Where are all the bands for teenage boys?
I’m thinking very specifically of the younger end of those most difficult of years 13, 14 or even a bit younger.
There are loads out their for teeny girls, but I can’t see any that would appeal to young guys, those who are at that age when you’ve hit high school, you realise that you’re starting to grow up a little, and music-wise it’s perhaps time to stop listening to chart pop fodder and look a little further.
But nowadays, I don’t think you’d have much to find – I honestly can’t see a single band out there.
When I was at that age we didn’t have one band, we had entire movements. Bands that would get you fired up and excited, their lyrics challenged you to think differently, their look would impact on your wardrobe, you’d feel moved to check out their inspirations and uncover another new world of fantastic music, and at the very extreme, might even feel inspired to pick up a guitar yourself.
First and foremost there was the one band that tied us all together – the Sex Pistols. Even though they were long gone by this point, they were the common denominator between us scruffy, wee Edinburghers at the dawn of the 80s. Everyone loved them.
Then there was a slight division into two separate groups, one which plumped for punky guitar bands like The Jam or Skids, and the other which preferred the Two-Tone Ska movement with The Specials and Madness.
There were other offshoots of course. As I went to high school there were those that went for electronic music, and another area which I had yet to dip my toe into as it seemed a bit grown up and scary to me at time, the world of the long overcoat brigade such as Joy Division and Echo and The Bunnymen.
Then a year or two later along came the band that inspired life-changing devotion like no other; The Smiths.
The last two bands that I can remember even approaching something akin to that sort of reaction among teen blokes (and not bands I much cared for myself) were The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. But that was 10 years ago.
So, where are these bands now? Kasabian? Please.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe it is happening and I’m too old to see it.
Is it maybe happening in hip-hop? Are teenage blokes completely into underground scenes? Are their bands only self-releasing via Soundcloud? Is that why I don’t know?
Or is it, as I suspect, there just isn’t one? Actually that’s not strictly true. There is one band who can perfectly encapsulate the sort of hopeless feeling of rage against the powers-that-be that teenage boys experience – Sleaford Mods, two men approaching 50.
There’s nothing like feeling you’ve found that band or singer who seems like they are singing directly and only to you. And if they aren’t there now, maybe teenagers are looking to the past, having a You Tube session with The Clash or creating a Spotify playlist of The Fall.
Are they? I truly hope so.