The Devil is dedicated to unearthing unknown, unheard, unseen, unheralded, unfamiliar or down right unbelievable bands old or new that have not yet hit the radars of the British public. If you are a new band or artist and would like to be considered for inclusion then please contact me via email or twitter.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Essence of Indie

Now the Devil has not been a big fan of the NME over the past couple of years. From the avoidable spat with Morrissey to the enduring obsession with self appointed "indie" celebrity non entities such as Amy Shitehouse and Lilly Allen; from the decline into an inkie Smash Hits to the seemingly endless promotion of sub standard childrens daytime pop acts such as Kate Nash and Jack Penate; from the dumbing down of journalistic standards (read review and interviews from the 70s and 80s and compare them to today it's like comparing a maths paper from 1950 with one from 2007!) to the frequent aborted attempts at creating scenes the NME has managed to depress more than inform or excite.

Well it's redeemed itself thanks to an amazing piece of penmanship from the one writer that makes me continue to purchase the paper every week, James McMahon. In a critical yet balanced review of the new Los Campesinos! album 'Hold On Now, Youngster' James manages to summarise the pure essence of Indie better than any writer I've seen. It's so good that I've reprinted the section word for word below.

"You can argue that the term ‘indie’ ceased to mean anything of any relevance the moment major labels moved in for a piece of the pie. You can discuss the impact that Oasis – and subsequently Britpop – had on such a disparate umbrella term, blowing the movement wide-open to the mainstream in the mid-’90s. Or you can stop arguing for one goddamn second and ponder that, from AC/DC to The Yummy Fur, Nina Simone to Trumans Water, good music is simply good music, regardless of whether the output of such artists were hand-pressed by someone in a pokey bedsit or by the production line of a globe-straddling conglomerate. Yet there exists a proud lineage of resolutely underground-minded types who take refuge under the moniker of ‘indie’ that stretches from the Buzzcocks to Art Brut, taking in almost 30 years of anti-authoritarian music and culture. It encompasses such varied ideas as punk, C86, riot grrrl and lo-fi, and unites otherwise unlikely bedfellows as Crass, The Pastels, Huggy Bear and Pavement under one snug blanket. It’s more a mindset than a musical style, and one that values ideas, imagination and anti-sexist, anti-racist ideologies above record sales and profit margins. It’s a world where fanzines and seven-inch singles are lifeblood and where bands make music to thrill and stir rather than shift units and break even."

To read the whole review rush out to your local newsagent or, if you're allergic to ink, head over to

The Devil has been critical of the NME of late but in this one section James has restored my faith in the inkie. So thanks James and keep up the good work.

Are Los Campesinos indie? The Devil thinks so but make up your own mind...

Go Buy

Los Campesinos

Los Campesinos!
Death to Los Capmesinos

No comments: