"Sir Bob n the YouBloom judges are a pipe and slippers combo preparing for retirement" by Quilla Constance


Above Picture by Simon Richardson, Below pictures by Alex Chappel

Oxford Graduate turned Stripper turned Artist turned Pop Star Quilla Constance speaks candidly about her YouBloom Music Awards experience at The Cobden Club…

I met Sir Bob Geldof at around 7pm after he’d made a bee-line for my manager. Bob perhaps recognized him from a Julien Temple directed music video for Judas Priest where Dave had played the role of a noise abatement officer - which ended with his trousers being blasted off by the might of KK Dowling’s metal guitar solo as Dave swayed on a gantry at a sewage works in west London… or perhaps it was because Dave was the cop, frog-marching Boy George down to the dungeons in Culture Club’s ‘Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me’ promo … was Bob confused??? Did he think my manager was ‘Die Hard’ Bruce Willis, ‘Make it so’ Patrick Stewart or [more probably] ‘I’ve put money in all your pockets, now there’s been an eruption’ Bob Hoskins?? …. anyway, I digress, Bob clearly thought there was something oddly familiar about this darkly dressed portly balding gentleman and was determined to press the flesh with a ‘How are you?’ and general chit chat… so there was Sir Bob chatting away with Dave as I emerged from the dressing room picking my neon Lycra leotard out from between my hairy ass cheeks… consequently I just caught the tail end of their conversation when Dave introduced me to Sir Bob who looked leeringly at me, eyes glinting eventually saying ‘Hi’ – which of course got me slightly moist as Bob’s hot for 60 (GRILF) ...plus I’m a big fan of The Boomtown Rats.

                                                                                                                    Below: Fierce - Quilla performs at You Bloom

Fierce - Quilla performs at You BloomThe event kicked off at around 7:30pm with various acts hitting the stage – all of whom were what I can only describe as technically competent, polite, and unremarkable. The YouBloom judging panel consisted of Sir Bob Geldof, Rupert Hine and Nigel Grainge who were seemingly content to reward ‘nice’ chord changes to the detriment of originality, interesting lyrical content , charisma, or indeed, actual performance. I can only liken them to a kind of pipe and slippers combo playing ‘what’s my tax liability?’ whilst squatting in the waiting room of doom. I grimaced into my white wine spritzer occasionally mouthing the words ‘sorry’ and ‘not another’ to a few arty types who I’d invited - especially since I’d told them it was gonna be cool.

Boy was I ‘mishtaken’.

Incidentally I wondered how these 3 former musketeers had managed to become so uncool? After all they had bollox back in the 80’s…Rupert Hine with Quantum Jump’s hilarious ‘The Lone Ranger’ and Nigel Grainge unearthing diamonds such as Sinead O’Connor and Eddy Grant. In Sir Bob’s defence- I think he realises music competitions such as YouBloom, and X-Factor are all total pants but he appears to have run out of punk spunk and can’t be bothered to rectify it…which is a shame. Once Marina V (a ‘finalist’) launched into her ‘Sunshine Song’, I had to rush backstage and demand my medical team botox my toes to prevent their total curl up. This song sounded like a CBBC reject theme tune and I’m sure continues to haunt all exposed to its horrific, anodyne cadences. It seemed to last forever. Never before has time dilated so depressingly. Ending with a truly nauseating ‘Thank you sooooo much, you’ve been a wunnnerful audience’ – upon which all sentient beings around me started to heave uncontrollably, twitch and reach for the nearest morphine drip.

Below: Unimpressed - Quilla walks off her set

‘Touching the void’ seemed de rigueur as each act gave increasingly less hope of salvation. We were all surely doomed and just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they of course did. At precisely 9pm I listened in disbelief as Sir Bob delivered a slightly apologetic speech, going on about the probable naff-ness of YouBloom - peppered with a polite use of the ‘F’ word – perhaps this was his attempt to save face seeing as he was about to present the cherubic Neev Kennedy and her repackaged schmaltz with a cheque for 10,000 euros! I swear that girl is an émigré from Father Ted’s Craggie Island. Go on, go on, go on, go on…and she and they ‘shurely’ did, they wouldn’t stop…relentless, unwitting, unremarkable and in our faces.

I clapped because I felt obliged just like the crowd (I hoped) whilst the words ‘SHAM’’ burned a hole in my cerebral cortex. At this point I felt underwhelmed – I had hoped to witness something new and exciting. YouBloom claimed to be about supporting new and exciting acts. It wasn’t, it isn’t and won’t ever be unless it evolves. In the words of The Stranglers - ‘Something better change’… but somehow you know it won’t as long as there are tax avoidance schemes for the rich, gullible bedroom songwriters and Billericay twerps hip hopping and R’n’B ing their way into nothingness.

