Saturday, April 18, 2009
Straws in the Wind
Flicking through the TV (always an unwise thing to do on a Saturday night…), just came across one of those dire ‘talent’ shows which feature Simon Cowell on the panel. If there is anything that tells us that our civilization is probably doomed in the not too distant future it is the fact that someone like Simon Cowell is allowed to judge anything at all, never mind whether someone has talent or not. Anyway, on this occasion instead of the usual wannabe Beyonce/Robbie Williams candidate, there was a saxophone player! Yes, a soprano saxophone player of all things, on a mainstream talent show. But though I had a moment of hope when I saw that an instrumentalist was being featured on the show, it was swiftly dashed when I heard what and how he was playing.
He played ‘There’s a Place for Us’, an admittedly lovely tune from West Side Story, and played it using the hideous comb and paper tone popularised by the awful Kenny G, in a saccharine crocodile tears-laden rendition complete with over the top synth string accompaniment. The performance was undertaken accompanied by lots of soulful looking into the eyes of the audience by the performer, and the whole thing was as saccharine and schmaltzy a confection as you would ever hear from Kenny G himself. Just listening to it for a couple of seconds of it could put your blood sugar through the roof.
And what was the reaction from the panel of ‘experts’ to this trashy reworking of an already trashy genre, first mined by Kenny G from his bottomless pit of tasteless schlock over twenty years ago? ‘
'It’s rare that we hear anything as special as that on this show’
‘I’ve never been moved to tears by a saxophone before’
And, from the mighty multi-millionaire Simon Cowell?
‘This show was set up to find extraordinarily talented people who need a break’ (pause for dramatic effect), ‘I think we’ve found that person!’
Cut to audience cheers and tears…………