Inexplicably successful artists

Ed Sheeran has his own thread - he’s probably the best example of this. I am interested to hear about others that might irk you

A band that constantly bugs me, especially for their success here in Australia, is The Wombats

I know I have banged on about them here before - they constantly tour here. And i just saw an update where they have sold out Festival Hall in Melbourne. I think that is about a 2,000 capacity. They are playing the big winter festival here (Splendour in the Grass) this month, and now they have announced they are back in November for more festival appearances and their own shows!!

Who the fuck is listening to this band??? Obviously someone must be i know! Are they just popular here and pretty much a nothing in the UK??

Every time there is a big touring festival here - they are pretty much always on the lineup! Must be signed to the organisers!!

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Sheeran’s songs are catchy though. I mean if we take having a certain amount of skill at making tunes as read, I tend to assume the key to this is good management combined with the ability to accept said management if the manager is separate from the artist. Plus the artist has to have the ability to perform.

None of these things can be quantified for me. I mean I’m sure people in the industry can tell you exactly what makes a good management team, but fundamentally I think a lot of it must come down to a certain charm and/or ability to click with people.

I mean having watched some of Sheeran’s Glasto performance one year he is really slick and I can see how he was able to get people into his stuff. That performance aspect really helps if you’re doing live shows as it’ll make people come back to. Super Furry Animals and R.E.M. are both examples of bands that I didn’t fully ‘get’ until I saw them live (although I always considered them both to have catchy singles).

But yeah, management. Recall meeting the Test Icicles guys a couple of times before they blew up and they were really all over the place but they had that amazing stage thing. What they didn’t really seem to have was any sort of motivation to be big but what they found was a manager/management that made sure they did. And it’s clear they were a good band who understood that if you knuckled down it could work out.

I mean look at that Dig film where you can see the effect of Dandy Warhols clearly being ready to do whatever it took vs Brian Jonestown Massacre just eschewing the stuff. And I think BJM are still doing well which is a testament to having good music.

But you meet so many people when you’re gigging who had great tunes but were just not able to make the leap because they couldn’t connect with the people who book people and the people who put music on the radio etc.


I also think Britpop was a pretty clear example of what happens when you have the stage skill and the management but don’t really have any interesting tunes: so many bands got lots of airplay on Radio 1 and lots of TV appearances and just never found a place in anyone’s hearts beyond, “oh yeah, that track wasn’t too bad”.

yeah i get that he has catchy tunes - good a ripping things off an all - but the level of success is just WOW to me!

Of course this thread for me is just purely about how ridiculous I think their level of success is, and whinging about it! - not really factoring logical things like looking up their stats on radio plays, good management, etc

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Is this thread essentially saying ‘unexplainable’ as a euphemism for ‘I don’t like them’? If The Wombats have sold out a 2000 seater venue in Melbourne, doesn’t that say that at least 2000 people in Melbourne are listening to them?

I’ve been damned by logical technicalities early on in this here thread!


I think your use of Wombats may well be sound.

I mean I think there are bands/artists out there who just seem massively bland and yet are really really popular.

I think they must be a very safe booking for festivals here - i think Secret Sounds (who look after Splendour and Falls festivals) must have signed them up some time ago

The Courteeners should not be selling out multiple nights in Manchester in the space year 2018 but here we are. Dunno why they didn’t sit atop the pile of indie landfill but it feels like that city has really embraced them as one of their own. Each to their own horses for courses I guess.


The Courteeners are a really good example of this. I don’t think i’ve even heard a Courteeners song since the first album and they should really have died off due to lack of interest in about 2009, but they are inexplicably huge.

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The View still seem to be incredibly popular in Scotland for some reason. They can still sell out Glasgow Barrowlands/Academy/ABC on a regular basis.

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Shed Seven had a top 10 album last year and are selling out big venuea

The fact that they had a Top 10 album is mental. The weirdest thing about Shed Seven is the amount of passionate hardcore fans they seem to have…it is Shed Seven!

Several of my mates are passionate, hardcore Shed Seven fans. Odd.

Pink Floyd

They had a huge run of good singles - the best of is a strong collection. I think you can chalk this up to nostalgia of monied ex Britpoppers reliving their youth.


Unfortunately a vast amount of people enjoy unchallenging, what we may term bland, music. They want stuff very similar to stuff they’ve heard before, when Peel used to say he wanted “to hear something I’ve never heard before”, an awful lot of folks are the exact opposite.


a huge run is probably overstating it and even s, its fine for nostalgia tours but this is new material. other bands of their ilk who would release a nee album today (like Cast or someone) it would bomb

Not a bam up but I don’t get Chvrches popularity m8s, sorry.


But once a band is established that’s kind of it for this sort of thing.

And Wikipedia said it got to number 8 on only 13,000 sales.