Who’s The Daddy? column

The 1975.
The 1975.
Share this article

Bill Hicks once said that he remembered a time when music had a conscience and music had soul and music had balls.

Maybe, like him, I’m romanticising the past here but the bland dirge our kids are bombarded with now is as lifeless as an X Factor judge’s eyes.

Perhaps kids have been ground down by the relentless mediocrity of TV karaoke competitions for the past 10 years. And because they’ve grown up with them, that’s what they think music is – bog standard ballads churned out by a production line of dead-eyed crooners.

A couple of weeks ago I taxi’d our eldest daughter and her mate to Manchester to see The 1975.

I’d seen these guys in the papers, and to me they looked like the protesters who lived up trees and in foxholes in the early 1990s to stop motorways and bypasses being built through forests.

Brilliant, I thought. Bet they’ve got a few rebel tunes in them. A bit like The Levellers back in the day when Swampy was in his prime.

So on the way to the gig our eldest played their album and it sounded like Roxette. Over-produced, late 1980s landfill that rave culture killed stone dead a quarter of a century ago.

Still, what do I know? When I picked up our eldest and her pal after the gig, the crowd scene outside the venue looked like a pumped-up drunken teenage riot.

I’ve seen knife fights at football matches with more grace and decorum.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, me, the boss and our daughters were on our way home in the car two days later when Radio 1’s Official Chart Show came on the radio.

Parents have been outraged by their teenagers’ music since forever, but this must be the first generation where mums and dads are shocked because what their kids are listening to is so bland.

There’s more rebellion in The Tweenies’ Top of the Pops specials.

As ever, our kids had the last word. Last Saturday I was playing Aphex Twin’s new album Syro, music so mind-blowing you can see it when it plays. Our 14-year-old daughter walked in and said: “It sounds like a robot farting.”