Aug 06

Lily Allen vs the world part 3487

FT26 comments • 1,974 views

Apparently Alesha Harvey disapproves of Lily Allen’s bitching of other pop stars. But Alesha’s attitude may itself be a far bigger problem – this seemingly programmed attitude of goodwill to all (other pop stars regardless of their flaws) and reluctance to offend that makes the pop world a greyer place in the long run. Regardless of the quality of Allen’s own music and stardom, her decision to let people know exactly what she thinks of such-and-such is surely a refreshing tactic (if it can even be construed as such) that should perhaps even be encouraged among others in the game.

That said, the issue is clouded by Allen’s opinions being hardly radical and a whole-lotta-rockist, plus her reputation of being maybe a little TOO obnoxious in the flesh (like father like daughter). ‘Madonna should put it away now she’s had a couple of kids’ and ‘Kylie playing Glastonbury is a betrayal of the festival’s original values’ are stalwarts of boorish curmudgeons thrice Lily’s age and if she is to take a leaf out of Alesha’s book it should be more of the ‘spice up the music more than anything else’ ilk rather than the stifling ‘if you can’t say something nice (bland) don’t say anything at all’ variety. Unfortunately I suspect you’re more likely to hear Alesha heaping praise upon the likes of James Morrison than MIA, because of her own disappointing tendency to tow the line and say what’s best for sales. It is a classic case of getting the balance right that neither have quite nailed yet.


  1. 1
    Tom on 14 Aug 2006 #

    Yes, GPWM.

    I think this is more of the business-ification of pop stars. Along with the media training allowing them to avoid/handle Smash Hits “if you were a sock…” type questions, there’s this unwillingness to publically criticise ‘colleagues’. Except this unwillingness goes across labels – if pop is really going to be run like a business, at least let’s have some slagging of workers for rival ‘firms’.

  2. 2
    Steve Mannion on 14 Aug 2006 #

    The funny thing is I approved heartily of both Lady Sovereign’s vendetta against Jentina (partly because it was a bit absurd to go for her given her fairly small status – and as it turns out Sov is now the more famous one no real thanks to ‘Bad Ass Strippa’) and Jen’s own somewhat nonchalant and robotic response! Too bad neither of them are doing as well as Lily herself.

  3. 3
    Steve Mannion on 14 Aug 2006 #

    better post title: Taking Sides: Being Too Nice vs Being Too Wrong

  4. 4
    Daniel_Rf on 14 Aug 2006 #

    if pop is really going to be run like a business, at least let’s have some slagging of workers for rival ‘firms’.

    Alive and well in Hip-Hop, I’ve heard!

    And isn’t everyone on the same label by now, anyway?

  5. 5
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    In the sixties the Beatles didn’t slag off the Stones, nor vice versa (or if they did they did so in their own time) and there were no “vendettas” except possibly on the part of Don Arden-type managers. I don’t recall sixties pop – which really WAS run like a business – being a “greyer place” for the absence of such things.

    In addition I would naively venture that the right of artists to slag other artists off would necessarily presuppose a degree of merit in their own work to begin with.

  6. 6
    Matt D’Cruz on 15 Aug 2006 #

    The good thing about Britpop was that, although I hated 90% of the music, it was great value in pop music as soap opera. You don’t really get that in the same way these days, even with Doherty and co. Britpop from the outside seemed very insular in who was slagging who, and who was shagging who.

    If the record labels had any sense whatsoever they’d ENCOURAGE acts on their roster to slate each other. Gobby musicians = rivalries = headlines = good for business.

  7. 7
    katstevens on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Watching Alesha on nu-Popworld last month was interesting. Alex(a) did an incredibly cutting post-interview comment on Ms Dixon, sarkily pointing out via the use of superior editing techniques how she “was totally geniuine and happy despite all the meedja training popstars receive these days.”

    Alex(a): What do you think of [Popstar X]?
    Alesha: Oh I think they’re GREAT, it’s wonderful what they’re doing
    Alex(a): And what about [Popstar Y]?
    Alesha: I think Popstar Y is GREAT, I love their stuff, it’s wonderful.
    Alex(a): Alesha what about all the war and poverty in the world?
    Alesha: I think all the war and poverty is GREAT, it’s wonderful isn’t it…


    I don’t doubt that Lily A is totally wrong about many things. So is Charlotte Church. So is Lady Sov. But I love all three ladies enormously, primarily due to the fact that they don’t give two short sh1ts about what anyone thinks and have total confidence in themselves. That appeals to me immensely. Alesha has nothing to say for herself. And her song is a bit rubbish.

