On Friday night, during Newsnight Review, the writer and idiot Toby Young outted Montreal based Arcade Fire as a bunch of rich upper-class prigs, two of whom went to the most expensive school in the US private education system. Needless to say, he was dismissive of the album without actually saying anything about it, as if to suggest that their elite background automatically negated their newfound status as the â€˜lightening rod for the traumatic times weâ€™re currently fester in, mlordâ€™ (which is my sarky version of a remark posited by one of the other reviewers â€“ check the end of the streamed show to find his name).
Considering that Young is a chip off the old educated elite block himself this attitude, while typical of his usual vacuity, comes across as sour grapes. But more importantly, he was talking about something that had nothing to do with the music, and itâ€™s the music, may I emphasize, that its all about.
The Scottish Wark made the point that Joe Strummer oâ€™ the Clash went to a Public school, although a fairly modest one and that Radiohead are a bunch of comfortable middleclass toffs, who got their educatinâ€™ done in some ancient building where the ivy was in abundance and no one would say that either act were cutting their cloth according to the latest fashions.
I canâ€™t comment on how good Neon Bible is, but here, for my benefit as well as anyone elseâ€™s, is the New York Judson Church show on the 15th and 16th of this month thanks to ryspace.
NPR also provide a webcast of the show.
Because it was recorded in a Church whose architect didnâ€™t take into account the acoustic requirements of amplified electric instruments, the sound is a bit watery.
All the tracks are from Neon Bible so if this is your only experience of the new album do not presume that itâ€™s actually that flat (although tracks on the original were recorded in a church and the venues were picked in order to reflect that).
If youâ€™re one of the small self satisfied elite who got tickets to the Arcade Fire gig at the Olympia on the 5th of March you can presume that the performance will have a deal more oomph - although I’m not promising anything.
And if you do go and enjoy it, why not fire Toby a quick email in order to spew forth your informed opinion at him, preferably using as many cuss words as possible.