Saturday, 17 October 2009

X Factor

I would appreciate it if the following message was read by as many people in the UK as possible. So if you could pass this on via Facebook or some other social networking tool, I would be most grateful. There's a special button at the bottom of this post.

I am really hoping that X Factor do not murder another masterpiece in December. If you are not sure what I am talking about, cast your mind back to last December. The winner of X Factor released a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", and it got to Christmas Number One.

A lot of real music fans put up one hell of a fight though. The Facebook group, "Jeff Buckley For Xmas No. 1", of which I was a part of, amassed around 145,000 members at its peak, and all thirteen of us put on a valiant show at our Trafalgar Square flash mob. We managed to get Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" to Number 2, and considering his version was released sixteen years prior to Burke's, I'd say that's not a bad achievement.

I just hope that Simon Cowell doesn't do the same thing again, in order to line his pockets. Because folks, that's what X Factor is all about. Its purpose is not to make someone a star, nor is it to turn someone's life around, its purpose is to make Simon Cowell - one of the richest men in the UK - even richer.

The majority of people who have won the X Factor have had very short music careers and I bet there's a lot of people out there who watch the X Factor and yet cannot remember all of the names of the X Factor winners.

Bearing that in mind, why on earth would Simon Cowell waste so much time on such a programme? It's simply because, ITV pay him a sum of money that could feed a small country in Africa, and he makes megabucks from the DVDs, the tours and everything else.

Is the music generated from X Factor really that good? Think about it.

Personally, some of the best music I've ever heard has been at a small pub in Bristol or in a tube station in London, where you are so close to the musicians you can touch them.

It's these people who spend their days carrying their heavy guitars around, composing their own music, networking with other musicians, honing their craft, working in recording studios who deserve the public's adoration and to eke out a decent living.

Not people like Alexandra Burke who are perfectly content to defecate all over some of the most beautiful and poignant music ever written.

Yet millions upon millions of people tune into the X Factor every week. I look at my Facebook and it's covered with people letting me know "in my pyjamas watching X Factor" and "so and so to win!"

But where does that actually get us? What does that do for us? It gets us a semi-talented, half-witted, puppet of Simon Cowell who will release one or two albums and then disappear into obscurity, with their million pounds or so.

I am asking you to stop watching X Factor, and instead, go to see a band in a pub. They would be so grateful for you to be there, and if you have any questions after the gig, they would love you to ask them.

If it is so difficult for you to stop watching X Factor, then please, do not buy or stream whatever cover it is they will be releasing for Christmas Number One.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if for once someone other than an X Factor winner made it to Christmas Number One?

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