I was rather rude a while ago about a WikiHow article entitled How to Be Indie (for Girls), with its confused, contradictory invocations to “be yourself” and at the same time instructing readers to have an appropriate haircut, avoid tanning and admire Zooey Deschanel. And, of course, the fact that music appreciation appears to be the least important aspect of the whole indie experience. It all seems so inauthentic, so contrived, so superficial, so much what indie culture wasn’t meant to be. Ah, it was better in the old days. Why can’t we have the old days back?
And then I read a review of a concert in Manchester a few days ago that seemed intent on bringing the old days back, in the form of the Wedding Present (not too bad), Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (ummm...) and, uh-oh, Cud, among others: basically a bunch of men in their 40s and 50s — yes, I know, that’s me — spending half a day wallowing in desperate nostalgia for the time when a Chesterf!elds badge and a pint of snakebite and black were all you needed to maintain a veneer of cool. That’s what having the old days back means. The C86 equivalent of Showaddywaddy, essentially.
And suddenly the idea of 14-year-old girls being advised to get a Zooey Deschanel haircut if they want to be indie seems infinitely preferable.