I would have got a lot more done today if I hadn’t been compelled to stop and stare at this amazing picture of Razorlight at regular intervals. You’ve almost certainly seen this by now, because it’s been all around the internet and back again several times. But just think, there was a point at which this was just a picture that a handful of people had looked at and said, “Yeah, that looks great.”
UPDATE: Giving this story more attention than is strictly necessary, here’s my editorial from this week’s CMU Weekly:
In these days where companies create content with a view to making it ‘go viral’, it’s always nice to see something genuinely capture the hearts and minds of internet users such that hundreds, thousands, even millions of them feel the need to share it.
This week, it was news of Razorlight’s return that was getting people (not millions, but certainly thousands) excited in this manner. Well, it wasn’t, it was more the press photo that accompanied the news. The fact that Razorlight will return this year with a new album, a headline slot at Guilfest (alongside James Blunt), and an almost entirely new line-up was over shadowed by a strange facial expression and a massive hat.
As far as I can tell, The Quietus takes the prize for putting the picture online first, postulating that the band had morphed into goth legends Fields Of The Nephilim. As the day drew on, it would be suggested that they were trying out for the next ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ movie, that Cotton Eye Joe’s frontman had been added to the line-up, and that Johnny Borrell had suffered a stroke.
The picture was reposted thousands of times on blogs, entertainment websites, and social networks, each time met with hilarity. I struggled all day to get anything done, as I fought the compulsion to go and stare at this amazing image one more time. I even missed a bus because of it.
In the end, Razorlight were forced to issue a statement on the matter. Yes, they told us, a photo of the band had been “leaked online”. Apparently I missed the memo where it was announced that “leaked online” had become shorthand for “was sent out to journalists by a PR company”. The statement also revealed that “founder members Bjorn Agren (guitar) and Carl Dalemo (bass) agreed on an amicable parting following unproductive early recording sessions for a new album late last year”.
Considering the metadata on the picture reveals that it was taken in October last year, that doesn’t leave much time for the two new members – Gus Robertson and Freddie Stitz – to have been recruited, which may also account for the awful styling. Though the biggest question of all still remains unanswered – whose idea was the hat?