always a shame to see true genius (and I am not exaggerating, I think) go unacknowledged; but on the other hand we got to be right at the front, and I get to keep my sense of being part of something special which not everyone can truly appreciate.

Besides, any fatuous nonsense-peddler can win the Mercury Music Prize, and frequently does: M People, anyone?

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