Wednesday, 18 July 2007


I saw an amazing band tonight. They are called Tinseltown. They are going to be huge - I guarantee it. I first heard about them when my girlfriend showed me a YouTube video of the singer sitting on her kitchen table, wearing the kind of hot pants/t shirt combo a teenage girl might wear in bed, playing a song on acoustic guitar. The song and vocal were both hopeless but the singer was incredibly cute and an obvious star. The video now seems to have disappeared from YouTube (let me know if you find it). Anyway, I ignored them because the music was hopeless, but then they put a track up on their MySpace site that's really good. It's called Skeletons and it's cool but incredibly commercial (that rare but precious combination). It's basically a re-write of "the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone".

Anyway, Tinseltown's frontwoman is called Romily Alice. She walked on stage tonight in what must be one of her first gigs (she is very young), and stared at the audience throughout, totally fearless and totally at home onstage. Her act is unbelievably affected, like a younger female Razorlight, but also unbelievably good. The music industry turnout was massive.

All this is causing me to have a rethink of some of the ways I approach the music industry. I'm going to have to stop ignoring obvious stars just because their music is hopeless. My rationale was that a star is no good without a hit song, but recently a large number of obvious stars with hopeless music have somehow managed to pluck some good music from somewhere. I suppose it's no coincidence.

By the way, I also saw Razorlight play live when they were unsigned. I'd previously seen Johnny Borrell do his wannabe Bob Dylan thing about a year earlier. Razorlight was many of the same songs with some Scandinavian Strokes lookalikes hired as his backing band. I really didn't like them at all. The next day I saw several people at Mercury who were about to sign them. One of them said "He's a star and his best songs are yet to come" and I thought they were (A) mad and (B) jumping on bandwagon in a really uncool way. Then, some months later, when the campaign was really struggling, I saw Johnny pull out all the stops to save it. He did Golden Touch on Parkinson, accompanied by a gospel choir. That turned the album around. But I still wasn't a total convert until I heard America (iTunes). What a song (Johnny Borrell apparently fought against it being released as a single as it was a co-write with the drummer rather than 100% his).

Having said all that, I don't think America did anything outside the UK and I don't suppose Tinseltown will either.

I then went to see unsigned band Mesh 29 who had a no. 35 hit last week with Over The Barricade (iTunes). There were absolutely no music industry people there which shows how little a top 40 "success" means to the music industry. Mesh 29 have good songs and a decent singer. In fact they probably have more of the core musical ingredients necessary for bona fide international success than Tinseltown or Razorlight. But they are inescapably naff.


violet said...

Hi there, thought I'd comment to see if you were aware that Tinseltown's lead singer is actually Johnny Borrell's ex girlfriend (hense why she mimics his stage He was the bands sorta svengali and he was the one producing their songs (until he dumped her for Kirsten Dunst recently). Just thought it interesting that you mentioned the similarities between the bands acts...!!

The World's Greatest Music said...

I knew there was a connection but I didn't know quite how much of a connection until recently. Thanks a lot for the info.

Anonymous said...

theres the link to her video sitting on the table! they are deff going to be big! she is stunning and so confident! i wish her luck and admire her!

Lisa said...

that romily alice is really ugly i dont know why u say shes gorgeous, r u like blind? and she's never been johnny's gf, thats just a rumour she made up to get her band noticed, and failed. SAD. so SAD.

violet said...

Errrr Lisa...she WAS Johnnys gf. He said himself he was producing Tinseltown in an interview with Q mag earlier this year. I suggest you go do some research. Your SAD. so SAD.

And here's a picture of them together at a function last year (theres a few on there actually).

Go eat some humble pie.

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