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Favourite Frontmen – Part Two

Siobhanne Beattie


Front man; noun (plural front men) :- the leader of a band.  As if it’s that simple.  The Front man is responsible for projecting the cool, charisma, talent and sex-appeal of a band.

Having gained a healthy appetite for leading men and the band they front at a fairly young age, I have experienced some of our generations most exhilarating and exciting front men on offer, and have inadvertently, developed a few favourites along the way.

I’m very proud to introduce (a couple more) of the Men in my life…

David Bowie (The Spiders From Mars)

I didn’t discover Bowie’s back catalogue until I was in my late teens but it was love at first listen.  Bowie effortlessly encapsulates cool, sophistication and talent.  He has evolved over the past three decades, in both style and sound, remaining as relevant today as he was in 1970.

Bowie has influenced some of my favourite bands of today and his hits, both past and present, are a regular feature on my iPod.

Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

I discovered Joy Division through Brandon Flowers after he cited the Manchester band as one of his biggest influences in early 2004.

With the exception of Love Will Tear us Apart, their music was completely new to me and I kicked myself for having missed out so long.

Similarly to Michael Hutchence and INXS, I deeply regret not having seen Joy Division play live – the closest I got was a New Order gig in 2005.

I regularly get the bewildered look followed by the inevitable, “How can you listen to this?  It’s so depressing.”  Ian Curtis had a non-sugar coated approach to writing about life (and love, in particular), it’s what makes the atmospheric sound in their music.

Having been born six years after Curtis’ suicide, I have had to settle for the limited footage of Joy Division (particularly Curtis) in action.  I am always mesmerized by his inept movement and dancing onstage, a trait now evident in  diluted form in The Killer’s Brandon Flowers.

Curtis never fails to evoke emotion in me each and every time I hear his voice.

Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance)

I fell in love with My Chemical Romance’s punk rock, angst-anthem, I’m Not OK (I Promise) from my first listen in 2004.

Since then, the band have evolved from disposable emo to one of the most significant alternative/Rock bands of the past decade, penning some modern-day anthems for my generation.

Gerard Way endears me with his deceiving, albeit not deliberate, delicate and almost feminine offstage demeamour.  But when in the spotlight, has the presence to capture and unite an arena full of people, with a phenomenal bout of energy and passion.

I am smitten with Way’s effortless ability to say so much with just one line, he is the reason my neighbours are demented with my delusion of being a punk-rock front woman, singing along at top volume to MCR songs.

Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones)

I was always aware of The Rolling Stones’ music when growing up but didn’t embrace their sound until I was in my early twenties.

I love how I can listen to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction today and it still sounds as exhilarating as it did upon release in the mid-sixties.

The Rolling Stones are accountable for some of my favourite songs and some of the greatest Rock tracks ever written, and they remain, after more than forty years, relevant and significant.

Mick Jagger ticks all the boxes for what you expect from a front man of a Rock ‘N’ Roll band – he has the attitude, energy,  charisma and the moves!

I saw The Stones play Hampden Stadium, Glasgow in 2006 and was in awe of Jagger’s unwavering zest and passion throughout, I was thrilled at the experience of hearing some of my favourite tracks played live.

Morrissey (The Smiths)

Brandon Flowers and my best friend are to blame for my love of Morrissey.  Both are just a little in love with him, but apparently not in that way, and it is seemingly contagious, or at least, that’s my excuse.

As with Ian Curtis and Joy Division, I take a great deal of stick for my love of Morrissey and The Smiths, but I care very little, and pray for those whose CD Collection is without Morrissey.

I love Morrissey because he has a unique take on songwriting and a talent for “turn of phrase”.

In 2006, sometime before my Morrissey-related epiphany, I was (reluctantly) dragged along by my aforementioned best friend to see Morrissey play live in Glasgow.  I was smitten with his flamboyant and charismatic performance and his undeniable appreciation of his fans.  As much as I hated admitting it, I loved every second of his performance and have never looked back.