Err……

Talking to her, she seems an old soul beyond her years, and had an unconventional penchant for the oldies even in childhood. “I had a friend in primary school who had a James Brown talking robot,” she recalls, laughing. “You would press a button and he would say catchphrases like: ‘I’m feeling good!’ And we pressed it so much it ran out of battery in about a week.”

I feel good” surely?

32 thoughts on “Err……”

  1. Is there a talking robot of a Guardian writer? Much fun might be had. Anyone like to suggest some phrases? To insanity, and beyond?

    (Does the subject of the article think she is some kind of a breakthrough pioneer? Has she heard of Bessie Smith, or Billy H, or Ella?)

  2. It’s quite bold and edgy to make the claim that black women singing the blues are not heard in mainstream culture. You have to be living in a strange bubble for that thought to seem credible

  3. rhoda,

    The problem is there’s nothing outstanding about the songs. Radio 1 can keep playing the hell out, it ain’t going to stick. The reason Adele has sold over 30 million copies of 21 is that Adele has serious songwriting talent. There’s 3 classic songs on 21, a couple of decent singles, and the rest of it is no filler. In 20 years time, people will still be on Simon Cowell karoake shows singing Turning Tables and Someone Like You.

  4. Damn, I read a little more of the article

    it is often a difficult feat for Black soul artists to get ahead in the industry compared to their white counterparts

    She seems to be easy game for any grifter. They are probably queuing up to deprive her of any money she might make

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    And we pressed it so much it ran out of battery in about a week.”

    James Brown toy? I have never heard a woman in the Guardian call it that before. After all, it is not as if any of them can get a real man.

    I am not sure why anyone would want to listen to some fat chick do a third rate impression of Dionne Warwick, but I am pretty sure us White men are to blame.

  6. @BoM4 – I haven’t listened to Celeste but broadly that’s true. I went through a bit of a nu-soul phase a few years ago and remarkable singers are ten a penny, songwriters few and far between.

    OTOH, Adele’s voice, or rather her lack of enunciation, annoys the hell out of me.

  7. What a boring story. Perhaps the reason Millennials suck at music is because their pampered, cossetted, helicopter-parented perma-childhoods are so dull and stifling?

    Pretty sure Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday were drawing from deeper wells of emotional experience. They were, yunno, adults.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Pretty sure Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday were drawing from deeper wells of emotional experience. They were, yunno, adults.

    Billie Holiday wasn’t when she first met the local version of Jonathan King.

  9. I wonder when the British media and indeed black British people will realise that only asking them about race is deeply patronising.

  10. SMFS – IKR, even the pedos, sorry – “ebolaphiles” – have gotten lazy.

    I remember the days when they’d at least go to the effort to try to cajole you into their van with promises of puppies and sweeties, but it’s all on the internet now.

  11. Critics may adore the new school of British jazz – acts such as Moses Boyd, Sons of Kemet and Nubya Garcia – but it can still be difficult for the genre to nab mainstream listeners.

    I wonder why that might be.

  12. “A sex machine can also use up batteries.

    Slightly OT, but did anyone else see the news the other evening where a young woman was being interviewed at home? As is obligatory, she was seated in front of a tall bookshelf with an impressive selection of titles. What was unusual was the large pink rubber dildo perched on one of the shelves.

  13. Bloke on M4, about five years ago we took our daughter to an Adele concert for her birthday. Not my cup of tea by a long chalk. To give Adele her due, she does know her audience and has enough stage presence to entertain them.

  14. it is often a difficult feat for Black soul artists to get ahead in the industry compared to their white counterparts

    Maybe she should add the words “n*****r” and ho to her lyrics and glorify gang violence.

  15. It isn’t easy to make a living in music of any kind. There isn’t really any shortage of voice or instrumental talent in any genre. To ‘make it’, become famous and successful, you need work and luck but there is no guarantee.

    In this case, the lady is being interviewed because somebody sent out a press release, possibly tuned to Guardian sensibilities. That doesn’t work either. Allowing the buying public to associate her with black victimhood for some inexplicable reason is going to be an even greater turnoff than the thought of Black British Jazz.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Henry Crun January 29, 2021 at 11:21 am – “Maybe she should add the words “n*****r” and ho to her lyrics and glorify gang violence.”

    We are beyond that now. I believe the last woman of an African persuasion to make it had to sing about her WAP.

    Not that it helped her keep her husband. Not sure it is quite the typical Guardian reader’s cup of tea.

  17. Useless information No 174.
    Didn’t Jeff Stelling, the football pundit, have a toy James Brown on his desk during his shows, which would say, “Hey, get down” or “I feel good”, every time the Hartlepool United player James Brown scored a goal? Unfortunately, the toy didn’t say it often enough.

  18. Steve,

    “What a boring story. Perhaps the reason Millennials suck at music is because their pampered, cossetted, helicopter-parented perma-childhoods are so dull and stifling?”

    The whole thing with a lot of US and UK entertainment is how self-indulgent the performers are. Like Hollywood in the 1940s locked its stars in a gilded cage. Vivien Leigh had to be very discrete seeing Lawrence Olivier because they wanted an image of her being a virginal woman for Gone with the Wind. Rock Hudson married his secretary to retain the image of a straight leading man. Stars had to dress well when they went out. It’s like kayfabe in wrestling. You never drop the character. It’s not just that they’re indulgent, it’s that the media encourage it. And it stinks the place up.

    The Koreans are taking over pop because they aren’t boring the place up with their opinions on Trump or trannies. They get that it’s about bringing some joy into people’s humdrum little lives. Also, they avoided hip-hop which is mostly the musical equivalent of drinking your own piss.

  19. That “Love is Back” was good i thought. Winehousesque, voice, cadence and tune. Agree with BoM4 she has a good voice- it will be the songs that lifts her to big heights. And the thing about Amy’s back to black was that no-one knew they wanted to hear that retro feel soul until she actually wrote a whole album of the stuff.

  20. “DocBud

    “Critics may adore the new school of British jazz – acts such as Moses Boyd, Sons of Kemet and Nubya Garcia – but it can still be difficult for the genre to nab mainstream listeners.”

    I wonder why that might be.”

    Might help if members of modern jazz bands could all play the same song at the same time instead of seemingly each playing their favourite song at the same time.

  21. Listened to Celeste’s top 10 on Spotify. Very nice voice, a couple of decent tracks, nothing to get terribly excited over, but I’m sure she’ll do well and good for her. Christ knows why she’s having a moan in the Guardian.

  22. Christ knows why she’s having a moan in the Guardian.

    Because WoC soul singers are exploited by evil, top-hatted, monocled record company executives who are usually wypipo and some of them may even be Jewish. And the multi-million dollar recording contract is tantamount to modern slavery. Or something.

  23. BoM4 – Yarp. Hard to imagine David Niven starting his own Youtube channel to rant about Brexit or whatever (apart from the fact that he’s dead, I mean). I remember these chaps and chapesses used to charm people with delightful stories on Parky.

    Also politics used to be showbusiness for ugly people, but actual showbusiness is catching up. Instead of hunky, masculine leading men in the Hudson, Grant or even Connery mould it’s mostly midgets and twinks, and the leading ladies these days are complete scrubbers.

    Hollywood is still selling fantasy, but they’re no longer glamorous, sophisticated fantasies for adults who wish they could play baccarat in Monte Carlo and sex up Russia’s naughtiest female spies, they’re retarded manchild fantasies about wearing tights and punching CGI baddies.

    I’m praying for tidal waves.

  24. I’m praying for tidal waves.

    This is not good news for flame throwers or the ecology of the Serengeti 🙁

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