Jake has long bemoaned the fact that British singers all sound like pansies. [Specifically, English singers -ed.] It’s his main argument for abandoning a genre that once fueled his music collection and has led to hilarious arguments at countless bars with me and Loftus. But is the Old Man right?
MuchMusic has a list of the The 10 Fiercest British Frontmen Of The Past Decade and I gotta say, there’s a fair amount of dandy-ism on display and maybe only one dude I definitely wouldn’t fight in an alley (Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, who I am sure would fight dirty to protect his hair).
Seven sissies I could stomp and three dudes I would not fight after the jump.
Some limp-wristed contestants:
#10 Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell – This kid prances around the stage in super tight white jeans and no shirt. Think Tattoo You-era Mick Jagger without Keith backing him up with a knife in his teeth.
#9 Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker – I love Jarvis as he’s the best interview this side of Morrissey, but even he would admit to being anything but “fierce” unless we’re talking about the Project Runway variety.
#7 Coldplay’s Chris Martin – Um, have these dudes HEARD Coldplay? I will put my street cred on the line by admitting to liking several Coldplay songs, but this dude is not scaring me at any hour.
#6 Keane’s Tom Chaplin – This kid’s weight fluctuates so much that I think an intervention is in order. When he’s fat he looks like young Benny Hill. When he’s skinny he looks like old Benny Hill. I ain’t afraid to fight Benny Hill.
#5 Ian Brown – You’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of the Stone Roses than the guy tapping out these letters, but Ian patented the British style of whisper-singing. Without Reni on the drums, he’s easy pickins.
#3 Richard Ashcroft – The man who stole Ian Brown’s shtick on the Roses’ B-Side “Something’s Burning” and made an entire career of it. I love The Verve (1.0) and like a handful of his solo gear but he’s edging mighty close to light rock territory. I’d be more afraid of Al Stewart.
#1 Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan – Do I really have to explain this? I mean, at least Martin Gore was into all that weird bondage shit. THAT is tough in an East End hustler sort of way, but Gahan may be the epitome of Jake’s theory.
So that leaves three entries who may be somewhat hard:
Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs, who does indeed strike me as a bad ass.
Matt Bellamy from Muse, mainly because they’re so loud they would probably melt my brain.
Liam Gallagher from Oasis. Make no mistake that I think Noel is the real badass in that band though.
Can ANYone name five British lead singers of the last 20 years who do not sound like little girls?
14 thoughts on “Ten "Fiercest" British Frontmen Revealed”
I’d say Carl Barat sounds pretty badass when he sings. And the singer for Art Brut does not sound like a girl. And…that’s all I’ve got…
Would Lemmy count?
One of the Reid brothers?
Considered and rejected: Kevin Shields, Bobby Gillespie, Jimi Goodwin, Grff Rhys, Jason Spaceman, Tjinder Singh.
I was thinking how this question would apply to other countries, and I have a hard time thinking of 5 Swedish/Norwegian guys from the last 20 years that I *would* be comfortable meeting in a dark alley.
Missed the “specifically English” part. There go the Reids, Gillespie, Rhys, Shields…
Does Alex Turner get a nod because skinheads like his band? He seems like he might be a scrapper and The Artic Monkeys do kick some ass from time to time.
Just beyond of the twenty year mark is Paul Weller too. The Jam were not Nancies, that I guarantee. I mean, just look at them!
Nick Cave sounds tough.
Of course he does; he’s an aussie.
I’ve got a rock-solid one: Jamie Hince (AKA “Hotel”) of the Kills. That fucker looks like he’s going to jump into the crowd and impale people on his guitar.
I’d go with Andrew Falkous from Mclusky or Frankie Norman Warsaw Stubbs from Leatherface. Them cats put the fire in fierce…
Mark E. Smith does NOT sound like a girl. He’s in his (late?) 50s and I think I’d rather face Liam Gallagher in a dark alley than MES. (Either way, I’m getting my ass kicked. But I bet Mark E. Smith fights dirty. And with more cruelty.)
Good call, Adam. Not exactly “recent” but still.
Well, he’s actually from Wales, But I have to go with James Dean Bradfield from the Manics.
Also, If he’s got Nicky Wire behind him, then you’re in trouble – dude’s got reach.
I’ll second JDB from the Manics (going with British as opposed to English).
But what is Nicky Wire going to do? Slap you with his feather boa? Stab you with his eyeliner pencil? Quote Proust? Guy’s about as hard as a sack full of wet kittens.
Isn’t Richard Ashcroft like seven feet tall? I find that a little intimidating….
Have you heard his last album?