Alice Jones: Can Mormons ever have street cred? Discuss


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Video killed the radio star, or, in the case of Brandon Flowers, YouTube killed the rock star.

The Killers' frontman, known for epic choruses, arena grandstanding and glittery jackets, has made a promotional video for the Mormon church. In it he wears a lumberjack shirt, cuddles his children, smiles beatifically and extols the holy life. "There are a lot of connotations that come along with rock music, and it's usually sex-driven or money-driven. I realised early on that wasn't the road for me", he says.

Presumably he will now return the royalties from "Bones", "Glamorous Indie Rock'n'Roll" and any other songs which mention sex, drugs and heathen pursuits. The video concludes: "My name is Brandon Flowers. I'm a father, a husband and I'm a Mormon." At least, he didn't add "rockstar", for Flowers has surely killed any shred of credibility his band had dead.

More importantly, the video appears at a critical time in politics. Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination is a Mormon and as such, Flowers' video is a neat little piece of backdoor campaigning. He claims to wants to "educate the public" about his faith but his soft-focus home movie fails to address a single preconception . It's a wasted opportunity to engage in a debate that urgently needs thrashing out.

Not least because Romney is intent on skirting the one thing everyone knows about him (a survey this week found "Mormon" the word most associated with him), huffing that candidates should not be subjected to a "religious test". It's an unsurprising tactic, given that rivals are calling his religion a "cult" and a poll revealed that one in five US voters said they would not vote for a Mormon for President. It's also a slippery one. Rockstar or politician, you can't do God and not do God at the same time.


It seems a little premature to be writing the Olympics' last will and testament before a single medal has been won, but Boris Johnson's fondness for speeches involving the word legacy refuses to abate. The latest post-Games gift for London to be announced is a 1,200-home development, a discus' throw from the Olympic park in Stratford, to be built by Ikea.

According to the furniture store's investment arm, Inter Ikea, the estate will resemble a "mini-Venice", with sustainable homes clustered around canals, piazzas and floating cocktail bars. There will also be, for no apparent reason, a 130ft "illuminated wooden tower", built entirely using MDF, rawl plugs and Allen keys. OK, I made up the Allen keys bit, but it does make you wonder about their vision for Ikea Town. Seen from above, will it look – as it does in the blueprint - like a sea of Billy bookcases? Will the streets be lit by thousands of unnecessary tealights? And, most importantly, will everyone who lives there end up really, really stressed?


Being British, I'm congenitally nosy about what people get up to behind closed doors. I'm still grieving for Through the Keyhole, so cruelly axed in 2008. So I was delighted when, a couple of years ago, I came across The Selby. The website ( posts glossy photographs of creative types hanging out at home, from architects in Manhattan lofts to fashion designers in Tokyo studios. They don't have to be famous to be fascinating but it's all the better if they are. Life is just a little richer for knowing that Philippe Starck keeps a stuffed polar bear in his hall.

The website has now launched The Edible Shelby, in which it goes behind the scenes at the coolest restaurants and bars around the world. It is, frankly, gastroporn – steamy scenes at the pass, patissiers sploshing about in chocolate, mixologists gently muddling jewel-coloured liqueurs, that sort of thing.

It's a recession and waistline-friendly way of eating out without leaving the house – and far more stylish than those annoying food "portraits" people have taken to posting on Facebook.