The music industry’s fight against piracy has taken a new turn after Elbow’s Guy Garvey told the BBC’s NewsBeat that music pirates are ‘going to hell’. This revelation shows a previously hidden side to the British rock group, one consisting of orthodox Christian virtues and outspoken, pious morality, as opposed to an overriding concern for the security of personal wealth.
So, should we be expecting a similarly more noticeable shift in the band’s work in line with this news? I may be wrong, but personally I think that The Seldom Seen Kid has a better ring to it than The Marcienic Antithesis is a Reactionary and Heretical Response to a Complex Theological Problem.
However, it seems that his holiness was more mitigated in his attack on piracy. When describing people who can afford the music but choose to steal it instead, he said that “you’re going to hell and you’ve got your own room”, but in contrast he claimed to understand if the criminal in question had financial problems of their own. So, I assume that the message that we are to take away from this is that unnecessary theft is evil, but if there’s no other way of getting hold of the music then it’s all fine. This is fantastic news for me, as I have precisely 31p to my name until my student loan comes in, and a track on iTunes costs 79p. I wonder what these rooms in hell are like. Maybe they have nice cushions.
Still, to me it seems that this new sense of moral fibre is somewhat misguided. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, and neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, nor go to HMV of a weekend; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them and buyeth them Florence and the Machine records at Christmas. Are ye not much better than they?”. Still, as showcased on the BBC’s The Lost Gospels programme a few weeks ago, in the forgotten Gospel of Craig, Jesus is quoted as having said “Blessed are they who buy music legally and from reputable retailers, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”. That said, most theological debates have multiple plausible answers, so maybe Guy I has a point. Still, in the name of balance we should probably ask that other Pope bloke his opinion, whatever his name is. The one with the hat. Apparently Elbow have an audience with him, so it should all be resolved quickly enough.
So, to conclude, I’ll leave you with a quote from the extended version of one of Elbow’s recent hits: “I’ve been working on a cocktail called ‘Grounds for Divorce’, which could be construed as breaking a promise made before God in His house, and therefore those involved could be found guilty of heresy and burnt at the stake.”