It’d be easy to just name the name, refuse to link to the video and leave it there. But, instead, I’m going to brave my least favourite song and pick it apart: all for your benefit. I’m selfless that way.
Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
I’ve walked out of innumerable clubs to this particular soundtrack. My hatred is well-known enough that people will play it just to get a rise out of me. I will actually put my hands over my ears and shout LALALALALALAAAA to block it out. But the truth is…
Once upon a time, I sort of liked the Fratellis. Once upon a time, I was your average NME-reading teenager: with, I like to think, a better record collection than most, but still clueless to new stuff, and so I read the NME and they’d tell me this or that was worth a look, and a lot of the time I would, and sometimes it would be worthwhile, and sometimes it wouldn’t. For all that people bash the NME, myself included, it was a good system.
One coverdisc, I think, came with a Fratellis song on. Creeping Up The Backstairs, I think. It was jaunty enough, and when the band came on MTV2 I wouldn’t turn the channel over. I can still stand to listen to it, even, though I’d never choose to. It’s an alright song. So it’s possible – I don’t ever remember it, but it’s possible – that I once liked this song, too.
And it is at this point in the blog which I start exposing myself to Chelsea Dagger. The here-it-comes drums. Those opening jabs at my spine. The yell, expressing nothing. And we’re into come-on-lads-chant-along territory. It’s so … obvious. At this point, I’d normally be on my way out the door.
Lyrically, the opening gambit says it all.
Well you must be a girl with shoes like that,
She said you know me well.
I’m genuinely unsure if the lyrics are intentionally banal. It’s possible, just possible, that The Fratellis might be geniuses. This song could not be better designed to irritate me. It’s weaponised Oasis, more toxic than their worst and more, at least here in the 21st Century, widely played.
The real kicker, the thing that makes it so evil, is that it’s an earworm. Fragments of the song will be stuck in my brain for hours now. As its half-life ticks down, my brain, still shell-shocked, won’t be able to work out quite what it’s dealing with, won’t realise what chemical waste it is dealing with, won’t be able to stop itself. It might, even, start humming along…
Chelsea Dagger is a musical Chernobyl. And I was born, stunted, into the world after its release. What’s done is done. And that inescapable fact, and the inescapibility of the song itself, is why it is my least favourite song. Now excuse me while I throw everything on Spotify at it in an attempt at decontamination.