Steve Davis' Interesting Alternative Column: 59

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What have the progressive artists, TesseracT, Steven Wilson and Transatlantic got in common? Correct! They all sing in English.

Let’s face it, if you want to get ahead in life, you can’t be speaking in any of those inferior “made-up” dialects. The same rules also apply to the music made by foreigners. Sing in their mother tongue and at best it’s a fourth placed “well done!” in the Eurovision. However, there’s a Catch 22 situation for overseas wannabes. They decide to take the sage advice from their Channel 9 TV executive, re-dub the vocals, disregard the fact it doesn’t seem to rhyme anymore and end up floundering below Kazakhstan’s instrumental offering on count back. But maybe it’s not just about winning that highly acclaimed award? Take Abba, perhaps they’d have at least made a living and been far happier as people had they continued singing in Flemish [sic], regardless of that first flukey win. But then, consider the ridiculous genre, opera. It may have a large following but do these fans really enjoy the music? Sitting there, not really knowing whether Caruso was singing about a love lost or selling ice creams seems a futile pastime to me!

It certainly is a conundrum! On balance though, perhaps these people need to try a bit harder to perfect their English and then just accept settling for second best. Let’s face it, if we prog fans can’t understand the words, how can we even mildly enjoy their music?

Below are three artists (out of literally quite a lot) who are basically just pissing into the wind by refusing to adapt!

Often touted as the ‘Italian Gentle Giant’ (and I guarantee of genuine interest to many a follower of this magazine) are the band Deus Ex Machina. The problem here is, they are hardly worthy of consideration as it’s all sung in gibberish! Take a listen to De Oraculis Novis I from the album De Republica to hear the mess unfold!

Albert Marcoeur is an artist I’ve championed before in this column. I’m not sure why because he sings exclusively in French. Listen to the album Plusiers Cas De Figure and the track Mon Petit Neveuto see how this selfish approach totally ruins what could be a brilliant album.

For those of you transfixed by the LP First Utterance by cult acid/folk/rock band Comus, perhaps you might like Iva Bittová and Vladimír Václavek on the album Bile Inferno and the track Vzpomínka. Iva would be one of the most amazingly gifted violinists and vocalists in the world today, if she could drop the Czech gobbledygook… unless of course she’s making up her own language? Now that would be totally stupid!

Catch Steve’s Interesting Alternative Radio Show every Monday 10pm-midnight at www.Phoenixfm.com