Hell hath no fury like a pop sven­gali scorned

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Comedy -

THERE IS A LAW in mu­sic jour­nal­ism that you view ev­ery­thing Louis Walsh says with a jaun­diced eye. The May­oman re­mains one of the most skilled prac­ti­tion­ers of the dark art of spin and sound­bites.

Your in­stant re­ac­tion, then, when the Peter Man­del­son of pop refers to Boy­zone as “yes­ter­day’s men” is to look for the an­gle. Is Walsh crank­ing up the X Fac­tor hard-sell? Does one of his other charges have a new record to flog? What’s in it for him?

This time, it’s to do with a part­ing of the ways be­tween band and man­ager – and the man­ager get­ting his re­tal­i­a­tion in first.

“They’re like Blue – yes­ter­day’s men,” zinged Walsh to Heat mag­a­zine as he col­lected his P45. “There’s too much competition for them. You have to have some­thing amaz­ing as there’s so much tal­ent out there, JLS, One Direc­tion, Westlife, The Wanted.”

Leav­ing aside the ques­tion­able place­ment of “tal­ent” and “Westlife” in the same sen­tence, Walsh’s com­ments about Boy­zone are telling, es­pe­cially in the light of Take That’s an­nex­ing of Croke Park last week­end.

Like Take That, Boy­zone also re­formed. But, un­like them, the Ir­ish band never sus­tained the early burst of in­ter­est cre­ated by their come­back in 2008.

No doubt, the death of Stephen Gately and Ro­nan Keat­ing’s ad­ven­tures in tabloid hell con­trib­uted to the lack of en­thu­si­asm from the gen­eral pub­lic about the pro­ject.

But as Take That have shown, a boy-band re­union can’t be just about nos­tal­gia. What has con­trib­uted to Take That’s cur­rent suc­cess is that their new, post-re­union ma­te­rial is as strong as any­thing from the first time around.

With Boy­zone, that kind of suc­cess­ful rein­ven­tion just hasn’t hap­pened and Walsh ob­vi­ously thinks it never will. Bet­ter to head for the hills and hope Won­der­land don’t turn out to be a flop.

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