Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Petersfield's music critics hit back

A coachload of Daniel O’Donnell fans got "just the wake-up call they needed" after they had a brick thrown at them on their return to Petersfield.

Fans of the schmaltzy Irish crooner – a sort of poor man’s Gaelic Cliff Richard – were returning from a trip to Brighton aboard a Graze coach, when it was hit by a brick while heading down The Causeway.

The manager of Graze Travel, Graham Travel, said: “A group of middle-aged louts were standing by the side of the road yelling things like “He’s just a Val Doonican for the 21st century!” and “His music is highly derivative!”. One even claimed the brick was a physical representation of the didactic leanings of O’Donnell’s religious overtones.

“It was shocking. I’m afraid now even to buy the BBC’s Classical Music magazine for fear of reprisals.”

This banner outside Tesco, in The Causeway,
stated firmly the protesters' feelings

Petersfield resident Rory Batter, a former arts and entertainments editor with Portsmouth’s daily newspaper The Snooze, insists such incidents are, thankfully, becoming commonplace.

He said: “People are no longer prepared to accept that this kind of bland excuse for entertainment should go unchallenged. This is just the wake-up call they needed.

“In the old days when people bothered to read newspapers and magazines, if they didn’t like a band, they’d write a letter of ill-informed complaint to the editor and it would help to fill the letters’ page.

“But the advent of Scrooge-like media corporations cutting their publications to the bone, plus blogging and social media has opened up music criticism to the whole world – and this kind of direct action is a natural result.

“Real music fans have had to watch while talentless bollocks masquerading as prime-time entertainment has flooded the TV and tabloids via X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent – oh the irony! – and they have decided to take radical action.”

It seems the fightback by people with taste is not restricted to Petersfield. In an ironic twist, Chris de Burgh was thrown overboard from a cross-channel ferry somewhere between Portsmouth and Le Havre and the perpetrator was heard to yell after him “No need to worry about who pays now!”.

Also, Phil Collins was recently forced to retire after having a Molotov cocktail launched at him while somebody yelled “Look out Phil, it’s coming in the air tonight!” – and when he collapsed with a scorched baldy head, onlookers smirked “Just another day in paradise eh, you smug twat?”

However, sometimes this kind of critic vigilantism backfires badly. Last week world-renowned art critic Brian Sewell threw a pot of paint over Tracey Emin’s Volkswagen Beetle in protest at her latest work. But the added colour then forced him to carry out a reappraisal of the work…and he promptly hailed the splattered Beetle as frontrunner for this year’s Turner prize.

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