Everyone seems to think they’re The Queen these days. Such is this sententious and pompous urge felt by many public figures to give the world some kind of end of year message. And for once, the music industry – normally happy to dispense of formalities such as rules – are happy to play along.
One person who chimed in late last week was Geoff Taylor, the boss of the British Phonographic Industry – an association dedicated to representing the interests of record labels since 1973. Well, you might have heard of Christmas Scrooge, but Taylor brought us something new in his address for business publication Music Week.
Taylor took to his keyboard and decided to play the role of the Christmas Stooge. He spoke about how the conversation over streaming has “descended into a reductive family argument”. He also bizarrely moans about “hard to get [messages] across above the loud voices across the kitchen table” – seemingly oblivious to the fact it’s his job to be the loudest voice at the table.
Oh, and he also manages to attack Kevin Brennan’s Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians etc) Bill – but curiously manages to keep the majors away from his argument. Instead, he throws the indies under the bus, saying they’re “deeply concerned that… new regulations will harm their ability to invest in new artists”.
Honestly, it’s all quite a strange spectacle – but if nothing else, reassuring. Back in the early 90s, ITV used to have a Saturday night programme called The Brian Conley Show – and in it was a sketch consisting of a puppet called Larry The Loafer. It’s terribly good he’s been able to find new employment running the BPI, isn’t it?
The only question is whose hand was up his back passage at the time to make sure he stuck to the party line – although perhaps a more important one should be about the point of the association Taylor leads. After all, he’s failed abysmally to represent his members’ views amidst the current controversy over streaming.
Stick to the day job, Geoff – leave the writing to those of us who are good at it..