I’ve don’t really understand tribalism in music.
By which I mean announcing that you like this type of music but not that type. It’s never made any sense to me: why write off a whole music genre when there might, just might, be one or two records lurking in there that will float your boat?
The whole point of music is that’s it’s subjective, that no two people like exactly the same records, that there may be overlaps on the Venn Diagram but no two circles are perfectly aligned.
So generally, when asked to pin my colours to the mast, I’m reluctant to, partly for the reason above, but also because I’m aware that the “only guitar-based records are good” policy I pursued when I was younger led me to missing out on so much.
Looking back, I was still wary of announcing my position in any dispute even back then, although that was probably more to do with trying to avoid looking an idiot in front of my peers than anything else.
For example: why do I have to choose between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones? I don’t like them equally, but to have to choose between the two just seemed ridiculous.
Similarly, in the 1990s at the height of Britpop you had to be either Blur or Oasis. “Why?” I would ask anyone who pressed me. And, on the rare occasion when an answer was proffered it was invariably something along the lines of they very lame: “Because you have to!”
Erm, no I don’t. I liked some Oasis records, but a heck of a lot more Blur records. But I wasn’t going to stop listening to or buying one or the other through some misguided notion of faithfulness.
One way you can tell which of the two band were better is by looking at the output of the main figures after the band’s split:
Oasis: Beady Eye; Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds; Liam Gallagher.
And then look at just the output of Blur mainman Damon Albarn: Gorillaz; The Good, The Bad and The Queen; Mali Music; Monkey; Rocket Juice & The Moon.
And his much over-looked solo album from 2014; here’s the title track and it’s quite wonderful: