Some of you will remember the almighty battle for Christmas number 1 last year. The battle, started on Facebook, between Joe McEldry from the X-Factor and Rage Against The Machine.
A little background first, the X-Factor is a *cough* Talent Show *cough* that usually begins around summer time and ends in the run up to Christmas. The winner always releases a song in time for the Christmas number one. Ever since the X-Factor began, the Christmas number 1 spot has been owned by the X-Factor. Last year something changed, a couple started a Facebook Group to get the Rage Against The Machine track 'Killing in the Name' to Christmas number 1. Initially the group was dismissed as 'another Facebook group' but as the number of fan's grew, the campaign really took a life of its own. Membership quickly grew, and stood at 950,000 just before the chart position was revealed..
Notable incidents during the campaign was a live broadcast on Radio 5Live one weekday morning, after promising a profanity free performance, the song's no famous ending 'Fuck you I wont do what you tell me' was sung in its entirety. Prompting a quick cessation of the performance and an apology live on air. Personally I thought it was funny that one presenter, Nicky Campbell, apologised as he was rocking to the song too much he forgot where he was!! That could be wrong but im sure that's what happened!
While 'Killing in the Name' had a head start in terms of sales, I doubt you could find many people who expected them to overhaul the X-Factor machine, but in the end they did. Rage Against the Machine were Christmas number 1. Radio stations around the land, Radio 1 included, had to play the song. Final stats show that 'Killing in the Name' sold a good 50,000 copies more, over 500,000 downloads. Rock fan's, and fan's of non-manufactured crap rejoiced!
In the campaign before Christmas number one was announced, Rage Against the Machine announced that should 'Killing in the Name' be Christmas number one, they would come to the UK and perform a free gig in celebration. Last sunday 6th June, The Angry Budgie was in Finnsbury Park, for that event! That sunday night, saw one of the best gig's I have ever been to! 40,000 people, and some extras who jumped the fence, 4 bands, fans in trees, what a night!
The support act's on the night were, Gallows, Roots Manuva and Gogol Bordello. If im honest all were largely forgettable, only Gogol Bordello really got the crowd going. But if we are honest there was only ever one band people had turned up to see! A great video spoof of Simon Cowell was played on the big screen's and the band came on and exploded into Testify and Bombtrack.
Rage Against the Machine played an amazing set full of their best known songs, the couple that began the Facebook group were also brought onstage for a hero's welcome. The band and the couple present a cheque to the homeless charity Shelter, 100% of the profit's from the half million downloads were going to Shelter. As the end of the night approached, the band went off for the en-core and finished with.....well lets face it there was only ever going to be one song to close the night. After a short break the en-core consisted of one song and one song only: Killing in the Name.
Alot was said of the irony, that Simon Cowell is part of Sony Music, and Rage are signed with Sony music, so who really win's?
Personally that was not the point of the campaign for me, for me it was a chance to have originally written music, performed by people passionate about music, rightly get recognition in the charts over some manufactured identikit pop rubbish. For god sake, the song from Joe and the X-Factor was a cover!!!!! A Miley Cyrus cover as well! For fuck's sake!
Anyway, the 6th June will be remembered for a long time, I am just so grateful I was there to be a part of it!
Set list (include links to music video's if possible):
People of the Sun
Know your Enemy
Bulls on Parade
Bullet in the Head
Sleep now in the Fire
Killing in the Name