Call me Russ L

“I got everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’ll never give that back…”

Posted in Music by Russ L on 16 December, 2006

” ‘im and not ‘er. Although I’m still hoping that 4 Sure will invade the stage and dispense some Black Country Justice while Ben plays an organ underneath the building wearing a Phantom Of The Opera Mask” – A text I sent during the X Factor final in reply to someone asking who I thought would win.

So, that was X Factor. The great British public have opted for bland technical proficiency rather than (a slight degree of) eccentricity. It wouldn’t have happened in the olden days.

Something about Ray’s manner got on my nerves a bit (oh capricious me, I wait all my life for a modest and diffident Scouser to appear and then complain when he finally does) but his performances were fun and a good 381 times more interesting than Leona’s standard-issue big-singin’ pop-soul diva larks. It was obvious that she was supposed to win this, the judges’ constant statements about how she was “the first contestant we’ve ever had who can compete with the USA” doing little to hide Cowell’s cunning plan to attempt to flog her to middle America. It wouldn’t even be worthy of a blink if I hadn’t thought that Ray just might pull off the upset. Ah well. The final performances in which they both had to perform the same song (set to be the single) were a fairly open stab in the back for him (imagine if the roles had been reversed and they’d given her “Mack The Knife” to sing), but I’m told they do that every year. I’ve no idea – this is the first time I’ve watched it past the audition stages.

Never mind those two, though. I liked 4 Sure (not keen on the ‘4’, but I’m sure they’re very busy people and just don’t have time to write ‘For’ in full) and not just because they’re local, and I liked Ben and not just because various members of my family had taken to referring to him as “Russell.” I’m actually quite glad he didn’t win, though. He has a great bluesy voice, but you know if he’d come out on top in this they’d have just given him insubstantial pop-rock numbers to sing from now until forever (I have a theory: I didn’t watch it the week he went out, but apparently he did “Everything I Do [I Do It For you]”. I reckon the voters got a vision of a grotesque future in store for him and decided to spare him from it). This way I’m sure he’ll still put some records out, but hopefully he might have a bit more opportunity to do something interesting.

~ Russ L, offering bonus points as ever for explanations of the title.

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