Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 - The return of the guitar band?

The fabled return of the guitar band...  it is something that has been trailed by many in the last year or so, and the lack of which was oft-bemoaned before that. Is 2011 the year in which it will happen?
Maybe is not an answer to a polar question, so I'm not going to use it. Some languages, English is not usually one of them (but Welsh usually is), have other ways of answering such questions...

Well there are plenty of guitar bands/artists vying for our ear-space in 2011 but wasn't that the case in 2010? Some of them have history, even true pedigree...
Beady Eye, Elbow, Miles Kane, The Strokes to name but a few... (and The View will try again too). Some of them will succeed, some will not, but that is nothing to mark 2011 as remarkable.  Some of the most notable guitar-led bands will be those that are either currently almost unknown or, at best in the wider scene, little known. That is more important.
I think it unlikely that there will be a sudden revolution in 2011. It will, however be an exciting year, again focussing on live music, and in that quiet but subversive way the revolution will continue. I admit it unlikely that 2012 will feature such scintillating tour dates as Coldplay in Havana or Cheryl Cole live in Pyongyang.
On the other hand, had you asked me in 1983 if I believed that my parents would ever go to Romania then my response would have been "only as the result of some catastrophic invasion".

There are signs that lead me to believe that, however good guitar bands may be, they are going to face a struggle in a world now complicated by cross-genre considerations.  Many of the best acts/artists of 2010 played/featured guitars but were not 'guitar bands' in the typical - I hate to say it - male-orientated tradition.
Warpaint, to mention just one such act, play guitars - a lot - but apparently that's different.

It isn't.

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