When pop and politics don’t quite work…

What a time to be alive: in this age of neoliberal enlightenment we find ourselves at a juncture in history where UK pop and politics are entwined perhaps more than at any given point in the entire history of everything. Big stuff.  Jeremy Corbyn has seemingly battered down the vestiges of the old guard and rallied the support of tomorrow’s most important demographic: today’s youth. Just this week Labour MP, Sarah Jones, was documented quoting Stormzy in Parliament.

We’ve seen a seismic shift in Westminster’s mechanic over the past few years and politics is no longer the preserve and interest point of the old and the rich – it’s a young man’s game now. With that power comes great responsibility: the responsibility to not use pop references like a twat.  Many have tried; many have failed. Here, Music Crowns looks at a few examples of how not to be down wiv da kidz in Downing Street.

Iain Duncan Smith Raps Eminem 

In one of the most spectacular incidences of cringe in modern times, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith incited a mass epidemic of WTF when he was filmed mocking Labour’s Diane Abbott on ITV’s Good Morning Britain… by ‘spitting’ Eminem‘s classic 2002 hit ‘Lose Yourself’. Eminem’s version was better.

‘George’ Michael Gove

Michael Gove, as we all know, is as synonymous with slightly camp 80s pop as shoulder pads and ill-judged hair choices. It’s fitting, then, that he finally ‘went public’ after years of closet Wham-ing by performing a segment of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s student night staple ‘Wham Rap!’ in front of a rapturous audience of… er, children.

Tim Farron tries to prevent Brexit with a tribute to John Barnes

This was probably the exact point the Remain campaign became doomed.

Tony Blair is not allowed to like The Smiths

Perhaps the finest example of pop-litical gaffery came way back in the hinterlands of 2010, when former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, made the admission that he was a fan of the Smiths, arguably one of the most pan-generationally cool bands of all time. Cue stage left the normally mild-mannered and perennially zen Johnny Marr, who took absolute exception to this and shot Blair down spectacularly: “Stop saying you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it“, tweeted the guitarist.

Four lessons, denizens of the political playground: take heed or forever be woefully uncool.

Alexander Gold

Dedicated polymath Alex was born at a very young age and started his magical journey working in music marketing for former Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies, before being head-hunted by Development Hell – publishers of The Word and Mixmag, kicking off a glorious tenure in the world of music journalism he still enjoys to this day. Forging a musical career in parallel, he has performed all over the world on too many instruments to mention, with acts as diverse as original ’77 punk legends The Boys (Joey Ramone’s favourite band) to The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra. He’s also dabbled in the heady world of film, playing Clash drummer Topper Headon opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Joe Strummer in 2016’s London Town. A career highlight thus far has been a big old hug from Rod Stewart. Ahhhh.

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