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The Lamest Indie Beefs of All Time

Is a beef still a beef if literally no one wins?

The internet is practically exploding under the weight of gifs, memes, conspiracy theories and stuff about the illuminati (Solange once put her hand on her hip and it made a triangle shape – BE GONE, EVIL HEATHEN) surrounding the Knowles-Carter-Knowles Bust Up of 2014. But while Bey, Jay and Sol(ange) were busy trying to paper over the cracks and work out the best way to sue the living shit out of TMZ, a far more important battle was festering.


In case you missed the (other) landmark piece of pop culture that occured over the last few weeks, here's a re-cap. Arctic Monkeys and American upstarts The Orwells claimed that Alex Turner and co’s onstage patter was “synchronised” and obvious. Alex Turner then said that the Orwells should concern themselves with trying to get laid rather than worrying about them. Burn. Everyone apologized for one random quote getting taken out of context and it was fine. This paragraph of not-really-news, however, took up umpteen news stories and column inches over approximately a month. It was the latest in a historical baton-pass of completely pointless beefs within the indie community, usually spawned out of a drunken aside at a Camden aftershow, then blown out of proportion and fought between two parties who'd get absolutely crucified were they ever to try and have a real life fight.

Because the Monkeys and the Orwells know they are simply partaking in a long history of whimpering fey indie beefs - bands that are trying to intone the genuine misgivings between Oasis and Blur - here are five of our favourite hilariously lame indie beefs of the recent past. Next up: the drummer from alt-J says Frank Turner “sometimes takes too much soup from the catering tent at festivals”.

A very #21stcentury beef this one, which proved that when you get the holy Bermuda triangle of Twitter, overbearing fanbases and music websites desperate for “news” stories together then the centrepoint is where humour disappears forever. Basically, LC! frontman Gareth Campesinos! tweeted a picture of him flicking the V to the competing venue across the road from where his band were playing – which happened to be hosting a HAIM gig that night. It was obviously a joke. Then HAIM tweeted a picture of them flicking the Vs back at Gareth, backed by thousands of fans. This was also obviously a joke. Then gurning bassist Este tweeted “YOU FUCK WITH ME I FUCK WITH YOU HARDER”. No one was sure if this was still a joke or not. Then every music website in the UK started trying to turn two photos into a fully blown, completely pointless war. This was not a joke :(


Is a beef still a beef if literally no one wins? This was the question posed when two of indie's biggest nobjockeys – Razorlight, fronted by egocentric, laughable, curly-haired prat Johnny Borrell and The Kooks, fronted by egocentric, laughable, curly-haired prat Luke Pritchard – decided to take onus with each other. Like deciding who you would want to win out of a battle between gonorrhea and herpes, these two got all gobby as to who was ripping off the other, all the while forgetting the fact that everyone would be much better off if they both just STFU completely.

Continuing the theme of newly successful frontmen whining that another band sound a bit like them, which is basically akin to whining that the music industry happens, Brandon Flowers decided to get all agro with ‘Honest Mistake’ one hit wonders The Bravery, saying that the band “only got signed because we’re a band”. In a probably pretty inadvisable moment of retaliation, frontman Sam Endicott then shot back by calling Flowers “a kid in a wheelchair”. Stay classy, The Bravery.

When ruddy-cheeked posh boy Tom Chaplin from Keane checked into The Priory in 2006, the internet lol-ed itself into a frenzy that the singer had finally admitted his crippling addition to port. This was, in fact, a joke started by Kasabian lothario Serge Pizzorno, who was then challenged to a drinking contest by an unimpressed Chaplin to prove how much port he could definitely still quaff if he wanted to, we assume. Everything then died down while Chaplin set about weaning himself off whatever it was he was actually in there for (sherry?) and Kasabian set about getting really massive, until singer Tom Meighan made another pop about Chaplin living off a diet of “pies and Quavers” and then realized this was basically like kicking a sad dog in a corner and apologized.


How many people does it take to make a beef? In this case one and eight, or however many people are in Arcade Fire these days. This “beef” basically consisted of Flaming Lips madman Wayne Coyne – a man, let’s remember, who’s basically taken every drug ever and regularly travels around in a giant ball like a sparkly human hamster – shouting things while Arcade Fire continued with their daily business. Wayne called the Canadians “pompous pricks” - *news story alert*. Then he apologized - *news story alert*. Then he decided that, actually he did mean that, and took back the apology - *news story alert*. Somewhere in Pittsburgh, it’s very possible that Coyne is still swinging back and forth, stating and retracting his insult while one lone blogger desperately still clings on to the idea that anyone cares.

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @LisaAnneWright

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