The Null Device

The Human League, tedium and creativity

The Quietus has an interview with The Human League, (who have a new album coming out, apparently skipping the whole 80s synthpop nostalgia circuit and focussing on making dancefloor-oriented electronic music). Anyway, the interview includes an interesting assertion that boring places (like Sheffield, allegedly) produce more interesting music than exciting places (like London):
(Joanne:) But Sheffield isn’t just about that; obviously you’ve got the Arctic Monkeys as well. It’s a very, very arty town. It’s a bit dull...
(Susan:) I think it is because it’s a bit boring. There isn’t much going on. You only have to go across the Pennines to Manchester and suddenly you're in a different world; it’s very cosmopolitan. You come back to Sheffield and it’s a bit... boring! And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing because it creates creativity.
But that’s why good bands don’t come from London. Ambitious bands move to London to become famous but that’s not the same thing... even during punk and post-punk when you had a lot of people coming through, a lot of these bands were more associated with places like Bromley, which are satellite towns or else they came from squatted communities where people couldn’t afford any of the entertainment options that London offered.

There are 2 comments on "The Human League, tedium and creativity":

Posted by: Greg Tue Feb 15 21:03:09 2011

There's a lot of anecdotes and opinion to this effect. It used to be said about Brisbane for example. But I'd want to see stats, because I think one could just as easily claim that cities that are already full of creativity inspire creativity - eg Melbourne and New York.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Wed Feb 16 10:19:09 2011

Perhaps it depends on how far the creativity present is removed from the creative process. If it's something like Melbourne's "little band" scene or Portland's zine culture, where the audiences are the participants, it could be different than an industry/marketplace town like London, where the packaged end results of creativity are made available for consumption.

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