STV’s Flair for Satire Continues
STV have come in for some massively unfair stick in the past, but they have come back fighting this week with one of the funniest pieces I’ve seen in ages. This week they published a list of nominations for the best Scottish songs of the noughties, to be voted for by viewers, with the intention of eventually whittling the numbers down to select ‘Scotland’s Greatest Ever Album’.
And it is hilarious.
The list of nominated songs for the last ten years or so is absolutely brilliant. I can’t tell if it’s the best satire I’ve seen since I moved back up here, or if it’s a secret plot to destroy Creative Scotland.
They seem to be cataloguing some of the most embarrassing moments in the history of Scottish music and presumably in doing so hoping to imply that if that’s the best Scottish culture can manage then we might as well just fold Creative Scotland right now, on the grounds that they’re fighting a hopeless battle against the unstoppable forces of banal, vacuous garbage, and a population which genuinely laps this rubbish up, despite it clearly constituting cultural nourishment equivalent to no more than chewing on a cardboard box. While someone beats you with a stick. A big stick. With nails in it.
Despite these potentially sinister possibilities, the list itself is a work of comic genius. They even cleverly slipped a couple of good songs in there to kid us into thinking it was serious, but one look at the final nominations is enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are just having a big old laugh at our expense.
And if you don’t believe me, here’s the clincher: they decided Country Girl by Primal Scream was the best Scottish song released between 2000 and 2009. I think it’s a shame they did that, actually. As hoaxes go, it was almost believable, until that point right at the very end where they fell foul of the satirist’s equivalent of the comedian who laughs at their own joke, and in doing so ruins the moment for everyone.
The Red Herrings:
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
The Delgados – All You Need Is Hate
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
The Ones With Caveats:
Eddie Reader – Ae Fond Kiss – I don’t know this, but Eddi Reader sang a lovely version of this song when she was with Fairground Attraction, so it might well be really rather nice.
Glasvegas – Daddy’s Gone – I know I disagree with almost everyone who reads this site on this one, but I quite liked Glasvegas’ debut album. It wasn’t awe-inspiring, and it may not have stood up all that well in retrospect, but I rather enjoyed it at the time. ‘Rather enjoyed’ does not a Greatest list make, of course.
Snow Patrol – Run – Possibly another controversial one to defend, particular to this readership, but I honestly enjoyed a lot of Final Straw. What the band have turned into since is kind of sad, but they have some decent material in there somewhere.
The Indisputably Comedy Picks:
Biffy Clyro – Mountains – Just because they’ve been around for ages and have now signed for a major label doesn’t mean they are, or ever were, any good. I have been told their very, very early stuff was okay, but I am deeply sceptical.
Paolo Nutini – Candy – Awesome! Magic! You can’t take this one with a straight face, really, can you. I am not sure it is actually possible for music to be more lightweight and trivial without actually causing a quantum singularity and ceasing to exist.
The View – Same Jeans The same jeans for three fucking days? You fucking pussies, I haven’t changed my underpants in two weeks, where’s my fucking nomination?
Calvin Harris – Acceptable in the 80s – We couldn’t afford LCD Soundsystem, will this do instead?
The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger The worst song on an album which in all honesty wasn’t all that bad in parts*. But this track just proves that Scotland can do yob-rock every bit as embarrassingly as London or Manchester.
Primal Scream – Country Girl – Seriously? Who’s getting nominated next year, the fucking Stone Roses?
Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life – Umm, is this a band? I thought she was the girl who worked in the chip shop near Waverley Station. If you like this song or this music then you are an idiot. It is really that simple.
KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See This is rotten. She actually came across well in that Channel 4 series about all the bands in Edinburgh being from Glasgow, she is close friends with good friends of mine, although I have never met her, and she is by all accounts a Great Bunch of Lads**. But with the best of all intentions I have never thought her music was anything other than woeful, sorry.
Mull Historical Society – Xanadu – Looked like it might be interesting at the very beginning. And then wasn’t.
So you see what I mean. I know it was dressed up to look serious, but when you actually look at the nominations it quickly becomes clear that this is actually an awesome joke. Because there is no way anyone serious could possibly have done anything other than burst out laughing at most of that list.
In the comments, feel free to nominate your comedy winner. Which song on the list is the inclusion which makes you laugh (or cry) the most?
*Yes, you heard me, despite them being awful live, and the band themselves coming across badly, there were a couple of perfectly hummable tunes on that album. Suck it up, indie-snobs.
**A Great Bunch of Lads is what I have a bad habit of saying when I like the band in question but really can’t find anything nice to say about the music. “Do you like KT Tunstall?” “Oh yeah, I heard she was a really nice girl, and she talked a lot of sense on the TV programme the other day.” Perfect evasion of the actual question.