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The other night we were lounging about the sitting room, and D was doing that annoying flicking-through-the-channels thing that boys seem to do more than girls, when my attention was arrested by a truly hideous sight - and more horribly, a truly hideous sound.

It was Westlife. And they were butchering 'Mac the Knife'.

Seriously, it was horrendous. They were dressed in suits and were trying to do some dreadful swinging moves, clicking their fingers and shaking their hips in a fashion reminiscent of Jessica Wakefield. But what really enraged me was the fact that they were daring to touch a Brecht/Weill song. I wrote my BA dissertation on the Threepenny Opera ("A Talent for Roguery: Satire in Brecht's Dreigroschenoper and John Gay's Beggar's Opera." Fascinating stuff!), and I've always found it kind of amusing that glitzy showbiz types have happily performed a song from what is, effectively, a commie musical. Lots of terrible people have covered 'Mac the Knife' before, and it always makes me roll my eyes a bit.

But none of those would-be Sinatras (who is very un-Brechtish, but who could at least perform the song with verve and charisma) are even nearly as irritating and stupid as Westlife. Westlife sum up everything that's wrong with the music industry. They're charmless. They're gormless. They're talentless. They have delusions of grandeur. And most of all, they sing really, really, really shit songs. I woudn't care about the fact that they're manufactured and bland if their songs were good - look at Girls Aloud, who've produced a string of genuinely fantastic singles despite being boring (when they're not punching people in nightclub toilets) and pretty charisma-free. But Westlife have produced nothing but mind-numbing crap throughout their career. And now they're going (sigh) "swing" (this practice of calling all jazz standards/pre-war pop songs "swing" annoys the crap out of me, but that's another rant).

Check out their website. They look like a bad secondary school production of Guys and Dolls! And then check out their new album, 'Allow Us to be Frank', which promises to be jaw-droppingly appalling. First of all, no, I won't "allow you to be frank", you buffoons. Second of all, "Frank Sinatra covers" is a meaningless phrase, as Sinatra wasn't a song-writer and wasn't even the first person to perform virtually all of these songs. And third of all, go away. And take your old mate Brian "No Y!" McFadden and his preposterous "I'm a real songwriter!" schtick, including that godawful new song in which he implies he grew up in the Dublin of the 1950s, with you.

To paraphrase my old pal Bertolt, when I hear the words "Louis Walsh", I reach for my revolver. Or I would if, you know, I had one.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
glitzfrau
Nov. 10th, 2004 11:57 am (UTC)
ARRGHH. Lottie wird sich rächen! Ich schwöre es dir!
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
God, I hope so!
blue_monday
Nov. 10th, 2004 11:59 am (UTC)
I've been avoiding ranting about this latest pile of Westlife shite, because I couldn't quite put what was wrong with it into words. But now you have, so I don't have to, thank you :-)

With the exception of Girls Aloud, Louis Walsh tends towards boring very well, but then I guess he would think 'why mess with a winning formula?'
starfishchick
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC)
I believe I kickbox to a Westlife cover of Mandy. Ow.
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC)
But surely its awfulness should fill you with rage and fuel your kickboxing? I know it would make me want to kick something, alright...
starfishchick
Nov. 10th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
I'm usually too busy laughing at the thought of kickboxing to Barry Manilow. Or turning it into fic.
biascut
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC)
And in OTHER Appalling Boyband News, bloody Rowan Keating has covered Leanne Womack's I hope you'll dance, which is an insanely cheesy song but female country singers can do cheesy well whereas Rowan just sounds like he hasn't noticed that it's cheesy. Eeurgh!
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
I don't think Ronan Keating has any idea of how cheesy he is. He thinks he is a Serious Artist, the poor deluded fool.
ladyxoc
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC)
I never heard of Westlife. I suspect from the links that they suck on a universal scale. Am I correct?
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:26 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes, you are.
jeejeen
Nov. 10th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
Well, thanks to you, I now know about a really shitty band, of which I have heretofore been blissfully aware. Damn you, and damn you again.

Because I know that now I'll probably be hearing all about them and it will actually register with my brain instead of gliding past as it should.

nwhyte
Nov. 10th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
It is so awful that I have had to write a separate entry about it.
pescana
Nov. 10th, 2004 03:39 pm (UTC)
I've heard of Westlife, of course, but I think I've managed to miss all the music. They never managed to break in much over here.

But I break into giggles every time I scroll past that "appalled with two ps" because I remember the reference and, oh hee, Bloom County.

I do want to know how that album does, because it's such a stupid idea. Your music is much better.
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased whenever anyone recognises that! I loved Bloom County.
yiskah
Nov. 10th, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC)
Not only are they horrible musically, but one of them has such a disturbing squashed little face. He upsets me enormously.
socmot
Nov. 10th, 2004 03:52 pm (UTC)
Hatred of Westlife, while valid, is flawed without mention of the Root of All Evil, aka Louis Walsh. Westlife, while annoying are merely symptoms. Walsh is one of the diseases of the modern "popular" music industry, and it amazes me that he's never been truly castigated for his crimes...
stellanova
Nov. 10th, 2004 03:54 pm (UTC)
Didn't you read the last Brechtian line of my rant?
socmot
Nov. 10th, 2004 04:00 pm (UTC)
I never made it to the bottom, I'm afraid. The Westlife site sent me into spasms of rage and I felt obligated to rant along with you before I got the end of your post. Gah.

socmot
Nov. 10th, 2004 03:54 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Louis Walsh, does anyone Ireland based remember the god awful Kerri-Ann "singer" he tried to push on us all about six years ago. If you thought West life and Boyzone were bad...

...while I'm still at it, how about Six? Or Bewitched?! Arrrgh!
froodie
Nov. 10th, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
do-do-do you love me boy?

will now proceed to be stuck in my head for the rest of the week.
Thank you very much!
roseability_
Nov. 11th, 2004 01:39 am (UTC)
That website is the most wretched thing I have ever seen. I have to go and sob into my pillow now.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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