I was pleased to hear this week that knob-twiddler extraordinaire (in the synthesiser/studio boffin sense, that is) Brian Eno is going to back a political campaign to unseat another knob-twiddler (in the more traditional sense), Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The candidate Eno is backing is the father of a fallen soldier, who believes the war in Iraq is unjust. The man’s name is Reg Keys, which is, of course, fitting, seeing as Eno, one of the greatest music producers in the known universe and the keyboard-playing founder member of Roxy Music, is a synthesiser maestro. Which leads us to the important issue of campaign songs. What form will Reg’s song take?
Remember, Reg is up against Blair, who took power on that bizarre ‘no, actually, Britain isn’t all completely shite’ campaign bolstered by Oasis riding the crest of the Britpop wave, when the passing of Kurt Cobain somehow enabled people to realise that grunge, with its distortion, few chords and self-centred lyrics, was really kind of awful – but clearly less awful than Oasis, with their distortion, few chords, and self-centred lyrics.
Oasis are about to release a great comeback album, apparently. Perhaps now would be the time for Blair to renew that staunch nationalism of not being completely shite by tapping into the not-quite-zeitgeist and co-opting Oasis once again. It could lead to such rallying campaign songs as ‘Shuddup Or Our Kid’ll Nut Yer’ and ‘I’m Fookin’ Mad, Me’.
But where does that leave the Reg Keys campaign song? Well, really, it’s a question of, will it be one of the ‘synthesisers go whoosh’ Eno compositions, or one of the ‘synthesisers go bleep’ Eno compositions?
I’m in favour of the latter. In fact, I’d go so far to suggest an excerpt from a little ditty called ‘The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch’ from the Eno album Here Come The Warm Jets. Have a listen.
Of course, there could be a very good argument to be made for Eno somehow combining both styles of music – synthesisers go whoosh and bleep – for such an auspicious occasion. I can’t think of what that very good argument would be – but I can offer a pretty crap one: ‘Brian Eno Backs Campaign’ happens to be an anagram of ‘ransacking bop ambiance’, an activity that perfectly encapsulates exactly what Eno would be doing to devise such a composition.
The challenge has been issued. It’s your move now, Brian.