The Mighty Plod | Martin Newell & The Band Everyone Refused
Martin Newell and the Mighty Plod should have been on par with say Bebop Deluxe as a 70s hit-maker. The song “Neo City” attests to Martin Newell’s voice as a cool glam rock vocalist. The instrumentation is leaning toward rock & roll meets jazz chords. The Might Plod could have, should have made it in the wild eyed days of glitter rock stars. What happened? A series of rejection notices from all the top record companies tells little. Maybe its the name? You know it would not be the first time an A&R person ditched a band over the name, and lets face it “The Mighty Plod” is pretty bad!
The thing is compared to say, The Sweet, Slade and other glam rock icons of Britain Plod comes across as a cooler, better band. Martin’s later writing skills prove that he was an artist well worth signing. His style is a Paul McCartney meets “Hunky Dory” era David Bowie softer British sound. His subsequent albums “Greatest Living Englishman” attain an almost classic pastoral pop sound with an edge. Had the might plod succeeded in getting a record deal in the 1970s I think we all could have benefited from a band worthy of such. Check into “ This Little Ziggy” Martin Newell’s comic tell all book about growing up as a glam rocker in rural UK circa 1970s.
Is glam rock even a viable term in today’s music scene? Glam rock was assimilated by punk rock and so only exists in a form of mythology relating to the 1970s David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music and T-Rex era. Modern bands have used the visual aspects of many glam rock idioms without sometimes even knowing from where they were invented. In some cases bands have developed a musical style and visual appeal that is directly related to glam rock but define it “punk” “alternative” “Gothic” “emo” or any title “that may sell” Gothic bands such as Bauhaus utilized many former stage props and themes utilized by David Bowie in his former Berlin days. Gothic music has evolved into a mainstream visual persona which is been utilized within Hollywood films, comedies, entertainment, music, anime and cartoons.
The visuals used in many Japanese rock and gothic acts offer a similar visual shock appeal in utilizing imagery that was originally spun from the British new romantic 1980s movement and glam rock circa 1970s. The Japanese bands portray an extreme gender switching that endears the transgender looks of British fashions during those decades. Bands from Japan such as Malice Mizer have a carefully crafted visual identity surrounding an electronic baroque sound. Many Japanese designers were involved in British factions fashions during the decades of the seventies and eighties. David Bowie wore fashions for his Ziggy Stardust persona designed by the famous Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto.
Within Europe and Great Britain the tradition of glam rock still endures with bands like IAMX in Berlin. In America and however the only modern musical act that is within mainstream remains to be Lady Gaga. With her influence steeply engaged with commercial dance music, it is a far cry from the extravagant creative forms which made glam rock the timeless chameleon and its ability to withstand the test as an influence to all the changing forms of rock and roll music. The future holds a distinct foreboding page in terms of provocative comprehensive new music . creativity would seem to remain in danger by a mediocre technology for the masses , that allows not for the individual artists of true expressions. influence to all the changing forms of rock and roll music.
Perhaps is it simply a passing phase whereby a fantastical teenage dream of superficial fashions is simply that which it is. However as long as disruptive revolutionary youth still thrive so does the culture of visual and sonic rebellion. Recording companies would have you believe what they pawn at this moment is what the people want, yet their pocketbooks scream differently. The music industry (or hobby) has been in sever decline for the last 2 decades. The outrageous culture and music defined by glam rock live on as gender bending theater and theatrical attributes will always entertain the cult of youth and the cult of life…on Mars.