Only idiots go into the pop music industry to make money. I mean obviously only idiots go into the pop industry, but to mark you out as an uber-idiot, or an idiot squared, the financial motivation will certainly qualify you. Many a story has been told about bands illusion of being given half a million when signed. They slowly discover to their abject horror that all those things they though the record company was paying for like, say the records, are actually coming out of their advance. This story has been told throughout pop history – to much linguistic merriment on my behalf I should add. Whilst seeing a faded old member of Johnny Hates Jazz on the slag heap of life does not remove the harm he has already done (I bet he wished he could turn back the clock) it is at least a comensurate punishment.

Still there are bands out there who, due to being tight, clever or oddly sucessful do make money. Its a relatively small return though, which of course will have to get divvied up between all your members. Which therefore introduces the concept of the Idiot to the power of three – those bands with so many members that even if their debut went platinum the individual members would get 50p each.

Exhibit A: The Polyphonic Spree. They may dress like the Klu Klux Klan who have lost their hoods, but infact the white robes are obvious signs of just having escaped from either a mental institution, a health farm or a bizarre religious sect. On examining the Beginning Stages of said band the answer appears to be the latter – this bunch of sun worshiping hippies luckily have little concept of currency. Otherwise they will realise that the profits from “Soldier Girl” is hardly going to pay for a Middle, or FInal Stage of the Spree. Of course there was a reason why their Soldier Girl was hiding from them after all.

Exhibit B: My Life Story. Jake Shillingford’s pop orchestra made more than one fiscal error in their pitiful existence. They had the radical idea of having a band of twenty five classically trained musicians and one non-classically or even otherwise songwriter. On top of this the band seemed to think that it made financial sense not only to have so many members that the food bill exceeded the pressing costs for their debut album but to release the same single fifteen times. You Don’t Sparkle (In My Eyes) was first a B-side of Girl A, Girl B, Boy C. This you might think would undermine its potential success as a single in its own right – when released as You Don’t Sparkle. Twice. And then two years later as just Sparkle. It is now the only Nokia ringtone to be advertised regularly that absolutely no-one in the world has downloaded.

Exhibit C: St Winifred Girls School Choir. They’re all on the streets now. Of Kings Cross. That’s how little money singing about your Grandma gets ya.