Hell hath no fury like a pop svengali scorned
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.