The Irish Times – Monday, October 10, 2011
SMALL PRINT: YOU CAN say goodbye to The Killers. They’ve lost credibility in the eyes of many music fans after the British prime minister David Cameron walked out to make his keynote conference speech in Manchester last Wednesday to the strains of the band’s song All These things that I’ve Done . The Tory leader had previously said that the song is his favourite ever, but he is now being accused on various internet forums of irrevocably damaging the US band’s reputation by using the song in such a prominent manner.
From the band’s 2004 album, Hot Fuss , All These things that I’ve done is perhaps better known by its key lyric, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” The comedian Bill Bailey once memorably drew attention to the apparent meaningless of the lyrics by coming up with his own version: “I’ve got ham, but I’m not a hamster.”
The song is one of The Killers’ most popular and has been covered by U2 and Coldplay in their live shows. in 2008, Cameron turned up at The Killers’ show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and some fans took exception. Speaking on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs , however, Cameron had professed The Killers to be his favourite band. he also declared himself a big fan of The Smiths and Radiohead.
While there has been no comment from The Killers about Cameron’s use of the song, Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths have taken grave exception to Cameron’s public show of fandom. “stop saying that you like The Smiths; no you don’t. I forbid you to like our music,” wrote Marr in an open letter to Cameron on his Twitter page.
Cameron has also got into trouble with Radiohead after he claimed that the band performed their song Fake Plastic Trees at an environmental awareness gig especially for him. Radiohead’s singer, Thom Yorke, was moved to make a statement saying that a number of politicians had been invited to the gig in the hope they’d change their policies, and that while Cameron had requested the song in the letter confirming his appearance, their performance of Fake Plastic Trees had absolutely nothing to do with Cameron’s request.