Thursday, 26 March 2009

Fool's Gold (remix)

I knew there was another reason I hated Spandau Ballet. It wasn't just the rubbish music, or the preposterous clothes. There was something else. As Michael Hann in the Guardian puts it: ‘Thatcherism on vinyl’.

At the time of writing, there are 304 comments on this article. The subject has obviously touched a nerve.

One of the threads is that the Guardian should not be carrying arguments about pop and politics. But it’s been obvious for ages that the Guardian is the NME for grown-ups; exactly the same relationship that Radio 2 now has with Radio 1, or punk rock has with country.

And the idea that pop is outside the important things in life has never really held water. What happens in our culture – and particularly pop culture – has as much to say about an era as who is in the government.

This is why I watch TV series like Pop on Trial and its sequel Style on Trial. Not because I am shallow but because what we wear and what we hear is as much part of our history as the traditional (men’s ) version of monarchs, politicians and wars.

The 1980s was one of the most divisive decades in this country. You had to take sides. Two decades on, it’s still dividing opinion.

It appears that Spandau Ballet are still relevant to our social history; that’s why we are still arguing about them. Not because they matter, but because, whether we like it or not, they still mean something.

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