Monday, 15 August 2011

London's Burning: The Day The Music Died

Now that the fires have been put out and the big clean up has begun, the less immediately obvious effects of the riots that hit London last week are becoming apparent. Because a bunch of selfish dickheads couldn't do what the rest of us do when we want a new plasma television (that is, save up for one or do without), innocent people have lost their homes, their livelihoods and even, in some cases, their lives. How many of the morons who thought they were fighting capitalism by burning down the Sony warehouse in Enfield, North London, gave a moment's thought to the consequences of their actions? As it turns out, that warehouse contained the entire stock, both CDs and vinyl, of as many as one hundred independent record labels for whom Sony acts as distributor. There are rumours that many of these labels also used the warehouse to store their master tapes, so many recordings will be lost forever. Most of these independent labels are run on a shoestring and have no chance of surviving a catastrophe like this. Congratulations scumbags, in one fell swoop you've managed to kill off one hundred small, struggling businesses and left hundreds of bands without a label and without hope. Yeah, you really stuck it to the man! We know who to blame when there are no more independent labels left to release challenging, edgy, non-mainstream music. Let's face it, the ultra-cautious major labels aren't going to take a chance on anything that can't be stacked high and sold alongside the other landfill-bound tat in Tesco. Welcome to a world of nothing but lowest common denominator X-Factor dross. I ardently hope that the geniuses that torched the Sony warehouse are among those who have been kicked out of their council houses as a result of their crimes: good luck trying to find somewhere to plug in your stolen 52" plasma TV when you're living in a cardboard box.

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