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 Everett True

Some right crap media double standards: Kings Of Leon vs Amy Winehouse

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Note the difference between the tone (and reaction) to these two stories, both taken from reputable UK newspaper, The Guardian.

Amy Winehouse cancels part of European tour after jeers in Belgrade
Singer’s performance dubbed ‘worst in city’s history’ after she arrived an hour late, mumbled through songs and disappeared

Amy Winehouse has called off some European tour dates after she was jeered for a shambolic performance during a concert in Serbia.

Saturday’s gig in Belgrade kicked off what was to be a 12-date tour. But Winehouse, who has reportedly struggled for years with drug and alcohol issues, was booed for arriving almost an hour late and then stumbling to the stage and appearing unable to remember the lyrics to her songs. She dropped the microphone, mumbled through her songs and occasionally disappeared, leaving her band to keep on playing.

A video posted on YouTube shows Winehouse wildly staggering around while trying to sing and stopping several times in mid-verse, looking over to her bandmates for help. At one point, she calls over a backup singer to fill in for her. Serbian media described the concert before 20,000 fans as a “scandal” and a “disaster”.

The Blic daily, which posted a clip from the concert on its website with the warning “Listen if you dare”, said the concert was “the worst in the history of Belgrade”.

Kings of Leon cancel US tour due to exhaustion
Speculation over band’s future continues after singer Caleb Followill walks out of Texas gig, blaming ‘vocal issues’

“Ashamed” and “utterly depressed”, Kings of Leon have cancelled their US tour. The announcement follows a disastrous 29 July concert in Texas, where singer Caleb Followill fled the stage to be sick – and never came back. Although their publicist cited dehydration, bassist Jared Followill said: “There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”

One thing is for sure: Caleb seemed pretty shaky on Friday night. During their gig at Dallas’s Gexa Energy Pavilion, the 29-year-old complained about his voice. It’s “100% gone”, he said. “I’m trying to sing but I haven’t got a voice.” While he insisted he wasn’t drunk, “just fucking hot”, it wasn’t a cooling throat lozenge that drew Caleb away. “I’m gonna go backstage and I’m gonna vomit,” he said. “I’m gonna drink a beer and I’m gonna come back out and play three more songs.”

It’s not clear whether Caleb vomitted or had that beer, but he certainly never resumed the show.


Double standards anyone? Amy Winehouse cancels a tour because of drunkenness = end of the world as we know it. Kings Of Leon do the same = rock’n’roll. According to the media.

So why the disparity? It couldn’t have been because Kings Of Leon are rock stars – and this is acceptable behaviour for rock stars (male) – whereas Amy Winehouse was female and this is STILL not acceptable behaviour for females? Surely not. Not in this day and age.

Amy ‘s performance is dubbed “the worst in the city’s history”. Caleb Followill’s performance is put down to “exhaustion”, no mention of whether or not it was the worst show in Texas’s history. Probably not. One suspects Texas has seen some right shit in its time. Or maybe the city was not sanguine about the show in the first place. It knew not to expect anything from a Kings Of Leon show (the folk there had already heard the music). Perhaps Belgrade simply felt it had every right to be disappointed?

I doubt it.

Amy Winehouse R.I.P.

9 Responses to Some right crap media double standards: Kings Of Leon vs Amy Winehouse

  1. moker August 3, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Isn’t this really about the subtext? As in, everyone was aware that Amy Winehouse was killing herself through addiction whilst Kings of Leon well, aren’t. They’re just killing us with their music.

    But really I think that’s the point (not the music bit). So not really a double standard.

  2. Tom August 3, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Although in fairness, the Guardian also ran the following pile of shite (by an ex-NME editor, I should note) arguing that the Winehouse gig was also a great rock’n’roll spectacle. I bet he’s feeling great about it now:

  3. Everett True August 3, 2011 at 3:14 am

    @Tom. I was totally confused by the subhead on that article, until I realised they were talking about Valerie, the song – not Valerie, the band. (Fine band, too.)

    The Valerie singer’s performance was a mess, but that’s what made it rock’n’roll

  4. Darragh August 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Errr, Everett, didn’t CB laugh at Amy’s performance when she was all over the place in Belgrade? I mean, I know the point you’re making here, but isn’t CB guilty as well?

  5. Everett True August 3, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Go back and have a read of the original post, Darragh. I wasn’t doing anything of the sort.

  6. Darragh August 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Sorry, my mistake. I must have been thinking of a different article on another site…

  7. Tom Randall August 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I agree with ET. Whatever difference in “subtext” looks to be a construct in itself, underpin by a different set of assumptions: that Amy is a whorish wastrel who we all laugh at to feel better about ourselves, whereas KoL are “troubled” and “edgy”. The fact that, historically, reportage on Amy has focused on similar themes and issues is because of the same bias.

    The difference in tone is marked, and all other things being equal (and that’s a big fucking allowance for those KoL tossers, but the mainstream media wouldn’t differentiate on the quality of the music), what else could be the cause of this difference but the subject’s gender?

  8. victoria birch August 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Agree with moker. I’m not hearing any boys-will-be-rock-stars, girls-will-be-junkie-car crashes in this:


    There’s certainly an argument to be had (in terms of gender) about how the media portrays Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse. Pete Doherty is always castigated as the low-life druggy svengali who poisons himself and those around him. Amy Winehouse on the other hand never seems to be credited with having had the ability of making choices for herself. It was always the husband’s fault; she was the good girl lead astray. I found it hugely patronising and that irritates me far more that the KOL thing.

  9. Darragh August 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    This is a great satire..http://www.somethingawful.com/d/garbage-day/winehouse-zune-twitter.php

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