The Great FrontMAN Swindle


By Jen Evans

Liam Gallagher has been named the Greatest Frontman of All Time by listeners of XFM.

Excuse me whilst I vomit all over my keyboard.

The continued adoration of Gallagher by “serious music fans” is one of those things that I’ll never understand. Like the appeal of Chris Brown or savoury dishes containing raisins.

These polls happen fairly regularly, normally when a music magazine has ran out of ideas for a catchy cover story. The same names crop up time and time again – Liam Gallagher, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Bono...

...yawn. Is it still the late nineties?

The results are always so terribly dull and predictable. I’m not sure why they still bother. Sometimes a woman sneaks onto the list, prompting music journalists to ask patronising questions like: “are men really better performers than women?”.

The issue here isn’t what the results tell us about male and female performers, it is the ridiculous question that leads to the equally ridiculous results. Asking someone to name their favourite vegetable will, fairly reliably, lead to a very different answer than asking someone what their favourite food is.

Changing the question to “who is the greatest lead singer of all time?” would be unlikely to topple the pantheon of swaggering rock ‘n’ roll machismo that dominates these futile exercises in sycophantic ego stroking. But it would at least acknowledge the fact that female lead singers exist, which is a start. 

I’m not going to launch into a love letter to the all the female lead singers who deserve to be recognised in these lists. Blogs like The Girls Are and club nights like Birmingham’s Atta Grrl do that far more eloquently than I ever could.

I’m not even sure if being included in these lists would be all that great. They are kind of awkward and embarrassing – like watching Uncle Knobhead dancing to Kasabian at a cousin’s 21st birthday party. Then again, Aunty Knobhead has some decent moves, isn’t it about time that she pulled some shapes?

Jen Evans is a journalist specialising in culture. She doesn't like tagine. You can find more of her writing on her blog, Bookish Brunette.

Image via Will Fresch's Flickr

POSTED IN: CULTURE
Tue, 13 Mar 2012 09:31 (GMT+00)
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