Bands that Politicians ‘supposedly’ listen to…

Following the General Election last Thursday, which saw the Conservatives back in power for another 5 years, I think it’s time some of us focused on one of the lighter aspects of politics, in this instance when a bunch of privately educated middle aged men try and act cool and current when openly discussing their interest in music and popular culture. Here are a few of the bands and artists that some of the countries biggest politicians ‘supposedly’ listen to…

David Cameron…

Cameron often talks of his supposed ‘love’ for a range of different indie rock bands including the likes of The Smiths and Radiohead and even more recently The War on Drugs and The Jam. With a iPod like that it’s a surprise that he didn’t pursue a career writing for NME rather than Politics. It has to be said that it is a bizarre selection of acts given the staunch left wing stance of most of the bands, with Johhny Marr (The Smiths) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead) publicly forbidding him to like their bands. Cameron famously spoke of his love for The Jam song Eton Rifles stating “I was one, in the corps. It meant a lot, some of those early Jam albums we used to listen to. I don’t see why the left should be the only ones allowed to listen to protest songs.” A comment that was met with a scathing response from Paul Weller who stated ‘Which part of it didn’t he get?’. If his love of music is anything like his following of football then I think we can most likely take all of this with a pinch of salt and more as a sad attempt to seem hip and appeal to a different crowd.

Tony Blair…

Similarly to Cameron, Blair was keen to show off his coolness when he invited Oasis to a reception at 10 Downing Street in 1997 to celebrate his win in the election, meeting with guitarist Noel Gallagher shown above. In what was a clear attempt to tap into the ever popular ‘Cool Britannia‘ image and use such celebrity endorsements to benefit his hip New Labour government. However, unfortunately Noel reflects badly on the encounter commenting that “In hindsight, it turned out he was just a politician like all the rest. I was brought up as a Labour voter and it was euphoric when they got into power. I didn’t realise it wasn’t New Labour at all – it was the Tories dressed in red.”

Gordon Brown…

Another weird claim came when Gordon Brown declared that he liked scruffy Sheffield teenage indie rock band Arctic Monkeys back in 2006. A strange band for the then 55 year old politician to be into, especially given the band’s lyrical themes which include clubbing (I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor) and prostitutes (When the Sun Goes Down) in their hometown of Sheffield. However, when put on the spot and asked to name a track by the band he was unable to name one, instead insisting that ‘they are very loud’. As it turns out he meant to say was that he he prefers them to James Blunt and is instead more of a Coldplay kind of guy!?! Whatever you say Gordon…

Nick Clegg…

It looks as if Nick Clegg didn’t get the memo about trying to appeal to the everyday voter when he stated that he’d been listening to a lot of the Polish composer Chopin, a member of the Romantic era,  on his campaign trail for this year’s election. At least in some respects the Lib Dem leader didn’t follow suit and shallowly claim to be into some new critically claimed indie band, like Cameron’s choice of The War on Drugs, and rather reflected his more honest Posh Boy, classical music listening roots.

Tom Watson…

One of the more obscure and slightly bizarre choices was when Labour politician Tom Watson referenced indie-grunge act Drenge in his open resignation letter to Ed Miliband back in 2013. In his letter in which he stepped down from his post as the Labour party’s General Election co-ordinator Watson recommended Drenge, calling them an ‘awesome band’ and also talking of his visit to Glastonbury festival.  In an interview about the event Watson satiated that he ‘was seized with those fragmentary moments of pure music joy that festival goers live for. I found Drenge. Two brothers on a drum kit and lead guitar. I’m 46 years old. I should be reading submissions from the marketing people or approving some clever kid’s idea for a new campaign. But I’m in a field in Glastonbury falling in love with a bloke barely in his twenties playing the guitar like a mid-west cyclone.” A strange, what appears to be mid-life crisis, but at least he has a genuine interest in music!

Nigel Farage…

In a recent response to an enquiry into his musical preferences, the UKIP leader’s team stated that Nigel had been listening to a lot of French rap on the way back from Strasbourg’. A statement that seems about as likely as the chances of UKIP reaching a majority in the next general election… I’d personally be surprised if Farage’s iPod consisted of anything other than ‘God Save the Queen’ and an array of Hitler’s speeches on loop!

Alex Salmond…

Unsurprisingly Alex chose possibly the least subtle band for the leader of Scottish National Party to choose, The Proclaimers! Possibly the most Scottish band in the world… In what was a clear attempt to appeal to nationalist supporters, Alex Salmond chose the Proclaimers track I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) when appearing on BBC Radio 4 shows Desert Island discs back in 2011. A music choice about as Scottish a man in a kilt playing the bagpipes and eating haggis whilst watching Celtic play! But lots be honest is it really necessary to be just that obvious…

Ed Miliband…

It appears that Miliband’s musical preferences aren’t do different from what you’d expect from the rest of the Milifandom (his dedicated twitter following) as he recently confessed his love for female pop star Ellie Goulding. He apparently also saw her play at a benefit show for the homeless, with Ed Commenting that he ‘really likes her’. However, his love for some of British pop’s heavyweights doesn’t stop there, with Ed selecting the Robbie Williams track ‘Angels’ when he appeared on Desert Island discs. You have to admit, its not hard to imagine Ed as a cheesy pop kind of guy!

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