FT5: British Bands of the 2000s
In the 60s it was the Beatles, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones. In the 80s it was Duran Duran, Eurythmics, and New Order. I wouldn’t say it was an “invasion,” but here are some of the best British bands of the past decade. Sorry, Susan Boyle didn’t make the list.
This Sheffield foursome of twenty-somethings burst on to the scene less than 5 years ago with much of their initial success due to the internet. Their record-breaking debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, follows the band from “Saturday night to Sunday morning,” with songs that range from boomingly rowdy tunes to self-reflecting ballads. Although the band has received criticism for not changing their formula over three albums, frontman Alex Turner says he will always continue to write about his experiences and observations. Hey, if rapid-fire lyrics over bouncy riffs ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“…yeah yeah you are fit, and yeah I do want it; but I stop sharkin’ a minute to get chips and drinks.” Hearing this band for the first time while in a bar in Berlin, I was extremely confused and unsure of what I was listening to. However, by the end of the night I couldn’t get the catchy beats out of my head. The lyrics of Birmingham born Mike Skinner don’t just read like a diary, but chronicle the mundane and droll by bringing the listener into Skinner’s world through his unique sound. In his second album, A Grand Don’t Come For Free, audiences delve into a short period in the artist’s life that includes losing a thousand pounds, the start of a new relationship, going on holiday, breaking up, and eventually finding the grand again. Now that’s good storytelling!
One of the decade’s highest album-selling groups, Coldplay is arguably of the biggest bands in the world. Their rise from “that London band that sings ‘Yellow'” to a quartet that sells out arenas everywhere they go has been epic. We don’t have to spend a lot of time here. Face it. You love Coldplay.
Named after a South African soccer club, perhaps no band better epitomizes the soccer-chanting, pub singing culture in recent years. Songs like “I Predict A Riot” and “Ruby” surely have the attention of hooligans everywhere, with the latter being so popular that its lyrics are frequently changed and sung at soccer venues to show support for certain players (e.g. “Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney!”). While probably being the least commercially successful band on the list, almost every song of the Leeds group could find its way onto the soundtrack for the next EA Sports game.
If you didn’t know what a virtual band was, now you do. The band is comprised of 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel…I think. Actually, Gorillaz is an Essex creation of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (of Blur and Tank Girl fame, respectively). The inclusion of numerous artistic talent, such as De La Soul on “Feel Good, Inc.” and Bobby Womack and Mos Def on the new single “Stylo,” the group’s dynamic is ever changing and evolving while staying true to who it is. Its creative videos go hand-in-hand with the band’s innovative live performances and portrayal of said virtual members. With their first album in 5 years releasing next month, plan on having “Stylo” stuck in your head for some time.