No, not that Bugsy Malone

Obviously there comes a time when you’re not as relevant as you think you are.

I realised some time ago that the majority of stuff that fills the chart these days wasn’t for me and that the overwhelming dominance of r&b and its derivatives had essentially pushed me to the margins of what would be considered pop culture.

And by far the biggest demonstration of this marginalised status came when taking my nephew, Noel, to his first festival this year at Leeds where a large chunk of one day was given over to Grime and rap


Now I’m not so much out of touch that I don’t know what Grime is and I know – and like -some of its biggest stars. But we would be seeing people who hadn’t yet made that crossover into the mainstream.

So on that basis I found myself spending long periods in the Radio 1Xtra tent where the likes of Young T & Bugzey, Mostack, Dave and Bugzy Malone would be on stage.

I can honestly say that I didn’t know a single tune played all day. Not by the acts and not by the between acts DJ. Yet pretty much everyone else in there sang every word.

The performances varied in quality with the latter two certainly justifying their slots at the top of the bill and you can see that they could easily be the next superstars to follow Skepta and Stormzy into the wider consciousness.

J Hus was a disappointment on the same stage despite his fairly lofty status as someone taking Grime in a new direction with a set that seemed tired and uninspired.

When we did venture out into the sunshine we saw another of the genre’s biggest names – Giggs – on the enormous main stage and it was hugely entertaining to see both sides of the festival merging at this point.

As we approached the stage I said it looked like we were in a different festival. Lots of people who looked more like me, probably there for Liam Gallagher and Muse later on.

Then, as we sat and waited, there was this enormous influx of Giggs’ young fanbase who turned and left as soon as he was finished and headed back to where the Dance and 1Xtra stages could be found and the main stage dinosaurs were left to the old people.

Anyway, Noel loved the whole thing and is already counting down until next year’s line-up is announced and planning to camp once he turns 16.

If we’re at the same event, I doubt we’ll be watching the same things.


One thought on “No, not that Bugsy Malone

  1. widnesian August 29, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    A fantastic post and I’m very much with you on the comprehension/age gap.

    I know that you already know how I had a similar thing when I was in the band, when suddenly all of this great hip hop music was pouring out; LL Cool J, Mantronix, Eric B & Rakim, Def Jam and Street Sounds compilations… I spent all of my time taping 12″ singles and albums to play in my Walkman headphones. The others in the band simply didn’t understand. “That’s not real music. It’ll never catch on…” I think I may be starting to repeat myself.

    I like some of what I’ve heard of grime though, even if it’s not such a big noise here in North Carolina…

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