  8. 8
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 15 Aug 2006 #

    i think my abreaction had two legs:

    i. that video, which basically = “hurrah for gang bullying! i can resolve all my problems by cvalling my mates round to WRECK YOUR LIFE”. This is unfair bcz, just as the actor playin the p43d0 in the bill is not REALLY ACTUALLY a p43d0, a role a popstar may play in a video is not (necessarily) a declaration of who s/he is and who we should all be — i am being MORALISTIC
    ii. a “like father like daughter i haf seen this movie b4” thing, in which my enjoyment of keff A’s antics back in the day turned to irritation and disappointment as he continued to talk the talk and increasingly less often walked the walk. This is unfair bcz, well, “like father NOT like daughter” betimes, after all.

  9. 9
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Sounds like someone on nu-Popworld’s been reading Derek Bailey’s Invisible Jukebox.

  10. 10
    Steve Mannion on 15 Aug 2006 #

    I’m guessing the 60s pop climate was not quite so entrenched in post-everything cynicism as the 00s and everybody was too busy turning on, tuning in and dropping out – man.

    Lily is being cynical while Alesha is being boring. I suppose popstars tend to not make for good critics and if this was actually the crux of Alesha’s point then fair play to her. But really I think the point is that offence has always been caused (in the 60s there was still this big ‘menace of rock n’ roll’ thing going around that the Stones and others presumably encouraged to some degree) but perhaps now it’s harder than ever to really offend people with the music alone (short of being racist, culturophobic or whatever) so people vent in other ways.

  11. 11
    Enrique on 15 Aug 2006 #

    “a role a popstar may play in a video is not (necessarily) a declaration of who s/he is and who we should all be”

    yeah totally — but with lallen for some reason it feels totally, uh, reasonable to assume this!

    PS: where is ilx??!!!

  12. 12
    alext on 15 Aug 2006 #

    the evil guardian media empire has done it in.

  13. 13
    Tom on 15 Aug 2006 #

    re ILX: supposedly the server has crashed due to demand, ALLEGEDLY from the mention we got in the Observer! Tho I find this very hard to believe given the total lack of hits every other time we’ve been in the grauniad.

  14. 14
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 15 Aug 2006 #

    ilx has fallen over bcz it was mentioned in the GUTTER PRESS

    cynicism is a v.good word to throw in here — cynicism is commodified revolt (this is my momentary thesis)

    “60s pop climate” less good, if you are referrin to my salad days and kallen’s early arrival, you whippersnap childling! lily’s “negation” — to use a topical word!! — feels like “nothing possible here ever” = a depressive intervention etc etc

  15. 15
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    What mention in the Observer? Link?

  16. 16
    Steve Mannion on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Clearly The Observer is #1 paper for 133t h4x0rz

  17. 17
    alext on 15 Aug 2006 #

    It was in a box accompanying this story in the paper, and listing k. empire’s five favourite music sites, but I can’t find it on the website.

  18. 18
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    What were the other four, or are they too boring even to guess?

  19. 19
    Mark Grout on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Oh woe we are all scattered around the internet, the old “Two Weeks” board, a proboard, and no doubt Maris’ Corkboard too…

  20. 20
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    I’ve got this week’s Pick Of The Pops post to post so I hope ILx resurfaces soon! (1977, kids)

  21. 21
    Enrique on 15 Aug 2006 #


    last week: lotsa money raised for ilxor
    this week: ilxor goes ‘on holiday’


  22. 22
    Marcello Carlin on 15 Aug 2006 #

    How can they go on holiday when the airports are in such BLAIR-INSPIRED chaos?

  23. 23
    Pete on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Probably got stopped at the airport and told they can’t take that message board on a plane, so binned ILx in Heathrow Terminal Three.

  24. 24
    DV on 15 Aug 2006 #

    Maybe they had the ILX server money in a bag marked swag, and then were told they couldn’t bring in on the plane, and had to throw it away.

  25. 25
    Lara on 15 Aug 2006 #

    I’ve been listening to Lily for months now as has a few of my mates and she was like that before the publicity she’s getting now ( a million playson radio one a day or something stpid like that) I slag off celebrities if I became famous I wouldn’t suddenly change my views!

  26. 26
    Enrique on 18 Aug 2006 #

    good for you, lara.

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