Last week The Guardian (of all people) published a weird time-frozen piece about how women were abandoning pop for rock . It appeared to me to be an opinion rooted in 1970s thinking as that was the last time I recall rock being male-dominated. Caroline Sullivan oddly ignored a central fact which is that one of the biggest rock acts of the last few years, Paramore, is female-fronted. Presumably they don’t think that their audience is entirely male? Odd.
Last time I was musing on rock’s inability to break big these days. A contributory factor is the lack of airplay, a possible by-product of the acts concerned failing to write songs that will leap the boundaries and have appeal to all.
Radio 1’s rock show moving to a more palatable hour of broadcast will undoubtedly help. We may believe that young people no longer have appointments to listen but a broadcast time of 7pm will inevitably reach more casual listeners than midnight ever would. A year from now we may have a better idea of how rock is doing.
On the airplay front you’d have to assume that those acts supported by Kerrang, Planet Rock, Absolute Radio and Radio 1 will stand the best chance of success. Marmozets have had considerable support and are one of the few new rock acts featuring in R1’s live-sessions month. It’d be hard to bet against them.
I last mentioned Findlay in 2012 which seems like an age ago, maybe that’s how long it takes to break through.
Similarly The Lash (here in Feb 13) seem to have been breaking out of Newport for a while. It may still happen.
I came across Boy Jumps Ship when helping to look for a band to support Bon Jovi on their last tour. They have the makings of a great rock act and may make it there – arguably they have already.
Of Kings and Captains eventually did support BJ possibly because they’re more listener friendly and have a cross-genre appeal. This song is a great example of that.
When you wonder whether rock can step up and compete I suppose you have to ask when the acts concerned can write something that matches up to this monster.
Maybe rock will always be in the doldrums now that pop has considerable upped its game. Contentious maybe but I always favour rock but I just have to acknowledge how great some pop really is. Are we ready for the battle?