Musician calls for big bands to come clean on secret backing tracks
Even credible indie bands have their whole performance pre-loaded onto a laptop, according to J Willgoose Esq
Bands who rely on secret backing tapes when they play live are “conning” fans, a rising musician has claimed.
Concert-goers are used to the likes of Britney Spears lip-synching, but even credible indie bands have their whole performance pre-loaded onto a laptop, according to J Willgoose Esq, of dance-rock duo Public Service Broadcasting.
Willgoose, whose band are nominated for Album of the Year at the Association of Independent Music awards with their debut, Inform – Educate – Entertain, admits they use loops and backing tapes to replicate songs when they play live but he says other artists are being less honest.
“I’ve seen bands turn up to some pretty big gigs with the whole set pre-loaded onto a laptop as a one hour-long stereo file, then play a few notes on a synth or guitar while the laptop does the hard work, or the frontman sings along to 18 perfectly tuned vocal harmonies coming off a computer,” claims Willgoose, on the Q magazine website. “Isn’t that a bit of a con?”
Willgoose said the practice was exposed when Sir Paul McCartney missed his cue during his performance of “Hey Jude” at the Olympic opening ceremony last year, revealing the entire track had been pre-recorded.
He concludes: “Live music should have an element of risk and an element of danger. There should also be room for improvisation, even if only in small measures. How else are you supposed to be able to tell a good performance from a bad one?”
Deadmau5, the festival-headlining dance producer, has admitted on his blog that he doesn’t even mix tracks when he plays live: “I just roll up with a laptop” and “hit a spacebar… no beatmatching skill required.”
Willgoose believes the cost of taking live musicians on the road is forcing struggling rock bands to rely on a concealed laptop. “They put it at the back of the stage because they don’t want you to know it’s there,” he wrote.
The most successful stadium bands rely on technical enhancements. Muse and Coldplay are believed to use playback systems to reproduce their recordings’ swelling strings. Some artists sequence a backing to their video-screen and light show, squeezing the potential for any spontaneity, Willgoose claims.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East