It was Friday night and I was reading comments under a Facebook status by the Editor of my favourite indie-leaning music site. Amongst the melee of sensitive-bants and Swift-fauning was a comment from someone about Bastille. It said words to the effect of, "I abhor no band more than Bastille'.
Tossing the Dooley's aside, I reached for my dictionary and looked up the definition of 'abhor'.
Verbs (abhors, abhorring, abhorred).
Regard with disgust, or hatred.
Now everyone's woken up cringing at a tweet that seemed so right/funny/not a bit racist around the sixth pint. I'm also sure the bloke who wrote that comment would admit that he doesn't properly hate Bastille Man's band. Nor regard them with actual disgust. He just wishes Bastille sounded more like Mogwai.
Anyway, it set me to thinking about acts that cop serious abuse despite not really deserving it. Most of the following's worst crime appears to be that of being a bit beige, and selling shitloads of records. Does that entail them to a lifetime of online shite-dodging? I'm not so sure...
If Bastille as a recording ensemble were to finish now and decamp to Osea as house-band-unto-eternity, their epitaph would be pretty simple: "eh-eh-eh, eh-oh, eh-eh-eh, eh-oh."
'Pompeii' was/is fucking huge. Worldwide it's been streamed on Spotify over 200 million times. This (and Bastille Man's silly haircut) makes them easy to hate despite the fact that, if we admitted it, we've all had a couple of times where we've heard 'Pompeii' in Gregg's and thought it was a bit of a banger.
Moving album Bad Blood aside - which is anodyne without ever being certifiably poor- Bastille have done something great: the Other People's Heartache, PT.2 mixtape, which came out before 'eh-oh'.
It's is a smash-up of popular hit parade tracks that they've reimagined (or remixed, re-upped, reconfigured, Re Liotta'd, I'm not really sure) in that synth-y, mournful way they like. 'Killer', 'Set You Free', 'Private Dancer' are all there. There's one called 'No Angels' with Elle Eyre, and is a mix of 'No Scrubs' and 'Angels' (The xx). Bastille Man/Dan Smith and Ella do the TLC lines and her vocal is fucking incredible.
2: Ed Sheeran
The vitriol levelled at this guy's door is unbelievable. Back in 2012, NME.com's Editor briefly ran a #howshitisEdSheeran hashtag. It backfired spectacularly and ended up being the textbook example of how to alienate half your audience on social. (In his defence, the Editor swiftly issued a pretty resounding and genuine sounding apology soon after.)
As far as I can see, Ed Sheeran's greatest crime is writing songs about girls that have the fortune of resonating with shitcunt-loads of people across the globe. And being from Lowestoft.
I quite like Ed Sheeran. Not his music, but him. I like the fact he's got shit hair. He spent years working hard on the London live scene before getting big - playing shows, making friends, leaning a craft, being the anti-whatever. There's some sort of respect due there.
When he won the 1Extra Powerlist this year for most influential person in black and urban music, an online volcano of twitter-hate erupted. Disregarding all the associated arguments - is he connected with UK urban music? Yes. Does he have a huge, mobile worldwide audience? Yes. Is he musically and spiritually influential to the UK artists making vital urban music right this second? Clearly not - what I found interesting was the dismayed tweets Wiley sent after the result. First thing he said: "Not taking anything away from Ed Sheeran. He is sick."
Oh my, Chris Martin does make it easy for us, doesn't he? Clearly, there's the wetness. Then there's the macrobionic ex-wife, the Apple, the conscious uncoupling, the entire Ghost Stories album. There's the fact- FUCKING HELL, CHRIS- he's decided to name the new Coldplay record A Head Full Of Dreams: a title I'm fairly sure he's nicked from the notebook I carried around at Uni. I was 19 and frankly too old to be validating that shit by writing it down. You're 37, Chris. You'll be making your girlfriend mix CDs with Damien Rice and Lisa Loeb on next.
But, one thing that you really can't argue about is how many tunes the band have put out. Going back to the start, there's 'Yellow' , 'Shiver', 'Trouble', 'In My Place', 'Green Eyes'. A Rush Of Blood To The Head is a very good album . There's 'Violet Hill', which was underlooked when Viva La Vida took over the world; all ominous drum marches, wristcuffer riffs and calls to arms. And of course there's 'Paradise', which out of all of them will be the song people are listening to in 30 years. If they're not listening to 'Pompeii'. Joke. (Sort of.)