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Favourite Frontmen – Part One

Siobhanne Beattie

Triangle

A front man of a band is the epitome of sex appeal, talent, charisma and cool.  All the guys want to be him and all the girls want to bed him.

Seeing my first gig at thirteen (Boyzone, and the less said about that and my teeny bopper crush on Stephen Gately, the better…) introduced me to the adrenalin and excitement of a live performance, and, by sixteen, it had escalated into the extreme and expensive addiction of selling kidneys and trading in siblings in exchange for “gold-dust” tickets that it is today.

More than ten years of watching bands play has exposed me to some of the coolest (and hottest) frontmen of our generation.  From the bad boys to the pretty boys, I’m proud to introduce you to some of the Men in my life…

Bono (U2)

I saw U2 live in 2001 when I was fifteen and highly impressionable. Bono changed everything.

Having tired already of squeaky-clean boy bands and been crushed by the apparent end of Oasis and my dabble with bad boys in the form of The Brothers Gallagher who seemed to be on the decline….(do you remember, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”….*shudder*..) I was looking for something else.

I harbour a deep affection for Bono because he oozes confidence, cool and charisma, both on and offstage. Bono creates an energy at a live gig and a special connection between himself and U2’s army of fans, like no other front man I’ve ever seen.

And, albeit, even I find his charitable efforts sometimes annoying, his passion and dedication is admirable, nonetheless.

Love him, or loathe him, there is no-one like him, and never will there be.

Brandon Flowers (The Killers)

The Killers were a welcome shot of adrenalin in an insipid music scene upon arrival in 2004.  I fell in love with the catchy, synth-pop soaked, Somebody Told Me that year, and have been smitten with the band, particularly their leading man, ever since.

Brandon Flowers is a walking contradiction. Offstage, a shy, socially awkward young man, but onstage, a flamboyant, charismatic and seductive showman, and it is this transformation from regular guy to bona fide Rock Star that allures him to me.

The Killers are responsible for some of our generation’s greatest modern day anthems and Flowers has a natural talent for penning lyrics, “I Got Soul, But I’m Not A Soldier….” sound tracking my young life, so far.

Flowers stands apart from his musical counterparts, and is one of most talented and credible musicians of modern music.

Michael Hutchence (INXS)

One of my biggest regrets is that my experience of INXS live in concert is confined to DVD.

No-one epitomised sex-appeal better than Michael Hutchence.

A chunk of INXS’ back catalogue is still housed on my iPod today, and they have always been a band that, no matter how many “next big thing” bands appear on the scene, I can always go back to and enjoy as if it were my first time hearing them.

Hutchence projected an image of cool, charisma and talent, effortlessly making him everything you expect from a performer – nothing captured this better than INXS’ promo for, Need You Tonight, the way, I imagine, most people remember him.

Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys)

I inherited my love of Pet Shop Boys from my Mother, who had most of their 80s hits on vinyl, which are now played daily on my record player.

Neil Tennant is probably not a popular choice amongst my generation, but as a frontman, he epitomises cool, sophistication, and charisma.  He possesses one of pop’s most recognisable but authentic voices, making him a credible choice.

Pet Shop Boys are responsible for some of the greatest pop songs ever written and could fill any dancefloor.  Most impressively, they have stayed together after twenty five years, and inspired some of today’s biggest and best artists, from The Killers to Lady GaGa.

Peter Doherty (The Libertines/Babyshambles)

I was introduced to the music and lyrics of Peter Doherty by my younger brother several years ago and it has been an unconditional love ever since.

Doherty has a natural talent for penning poetic lyrics and beautiful songs.  However, a highly-publicised drug addiction has overshadowed his career and credibility has eluded him.

Seeing Doherty play live is a thrilling gig experience with an undercurrent of unpredictability that gives his performances an edge like no other artist.

I admire Doherty’s ability to be both charismatic and vulnerable at the same time, and I love his candid approach to songwriting, and I’m eternally grateful for Albion.