• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Disturbing picture of musical youth

It seems to me that there are three great curses of the modern era - the disregard for car indicators exhibited by 99% of motorists; property factors (the vampires of home ownership); and the pop revival circuit.

The last named concerns me most, music being my alpha and omega, my ebony and ivory, my lager and lime.

There are colleagues within spitting distance who would defend the right of the middle-aged to duck out of the here and now and regress to a time when their sole worries were zapping zits and furtively eyeballing the opposite sex, rather than finding the best tracker mortgage or checking the babysitter isn't tanning the amaretto and topping it up with meths. Harmless fun, they argue. To which I say a word which almost rhymes with "rollicks".

What brings this to mind is the presence of billboards in Glasgow subway stations from which look out two young men. One of them bears a vague resemblance to noted TV dolt and cloddish home cook Ant McPartlin; the other is a smouldering devil, all surly and snarly, equal parts Armani model and the drummist from Bono Vox's Travelling Circus, aka Irish flag-waving foghorns U2. Once you peer beyond the details of the exercise the posters promote eighties white soul revenants Hue And Cry (for it is they) who are playing two nights to mark the 25th anniversary of Remote, a competent album the band's website, having incinerated every dictionary in this and any other world, deems "seminal". What multiplies the gravity pulling on your jaw a thousandfold is that image. Now it would be hypocritical of me to argue for an outright ban on the use of old photographs to draw attention to a cause. I mean, look at the callow buck with the bounteous tresses in today's byline photo (apologies to online readers; email dishoftheday@theherald.co.uk for a hard copy). Sex - and like it or not, the taut jawlines, lustrous hair and clear skin of youth equal sex - sells.

But show some respect, men. Pat Kane (the Ant one; Hue?) is almost 50 years old. His brother Greg (Larry Mullen Jr) isn't much younger. They're entitled to make a few bob and were perhaps perturbed an up-to-date pic might have had the opposite effect, but even a dinosaur like Neil Diamond wouldn't - or couldn't, given his years - stoop so low. Johnny Cash, Patti Smith, Van Morrison: all are/were proof that you needn't trade on what you achieved or how you looked in your youth to the exclusion of all else.

Which is why I find pop's rampant nostalgia so hard to swallow. The present tastes good. Try it.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

216200