Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Clash on Trial

I was watching "Pop on Trial" tonight on BBC4 tonight and was amazed to hear Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks rate The Sex Pistols over the Clash, who he described as a "pub band" and likened to The Rolling Stones. The Clash have little in common with the Rolling Stones aside from the fact that they both acheived massive success. But whereas The Stones have embraced success and the massive wealth and hedonistic lifestyle that went with it - The Clash were never entirely comfortable with it - and ultimately this was what destroyed them. Comparing the Sex Pistols to the Clash is like comparing Robbie Williams to Bob Dylan or The Spice Girls to The Slits or Patti Smith. Although there is no doubting the vision and energy behind the Pistiols, ultimately they had very little to actually say. They have preached anarchy but they never offered us any kind of concrete vision to replace the establishment that they wanted us to destroy. The Clash, however, were an altogether different kind of band. A band with real and wide ranging musical roots/influences and ideas and Joe Strummer's deeply political views of the world. They sang about things that mattered to them, they connected on a real level with fans and they tried to keep prices down on tickets and records.

On a lighter note one of the other presenters of "Pop on Trial" was Gaz Coobes of Supergrass who I was amazed to see is morphing into Neil young - and her is the evidence:

Gaz Coombes

Neil Young