My Alternative Cool List

So this week saw the release of the annual NME Cool List, and to be frank I was disappointed. So in anger, and with inspiration from other people too, here is my Cool List 2010.

10. Frankie Francis

Frankie & The Heartstrings have to be one of my favourite new acts of this year, and I particularly love the honesty and sincerity of Frankie. More than willing to help me out with an interview for uni, a top bloke and a band with tunes to match.

9. Liam Fray

This maybe considered slightly uncool, but I do fucking love Liam Fray. His presence onstage and on record is so laddish and ‘Gallagher-esque’ (eurgh I did just use that phrase) that it captivates the part of me that wishes I was male (hmm …). Truly a wonder to see live.

8. Parenthetical Girls

I cannot favour any one of this band! It took me a while to get into them, but their wonderful arrangements and sheer drama of all their songs that continually draws me too them now. And their recent run of limited vinyls, numbered with a band members blood is something which fascinates the macabre side of me!

7. Owen Brinley

I was completely shocked to hear of the sad demise of Grammatics, especially when they made the reasons public knowledge. A band that were honest from the start, showing us the effects of the illegal download culture today, all conducted with grace and dignity until the very end. One of the success stories of fan-funded projects, their final gig was one of the most emotional I’ve ever been to. And did I ever mention he squashed me during a gig once, then found me afterwards to apologise? One cool guy, truly.

6. Rebecca Taylor

No offense to Charles but Rebecca has to be one of my favourite people ever. Witty, funny and clever, with a beautiful voice to boot, truly wonderful (and makes me wish I was her friend). And her occasionally emo tweets make me want to give her a massive cuddle.

5. Hayden Thorpe

Wild Beasts had to be one of my favourite new acts this year (and very deserving of their Mercury nomination), I was truly mesmerized by their performance at Leeds, and they are steadily becoming in amongst my all time top bands, cool without trying to be so, the best kind really.

4. Nicky Wire

One of my all time heroes here. The coolest man to ever wear a dress, and downright refusing to grow old gracefully, my kind of man. An idol since birth (seriously!) one half of the glamour twins has never been afraid to say what he thinks which in my opinion is a cool and the best way forward!

3. Paul Weller

This is the one that NME got right! I love The Modfather and his constant regenerations (yes he is The Doctor, or he should be), and Wake Up The Nation was an outstanding album. I’ll even be condescending right now and say it was better than I could have expected from a man of his age. Cooler than those years younger than him, its not even forced, the kid of air of coolness that everyone wants and very few have.

2. Carl Barat

Anyone who watched the reunion this summer, whether live or on TV, has to admit that The Libertines are still one of the coolest bands on the planet. But Carl is the one that stands out for me. Despite a lackluster solo album, his memoirs gave us a look at the inside man and the events in a new light. I’m proud to say I’ve supported this man throughout all of his career, and part of me hopes that through meeting him allows me to claim some of his innate coolness.

And finally

1. Gareth Campesinos!

My favourite ginger in music at the minute, Romance Is Boring has to be the soundtrack to my year. Los Campesinos! signify everything that a band should be: emotion, cheek, intelligence, bravado and awkwardness. Long may they continue to suffer so we get more of Gareth’s ramblings on the female species.

And just to end this epic piece, words from the coolest man ever to live, the only man that understands me, encourages me and a tragic hero in my eyes, that no matter what will be alive in my eyes, Richey Edwards:

“4st. 7lbs.”

I eat too much to die
And not enough to stay alive
I’m sitting in the middle waiting

Days since I last pissed
Cheeks sunken and despaired
So gorgeous sunk to six stone
Lose my only remaining home

See my third rib appear
A week later all my flesh disappears
Stretching taut, cling-film on bone
I’m getting better

Karen says I’ve reached my target weight
Kate and Emma and Kristin know it’s fake
Problem is diet’s not a big enough word
I wanna be so skinny that I rot from view

I want to walk in the snow
And not leave a footprint
I want to walk in the snow
And not soil its purity

Stomach collapsed at five
Lift up my skirt my sex is gone
Naked and lovely and 5st. 2
May I bud and never flower

My vision’s getting blurred
But I can see my ribs and I feel fine
My hands are trembling stalks
And I can feel my breasts are sinking

Mother trys to choke me with roast beef
And sits savouring her sole Ryvita
That’s the way you’re built my father said
But I can change, my cocoon shedding

I want to walk in the snow
And not leave a footprint
I want to walk in the snow
And not soil its purity

Kate and Kristin and Kit Kat
All things I like looking at
Too weak to fuss, too weak to die
Choice is skeletal in everybody’s life

I choose my choice, I starve to frenzy
Hunger soon passes and sickness soon tires
Legs bend, stockinged I am Twiggy
And I don’t mind the horror that surrounds me

Self-worth scatters, self-esteem’s a bore
I long since moved to a higher plateau
This discipline’s so rare so please applaud
Just look at the fat scum who pamper me so

Yeh 4st. 7, an epilogue of youth
Such beautiful dignity in self-abuse
I’ve finally come to understand life
Through staring blankly at my navel


2 thoughts on “My Alternative Cool List

  1. Ah, where would we be without a Richie Edwards lyric? Should’ve put Nicky Wire on my list. But I think he’s graced my mental list for years now, so I figured I’d better give someone else a chance.

    Anyways, really good, personal list (Francis? Had no idea that was Frankie Heartstring’s real last name). But for the record, Wild Beasts aren’t actually a new band – Two Dancers is their second album. Their first was criminally underrated and overlooked. Here’s a link to one of their first songs:

    • Ahh thank you for that, it shows a) I should have done some better research! and b) I have another Wild Beasts album to enjoy, my day is made! I’m surprised at how low Nicky was on the NME list, but its a testament that he is still on there!

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