CHARLES GRAHAM - Vocal support for new competition

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NOTHING used to rile the late Davy Jones more than folk going on about how The Monkees were a “manufactured” band.

It bugged him that some folk felt there was something wrong if musicians didn’t come together through some sort of organic osmosis such as being friends from school.

To put four talented strangers together in a group was a cultural afront, rendering the music they produced somehow less profound, phoney even.

I greatly sympathise with Jones’s scorn for this attitude. When the chips are down, all that should really matter is whether that group is good or not, he used to say.

I don’t hear anyone claiming that the Berlin Philharmonic should be maligned and is incapable of performing the world’s greatest music simply because it auditions new players rather than relies an old mates network.

Its integrity is in no way compromised by such selection methods (quite the opposite).

Classical music of course is often (but not always) much less interested in the whole package. You can have a right munter but so long as she plays the violin or piano like an angel then the audience will turn up and listen.

Which brings me to The Voice.

My heart sank when I heard that yet more prime time Saturday television was going to be taken up by amateurs competing in a talent competition. Surely to goodness every pop wannabe in Britain has tried and failed at least three times on the multitude of small screen selection programmes.

But at least this time apparently the judges are not making their decisions based on appearance (I’ll believe that completely when the series is over) but purely on vocal qualities.

If I ruled the world I would keep this concept and ditch all the others. But unfortunately the TV companies are too desperate for all the phone vote income for any of these other over-hyped mediocrity fests ever to be dumped.