Saturday, 8 December 2012

Last chance?

Tonight marks 2 events of cultural significance. In Manchester, The X factor has it's finale played out in front of a live arena and several millions viewing on TV. I however will be at the other side of the pennines, at Sheffield Arena for the homecoming of one of their finest products, Pulp.

Andy Abraham, Johnny Robinson, Mary Byrne, Kitty Brucknell and Melanie Masson. All artists that went on to the X Factor claiming it to be their last shot at stardom. Consider this though. Pulp formed in 1978. They eventually hit number 80 in the charts in 1993, 15 years later and it wasn't until the following year when they sneaked into the top 40, "Do You Remember The First Time" hitting number 33.

Now those X Factor contestants may have craved success for 15 years but what did they do about it? Early Pulp toured up and down the country, self releasing records to sell at gigs, recording sessions for the mighty John Peel and tinkering with the line up loads of times before they got it right. I can't imagine Kitty Brucknell playing in some of the toilets Pulp played.

And would Pulp even get to the first stage of auditions for The X Factor? I absolutely doubt it.

I enjoy the X Factor. I see it for what it is, Saturday night entertainment. I don't take it seriously (except for when the really talented singers go out early, then I go mad). It isn't a new concept, talent contests have been going on forever. I will be recording it tonight and no doubt enjoy it tomorrow. Those that get wound up about it's popularity and influence on modern music need to get over themselves. It isn't important. I do wish though that they would ban the term "Last Chance". It is an opportunity for massive exposure but graft, dedication and talent will always provide opportunities, eventually.

Can you imagine, Jahmene, James or the other one triumphantly headlining their local arena in 2046?