London: The Other Kind Of Brit Pop

London – We here at The Panic Manual have been known to dabble in Anglophilia.  Hell, Ricky and I came to London for the express purpose of seeing some British music live.  But our concepts of British music across the pond is a little different from the reality here in England.  If Music 4 is to be trusted (and we watched hours of it for some reason), what the kids are into in London these days is not your favourite new Britpop band, but rather some British pop.  As in Top 40 style pop music.  Yet as popular as this stuff seems to be, it’s totally off the radar back home.  I believe there’s a reason for that – these bands’ roles have already been filled by their North American counterparts.  They’re somewhat similar to other groups but … more British.  As John Travolta said in Pulp Fiction, “it’s the little things.”  (PS. In Britain, KFC serves breakfast.  Breakfast!)  But in the interest of expanding your cultural horizons, I’m gonna give you the low down on what these bands are all about as well as an approximation of who their counterparts would be in the North American music landscape.

Olly Murs

This guy is an alumnus of The X Factor, Simon Cowell’s other show.  He makes the kind of bouncy, smooth voiced pop that you’d expect from someone who gained fame as a contestant on a music competition show – pleasant and inoffensive, but not that interesting either.  Sonically, I’d say he comes closest to Maroon 5, but since he’s a solo artist, let’s say … I dunno, the British version of Jason Mraz or somebody like that.

The Wanted

Yup, they’re a boy band.  Also affiliated with The X Factor somehow, I’m sure they make young British girls swoon and everyone else cringe.  They’re basically the British Jonas Brothers, but there’s five of them, as is the standard for boy bands.  Also, one of them bears an uncanny resemblance to Frankie Muniz from Malcolm In The Middle.  Weird.

X Factor Finalists

No.  Just … no.  While nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be, this cover of Bowie’s “Heroes” by a bunch of the finalists from The X Factor (are you sensing a pattern here?) is still fairly bad.  At best, it’s mediocre.  Still, it’s been released as a charity single, so I guess I can’t be too mean.  I suppose their hearts are in the right place.  As far as North American equivalents, I guess it’s the Brit equivalent of Young Artists For Haiti doing “Waving Flag” – a charity single sung by a bunch of people who are mostly unknown outside their home country doing a vastly inferior cover version.  Although Young Artists For Haiti had Drake and Justin Bieber, whereas this one has that weird Malcolm In The Middle guy from The Wanted.  Still as a charity single, this one is still streets ahead of that one put out by Frank D’Angelo.

Pixie Lott

We first caught this young singer hosting a block of Christmas themed music videos called “Christmas Pixie” and then found out she was actually a singer and not just a TV host.  She’s young, cute and has a decent voice.  As pop singers go, she’s alright.  She’s probably closest to any number of Disney Channel-esque singers perhaps with a foot in some more credible RnB type sounds.  She might actually stand a chance of having some level of recognition outside The UK, although the closest she’s come to that so far is Nickelodeon’s Fred: The Movie, based on the terribly annoying and not at all funny Youtube character Fred Figglehorn.  It was a made for TV movie in the States, but because of Pixie’s popularity in England, this cinematic masterpiece gets a theatrical release that it doesn’t rightly deserve. 

N Dubz

N Dubz!  They’re the Brit version of The Black Eyed Peas, except with perhaps a bit more of a “tough” image.  They even have silly nicknames too, but instead of will. i. am., Fergie, and those other guys who nobody really knows the name of, it’s Fazer, Tulisa, and Dappy.  They’re also ridiculous and hilarious and I think I’m kind of obsessed with this band.  They sort of became the unofficial mascots (and running joke) of our trip.  They have their own reality show miniseries, Being N Dubz, which even had it’s own Christmas special and it’s all brilliant.   It’s kind of like a non fictional Spinal Tap or Ali G without the irony.  Brilliant.  I may be doing everything within my power to promote these guys.  Be afraid.

N-Dubz – Ouch by N-Dubz @ Soundcast

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Posted on by Paul in Everything, Music

One Response to London: The Other Kind Of Brit Pop

  1. Ricky

    N DUBZ!!!!!!!

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