Looking Back In Anger...
The Last of the Real Music Journalists?

Andrew Winters looks at the strangely grumpy reaction to the Dave Simpson's Guardian review of Liam Gallagher's Leeds gig, which you can read here

I am fascinated by this review of Liam Gallagher live by Dave Simpson in The Guardian with the headline 'The Last Great Rock And Roll Star', not so much for the piece itself but for the (many) comments by the Guardian readers and various waifs and strays, the majority of whom obviously weren't at the actual gig being reviewed.

Simpson gives 'the gig' and Liam a five-star rating.

To be honest, seeing Liam Gallagher at Reading last year it didn't take a rocket scientist to work out that he was home and dry. He had a point to prove, a catalogue of Oasis songs he wasn't scared of drawing on, and collaborated with new writers to replace his bro, who've done a pretty good job of knowing the best musical context for Liam's voice. 'For What It's Worth' correctly highlighted by Simpson.

Pix : Tracey Welch/Rex/Shutterstock
Full size version on The Guardain website

Forget about 'the last great rock and roll star', what I am more concerned about is the likes of Dave Simpson, who is fighting a corner against diminishing returns as the last of the real music journos.

So on with the barrage of comments. The review was reporting what the journalist was experiencing and setting it in context - an ARENA sold out in a few minutes at a hefty ticket price, where every member of the audience was engaged in collective joy at a live music experience. This didn't appear to rely on much of a technical 'show' or need a fleet of artics like the 1975 etc; it was just a guy, a band and a bunch of songs.

So the comments range from how people don't get Oasis, presumably never got Oasis, what a wanker Liam is, how all the songs are ripped off from the Beatles and not as good as the Beatles while sounding like carbon copies of Beatles songs... comments made by people who, lest we forget, weren't there.

Then there are the attacks on Simpson, accusing him of buying into the Liam bandwagon as if such a thing existed, and continuous knocks at the his writing as if it wasn't very much measured and informed, which it is.

Pix : Tracey Welch/Rex/Shutterstock
Full size version on The Guardain website

On the rock star front, people pile over each other to say Liam could never be a rock star like Keef and Mick who could write their own songs and never had to nick from anyone else. Oh hang on, hasn't Keef been on the record many, many times, saying that the way he writes songs is to play someone else's song, and then the muse adapts it for him. Music, like all innovation, is always an interpretation of what has gone before, that's why copyright has and always will be an issue.

Sorry, this has turned into another rant but my main points are:

* Anyone who can fill an arena at today's ticket prices and send everyone home happy and more is job done;

* Guardian readers - appreciate good music journalism and encourage it... we are facing a tidal wave of music journalists whose vocabulary stops at "they smashed it";

* and, commandeering a quote from Jack Nicholson and using it to my own devices,

Let Liam be the inspiration.

Oh, and keep knowledgeable music journalism alive!

Andrew Winters

This piece originally appeared as a Facebook rant