Britain's got boring

Pol Pot singing Nessun Dorma? Now, that really would be a must-see. Firstly, he'd have to rise from the grave (an achievement matched only in showbiz by Bob Monkhouse's apparent ability to be funnier dead than alive), and secondly, whatever you think about his politics, the act would at least be different.

Paul Potts, on the other hand, is just another media-manufactured 'ringtones to riches' personality. His voice is OK, but if you're ever queuing outside Madame Tussaud's in London and hear the warbles wafting across the street from the Royal Academy of Music, you'll hear better.

His story is good: mobile phone salesman to celebrity singer, we like that. But he might as well have been a hairdresser, a lollipop lady or a stuttering sixth-former. We've all seen this formula before.

Absolutely the worst aspect of this phenomenon, however, is its one trick ponyness which is, frankly, driving me potty.

Pavarotti has already done Nessun Dorma to death, so much so that it's been top of Classic FM's most whistled for decades. And boy, can Pavarotti sing. In an operatic context, the aria lives on. But in the bastardised world of 'pop-classical', other performances inevitably sound no better than a broken karaoke machine.

'Nessun Dorma' translates as 'Let no one sleep', of which there is no danger when Port Talbot's Paul is screaming down the telly. I really do wish the chap well, but I can't help thinking that if he cared so much about music, he'd have had the balls to sing something else. Becuase not only is he a pale imitation of Luicano Pavarotti, he's also a pale imitation of Russell Watson.

Working class nobody struggles against the odds to sing Nessun Dorma repeatedly on television? Yep, the media's told that story before. Frankly, what's different about Paul Potts? Answer: nothing.

No doubt, PP can make a fortune singing on floating stages and in football stadiums. But if I'm not mistaken, his ambition was to be an opera singer. Unfortunately, the world of opera doesn't drop everything to accommodate celebrity. Roles are earned through hard graft, years of training and talent.

All the signs are that Paul Potts' career will be a lot more Madame Tussaud's than Madame Butterfly. I do hope he proves me wrong.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 11:57 am,

23 Comments:

At 12:26 pm, Anonymous Elio said...

Blamer, you're spending too much time in the bubble. Potts isn't a creation of the media, he took off on youtube, probably had a million or more hits in America before the mainstream media even noticed.

Of course he's no Pavarotti and not many people seem to have noticed that he used to be a Lib Dem councillor in Bristol.

But the mainstream media, forget 'em, this is the modern world.

 
At 12:38 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Right, so he took off on YouTube before he ever appeared on ITV's prime time television programme?

 
At 12:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He took off in America before he ever appeared on the media there ... OK so he appeared on some primetime TV programme in the cultural backwater that is Britain ... but on the world stage it was viral.

 
At 12:57 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Well if the Americans like him, he must be good:)

 
At 2:03 pm, Blogger Morgan Hen said...

Blamer! You must be getting "oldtimers" You had mentioned him on your post on the "the LibDems doing a LibDem"!!? ;)

 
At 2:05 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Nowt else to write about today, is there?

EU, Brown... nah snobbery is much more fun.

I've got to put my degree to good use.

 
At 2:40 pm, Anonymous Music Teacher said...

Don’t be so bloody snobby -this guy was no big-mouthed boasting usual type He was in dire straits financially and working two jobs
Good on him he won - don’t knock people trying to get on Not everyone has a supportive educated family and the opportunity to do what they dream of
There was nothing wrong with his voice – it was in tune and well pitched
I get so sick of the culture of knock down that is rife in Wales

 
At 2:40 pm, Blogger Mark Leslie Woods said...

What's weird is that there's no accounting for tastes.

That's why some of the most mediocre voices still sell out in Las Vegas.

And lots of folks claim to attain to La Scala, but in fact they are simply refining their schtick.

This fellow might have a lousy voice with iffy delivery, but if he connects with some audience, they will carry him.

It defies analysis, from what I can see.

It must be a real slow news day to be forced to take a sarcastic stab at American tastes.

There isn't a place in the world that compare to either the heights, or the depths of what America can produce.

Am I getting too serious? What a chronic Yank, ay-yay-yayee!

 
At 2:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got no time at all for Anti-Americanism myself .... snobbery and ignorance is at the root of most of it.

Wasn't it the American Immigration Service who were the first to recognize modern day Welsh nationality at a time when good old Britain was pushing the "for Wales see England" routine.

 
At 3:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blamerbell said:

"I've got to put my degree to good use. "


Yeah, I remember being a culture snob in the years after my degree. Keep it up, when you do not care any more you are getting old....

 
At 3:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Leslie Woods said...
"What's weird is that there's no accounting for tastes."

"That's why some of the most mediocre voices still sell out in Las Vegas."


Like Tom Jones?

 
At 3:36 pm, Blogger Carwyn Edwards said...

To Blamerbell Very cynical but very true!!!

