Younger generations will struggle to imagine a time when the creative world was not more or less closed up with patronage and connection internship auctions. These days, Hatherley points out, indie is like politics, dominated by Old Etonians (when Keane’s lead singer went into rehab, it was rumoured that he was addicted to port.) There are a few big working class bands but they don’t rise above the level of the moronic, nasty Arctic Monkeys: Jarvis Cocker’s social commentary is no more.
Pulp has not aged as well as many nineties bands. It feels creepy listening to a song about some striving, painful late-teen conquest. It feels creepier still to know these songs are written by a guy in his thirties. Cocker’s song ‘Do You Remember The First Time’ was accompanied by a film, featuring contributions from comics and musicians who explain how they lost their virginities, accompanied by shots of unromantic outdoor locations where these encounters took place.
This, ultimately, is indie’s problem – the relentless focus on the personal, the inward and the past. It is all townie beatings and crushes never forgotten and last buses home. You want to shout Don Draper’s classic line: ‘Get out of here and move forward! This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.’”