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Young Fathers Reject Tabloid Culture

Edinburgh based band Young Fathers last week won the Mercury Prize adding it to the SAY Award won earlier in the year. The band have since been slated for their attitude to the tabloid press – an attitude which Bella salutes them for.

This from Dazed:

“Young Fathers caused one of the biggest upsets in music this year when they walked away with the Mercury Prize, beating out the frontrunner and bookies’ favourite FKA twigs. But the Scottish hip-hop and electronica trio also raised some eyebrows in another way: as the band did the press circuit, first as nominees and then as winners, they emphatically refused to talk to music journalists from right-wing newspapers. In fact, they actively demanded the removal of Sun and Daily Star reporters from the red carpet area where musicians are expected to do interviews.

Obviously, said journalists were pretty pissed off. In an article for Drowned in Sound, Daily Star freelancer John Earls slammed the Scottish hip-hop trio’s “wilful truculence”, which he notes has “won them enemies throughout the national press for their win”.

“Kayus Bankole claimed in their press conference that the band want to be heard by as many people as possible,” Earls argues. “You don’t do that by trying to have publications thrown out and refusing to engage with them.”

Now Young Fathers’ manager Tim Brinkhurst has waded into the controversy, explaining that the band’s politics mean that they don’t talk to the right-wing press “as far as possible”.

“Young Fathers have never courted the right wing press. They don’t want them,” he writes. “This is a stance the group have maintained for years, but obviously remained unnoticed until the Mercury Award nomination.”

He adds: “It’s neither pretentious nor childish not to do what a bunch of couldn’t-give-a-toss snappers tell you to do. The correct reaction is pretty much, in those circumstances, to tell them to fuck right off.”

Anyone who takes a stance against the likes of the Daily Star, which is basically long-form porn must be applauded.

Brinkhurst @timothylondon continues: “The satanic contracts taken out by many pop performers with the tabloids have often resulted very badly for pop minnows. Journalists might think they are lone freedom fighters for the truth, but when an otherwise ordinary person is confronted with the mass ranks of photographers and journos it can be hard to tell them apart, particularly the following morning when the minds behind the smiles behind the questions have decided to create a negative from a positive, out of pure malice. They are an army, a powerful army.

That there should now be a story about the fact that a group didn’t smile or jump through the wee hoops as expected tells much about the industrialization of the pop industry and about how even the most, apparently credible artists have been frightened into talking to pretty much any mainstream journal…”

We need more wilful truculence like this. All Hale the Daddys!

Comments (10)

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  1. Jan Cowan says:

    Good for the Daddys! We need many more with their courage and determination.

  2. IAB says:

    Great to hear – is there a paper that isn’t right wing these days?

    1. ian foulds says:

      Second Jan and IAB’s comments

    2. ian foulds says:

      Second Jan and IAB’s comments

  3. Laura Dunbar says:

    “Wilful Truculence” … if Young Fathers are looking for a name change this sounds pretty good.

  4. Frank M says:

    @IAB The Sunday Herald is not right wing and, although very pro-Indy, their journalists examine both sides of arguments and report with facts, behaving as journalists should. No wonder their sales have been boosted. However, they are the only one newspaper like this. All the others are skewed, with a pretence to be democratic – a pretence which fools only the foolish.

    Well done to the Young Fathers. They have had the courage to stand up for their principles. I was very pleased to see the statements by their manager Tim Brinkhurst, which did not miss their mark. He had the courage to follow his principles and defend them. His latter two paragraphs were very powerful and accurate statements. The right wing press are corrupt and evil. Their papers are full of lies and porn and they feast on being on the side of power. You can see that the press are not interested in freedom and democracy by their use of language (‘won them enemies’, ‘wilful truculence’ etc). Such papers think you must obey the state, who are also not interested in freedom or democracy.

    These young lads have every right to avoid engaging with those they do not wish to. However, you won’t hear them making up stories about them.

  5. oldbattle says:

    The “Wilful Truculence” Party… YF here’s some lyrics FOC

    Yes dear Lord… mak us free!
    Aye, free fae endless poverty
    fae a persistent unfair society
    from poshbuilt inequality
    an unjust corrupting economy
    auld hardships and a false modernity
    Bringing new-auld forms of misery
    Built on shibboleths of prosperity
    In a Scotland built by Jim Murphy?
    Or some other labour-tory mumpty?
    Where the cauld is warm and drink is free
    And we will all live in Glasappy
    When we are given this labhoor victory
    Just hope and be; just vote for me
    Just wait, just wait, just wait and see
    For a land of hope and glory
    Not for me…not for me!
    Trust wilful truculence
    All the rest is lies!

  6. well done lads. I wonder how many others wished they had stuck with their principles. Who knows what to believe when a MSM source is liberal with the truth, Tommy Sheridan was subject to that but he courted the rags becoming hooked on publicity. You never know how anything will be reported and used by others to support their cause. Like Chinese whispers spreading out with a very different message than you intended.
    The band wanted to prevent the right wing propagandist using their music to exploit others and contain their freedom of expression. I remember the efforts to prevent my generation from free musical expression, the dominant stance to contain us, they banned songs, blocked words and tried to prevent bands from appearing but with little success as this just made each ban more attractive to everyone. Then they learned how to use this as a form of forbidden advertising. How we can be so easily conned.
    It is refreshing though to think that at last in this fickle world someone still makes a stand for personal freedom of expression.

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