I saw him on NBC "Today" morning show and he has a voice but you do feel that Simon guy and the networks are making the real money!!

 
At 4:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two words for you
Kathrine. Jenkins.

Discuss in this context please.

 
At 4:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katherine Jenkins or Paul Potts .....now that's a difficult one .... nah it isn't.

 
At 4:25 pm, Blogger Penddu said...

I remember watching Katherine Jenkins in the stands in the Grand Slam game against Ireland - and thinking what marketing genius persuaded her to wear a rugby shirt two sizes too small for her - my second thought was 'that was where she keeps her Brains' - my third thought is not for a public forum like this....

 
At 4:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a mate sat next to her manager at some gig or other and is reported to have said "this girl is going to make me millions - she looks like a pornstar and sings ok too".

Personally, don't think she knows her f's, mf's from her molto mosso's.

 
At 4:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here in America we love him we used to say "only in America" alluding to rags to riches now a fairytale in Britain.

I have a proposition can we keep him and you take back Victoria
Beckham, it would be appreciated

 
At 5:31 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Why am I not surprised?

Come on Blamer! How's about a bit of Chwarae Teg.

The man won a POPULAR talent contest on the basis that his act was POPULAR.

He sang a POPULAR aria that is generally well known amongst we, the great unwashed.

Presumably, if he had sung some obscure aria only known to you and your fellow classical opera buffs you may have been a little less acerbic.

You describe him as "media manufactured". Yes, quite correct, exactly the same as Pavarotti, Watson, Terfel et al.

What's wrong with that?

As a self-styled musician surely you can see the man's natural talent shines through and connects with the populace at large. Yet you describe Paul as "Screaming down the telly". Pure sour grapes IMHO.

Again, presumably, you and the classical opera illuminati would have preferred someone 'trained' from the 'right' school or from the 'right' background to have won the contest.

You state that Pavarotti has done Nessum Dorma "to death". Is this to say that Pavarotti 'owns' the aria or could it just be a slightly snide remark to support your mockery of Paul's great achievement in his life.

Yes, a classic 'rags to riches' story that is so well deserved.

If you had taken the trouble to research Paul's career to date you will have found that he has been 'trained' and at his own expense. He and his wife have struggled to attain his current fame and it is clearly shown by this win that his TALENT has shone through.

We residents of the "bastardized world of 'pop-classical'" just love him.

We also love such recordings as Bohemian Rhapsody, A Whiter Shade of Pale and, of course, we mustn't forget Wales' own Dave Edmunds 'bastardized' version of Sabre Dance, which incidentally launched his long and successful career.

I hesitate to mention B. Bumble and the Stingers' rousing version of Nut Rocker for fear of producing a paroxysm of purple apoplexy in your good self.

You describe yourself as a musician. What do you play, where do you play, is there a gig coming up wherein we proles may offer you some critical support?

As a fellow musician and Lifetime Honours Graduate from the 'You Hum It, I'll Play It' Academy of Pop-Classical Bastardization I can confidently say that I like Paul Potts and wish him well.

Incidentally, one of my last gigs before retirement was in the Subway in Cardiff's Kingsway. I was approached by some students from the College of Music and was complimented on my rendition of Whiter Shade of Pale with Ukulele accompaniment. The coins placed in my hat were most welcome. They had probably just had their grants.

Ah! to be recognised by ones peers. So gratifying.

Unfortunately the Police, with their non-musical disposition moved me on.

You ask "What's different about Paul Potts? Answer: nothing."

Absolutely right. He's just like Pavarotti. I had never heared of the bloke until he sang Nessum Dorma for the World Cup.

What a great tune and what a great 'vehicle' to bring Pavarotti's talent to my untutored mind. Paul is no different.

At least his win shows that the Great British Public still love their music, albeit bastardized.

Hey! we're a bunch of mongrels anyway.

Your peripatetically performing pal.

johnny.

 
At 5:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

an american anonymous said:
"I have a proposition can we keep him and you take back Victoria
Beckham, it would be appreciated "

Posh Becks is not Welsh. Please keep her anyway.

 
At 7:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got nothing against Paul Potts but if you're willing to swap Posh for Johnny Foreigner then we're up for it.

 
At 2:46 pm, Blogger cleckanndra said...

One ride pony? We'll see. If he can make a buck beyond Port Talbot good for him.
Cleckanndra.blogspot.

 
At 4:56 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Hey Nonny!

Where have I gone wrong?

Could it be that I have offended someone with my contrary view to Blamer's?

Unfortunately, I don't think that Blamer likes me very much as I regularly seem to have opposing views to our gracious host.

Always a pleasure, never a chore.

Your purposeful pal.

johnny.

 
At 6:16 pm, Blogger Christopher Glamorgan said...

Bloody h*ll Blamerbell, you've managed to overthrow a dictator in just one post.

God help the world of politics when you are unleashed by the BBC :>D

 

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