Bob mentioned that theYouBloom internet based competition had not received many entries. Why reward or give anyone false hope then? To this end- I say if he’s serious about finding great performers he’ll have to go out and look for them– everyone knows the best bands don’t enter naff music competitions where song/artist selection is open to the public vote. Under these conditions it is inevitable that anything extreme or different is eliminated or diluted in order to cater for general tastes…

You may say competitions like YouBloom and X-Factor are just harmless fun- but are they? The pernicious truth of the matter is that we're living in a time where we're being given increasingly less choice across the mainstream pop scene which isn’t good news when the mainstream is ubiquitous and inescapable. If a singer doesn't sound like a sanitized version of Amy Winehouse or a band isn't a replica of Snow Patrol or Girls Aloud it’s much harder to secure any kind of record deal, corporate backing or mass visibility. I once heard Simon Cowell state: “I’m simply giving the public what they want”. Thanks Simon. In response I say we're trapped in a cycle where people have become addicted to the familiar and the familiar is limited.

The ever-present media machine that is Lady Gaga is no exception in the barren climate of mainstream pop. The sophistication of the relentless PR spin surrounding her does an effective job of convincing most people that she has something interesting and profound to say, when in fact she’s just a Galliano clad Cheryl Cole. Hasn’t anyone heard of Peaches [the singer], The Knife or HK119? They’ve got much more to offer. They are unique and have something to say, yet they are relatively marginalised. My favourite band right now is Fishwife’s Broadside... they’re a punk/folk band whose songs are about low wages, real life and real people.

I was excited to be invited to perform at YouBloom. I was supposed to be the ‘after party’ entertainment. I accepted the gig because I was curious to hear the acts Bob, Rupert and Nigel had selected as ‘new’ or ‘exciting’. Plus, I wanted to perform SNOW DADDY at the Cobden club - a notorious trustafarian hang-out! Instead, all I experienced was a relentless march of the bland, a smooth criminal, with Bob and silvery haired chums disappearing once the accountants said they could. Bah. Humbug…..or should I say, ‘Thank you sooooo much, you’ve been a wunnerful audience’?

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I love how Quilla gets under the skin of people who are totally set in their ways of thinking. Fantastic!
Vant Moore
Snowdaddy rocks! Saw Quilla @ The Victoria, Dalston & she gave a great performance. Distinctive voice, unique look & legs to die for. She is HOT!:p
I think that Quilla writes very interestingly in this blog. She definitely is intelligent. But I went to Youtube and saw the video for Snow Daddy and it was bar none one of the worst videos and songs and singing I've ever heard. So, I'm not sure why she would be harsh on "musicians" who actually "sing" and play???? that's just my 2 cents.. she's of course very right about Youbloom... but I could have done away with the music bashing. Boring music is still better than "bad" music. To each their own.:)
Eleanor Bens
QUILLA CONSTANCE SINGLE LAUNCH @ PUNK SOHO!!! Wednesday 29th June 7:30pm-late (Quilla on stage from 8:15pm)...Advance Ticket Concessions Available from The Daily Mail Online: http://tickets.dailymail.co.uk/quilla-constance-tickets/
I'm glad Eleanor hates the Snow Daddy video, singing and music. Pop songs are either good or bad, they either do it or they don't, they live or die. Judgement of pop is entirely subjective and appropriate to such an ephemeral culture ... in my book, boring is always bad no matter how technically accomplished it may be. YouBloom was supposed to be a selection of the finest, most innovative performers and songwriters. Like I said in the article, they were all technically competent. This was never in doubt. However, without exception, none had anything to say, performances were limited and musically speaking it was 'playing by numbers'. All correct, in its place but unfortunately in our faces for 95% of the night. Oh yes, and boring. Thanks Eleanor ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Quilla Constance
I agree with Quilla. You Bloom sucked - P.S Just watched Snowdaddy. The bit where Quilla kicks the mince pie off the table totally cracks me up- lol
Martin Sutton
Isn't Snow Daddy about Peaches Geldof???! If so that's genius but think the video is a bit grim. Two questions: 1.Are they really her parents?! 2.How the heck did she persuade them to do it? Saw Quilla at 93 Feet East- she was MENTAL. Gave me nightmares and a boner. I'm confused :)
I saw Quilla Constance at Hackney Wicked & she was great. Reminds me of Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow mixed with Grace Jones. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us70d4ijuq8
QUILLA CONSTANCE WILL BE HEADLINING @ PROUD CAMDEN ON DECEMBER 7th 2011! CHECK OUT HER BLOG! http://www.myspace.com/quillaconstance/blog
Dave Greenfield