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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Rugger buggers: the White Stripes

It probably came a good five years too late, but I reckon it’s a good move that the White Stripes have slipped away to the little red and white land of retired bands.

It was a good act … at first. I liked those early Led Zep/Beastie Boys/Son House stompers as much as the next blues-rock revivalist. Stop Breaking Down, You’re Pretty Good Looking (“for a girl”!), The Big Three Killed My Baby, Hello Operator, Jimmy The Exploder: great, yomping stuff that, at its best, was actually quite thrilling, sharp and explosive.

But, I dunno. Those Jack White supergroups. His empire building. The increasing fetishisation of all things analogue. It was getting a bit tiresome.

It was nice to hear the midnight news report the band’s demise on Radio 4 tonight. After a final burst of a tune from Elephant the newsreader counted his two or three pause-beats perfectly before intoning in slow deadpan tones “rugby union”. Another long pause. Yes, how to follow the 2000s rock monolith that was the White Stripes? Maybe Meg and Jack should take up rugger.

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