The hippest, edgiest pop stars attended state schools! (Only the wimps went to private schools)

Francis Gilbert's picture
The  biggest rock and roll acts of the past twenty years attended state schools. Robbie Williams, possibly the most successful pop act of the last decade attended Mill Hill Primary School at Stoke-on-Trent then St Margaret Ward Roman Catholic School in Tunstall, both community schools.

The edgiest, hippest band of the past few years is without question, The Arctic Monkeys, who no doubt gained their street cred by going to local schools.

Frankie from The Saturdays actually attended the state school where I teach in Havering. The Saturdays are among the most popular girl bands of the moment. Another important, emerging band had all its members attend my school too: Stereo Decade. I've been to some of their gigs and they are really good.

Other members of massive rock bands of the last two decades, Blur, Oasis and Suede all attended local state schools. There is no doubt that the fact that they all mixed with their local communities brought the verve and zest to their music. Blur is probably the most innovative act of the last twenty years; their craft was famously honed at a Colchester state school. Damon Albarn has talked of being inspired by his music teacher. Meanwhile, the two Gallagher brothers may not have been very well behaved at school, but they certainly gained their edginess and grit by attending their local school.

In contrast, the acts that have attended private schools and gained some success pale in comparison with these giants. It probably comes as no surprise that Coldplay were privately educated. You can hear it in their mournful, middle-of-the-road music; it's very sorry-for-itself stuff. Wimp rock basically.
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Nigel Ford's picture
Mon, 06/12/2010 - 10:11

I think if the Daily Mail was more enlightened, their music critic might be out of a job Francis.

I'm afraid my interest in pop music waned after the 70s when I used to listen to Deep Purple, ELP and Yes as well as jiving away in discos to the glam rock bands in the days when I wasn't follicly challenged.

You can however add Toploader to the list of locally educated comprensive lads.

Fiona Millar's picture
Mon, 06/12/2010 - 10:19

Now we are really starting to date ourselves but what about Suggs from Madness?
More recently and in sport David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. also received suggestion of Keira Knightley, Liam Fox, Michael Vaughan and Ken Branagh.

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