Y'know that feature the music magazines like to do from time to time, when they get a bunch of female musicians together — often from very different disciplines, and with very, very different ways of approaching what they do — and make some spurious case about how there's a new wave of girl stars on the way, and that this is a very exciting new development within the field of popular song? The one where they effectively try to suggest that being a girl is a style, analogous to being a mod or a punk? This week's Top 5 would be a godsend to anyone trying to put together something like that.
For starters, the top two — Cheryl Cole and Rihanna — have formally swapped places, as if by prior agreement. "Only Girl (In the World)" is now at No.1, while "Promise This" slips down a place, gracefully. International sisterhood, perhaps? Well how about this, the No.3 position has been taken by the very youthful — and rather marvellous — Alexis Jordan. Well, if that's not a red flag to someone to prepare a (slightly pointless) rant about the death of the male pop star, I don't know what is.
And that's before you even consider the fact that Katy Perry is at No.4 with the very apt "Firework". In fact, it's such a total gender route that it has been left up to Bruno Mars to represent manhood with "Just The Way You Are" at No.5, and let's face it, he's hardly singing for the fellas either.
Speaking of Katy Perry, I said apt because of course it's been bonfire night over here. You've heard about this, right? November the 5th is the night where people gather in muddy fields to watch fireworks go off, wave sparklers, and generally huddle around a big bonfire, eating hot dogs. Usually there's an effigy on top, of the man who lead a conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament back in the 17th Century; Guy Fawkes.
Explaining the hows and whys of the thing is a little odd, but if you'd like to get a feeling of the event, simply wrap up warm, go and stand in a damp public park in your wellies at night. Then play Katy's video – for the fireworks – while burning a slightly rubbish voodoo doll of a mildly interesting figure from history: someone you would never have heard of, had there not been such an explosive hoo-hah going on in their name.
Then all you need to do is trudge back home, breathing in that cold and smoky air, and you're basically one of us.
For the rest of this week's chart, Radio 1 has the full rundown.
Which other British traditions leave you a bit baffled? Let me know.
by Fraser McAlpineRead More