The lengthy list of pop stars with a ludicrously over-inflated sense of their own importance has just been joined by Keane. Those unfamiliar with their work are missing out on a Coldplay that eats at Greggs rather than from Gwyneth Paltrow’s macrobiotic recipe book.
Singer Tom Butler is so satisfied with his enervating warblings that he claims Keane are in the vanguard of the "fight against mindless, temporary pop". By singing profound stuff like "you’re aching, you’re breaking, I can see the pain in your eyes."
Their fifth album Strangeland entered the charts at number one, helped by cut-price supermarket offers, so they are hardly left-field experimentalists. "It's a relief that people are still willing to listen to music like ours," Chaplin told NME, "because it's clearly becoming a rarer thing. It feels to me like when we first started out in 2004, there were loads of bands and over the years they've all fallen by the wayside."
Butler made a comparison to the Britpop era. "When we were teenagers, we had all this great music in the charts, even the singles chart had some authenticity then. It seems much harder to find great music in the charts these days, that's not to say that it isn't there, but it's much harder to find. I can't think of that many great records that have been a chart success in the last few years."
Completing the transition into grumpy old man, Butler made the inevitable reference to talent show pop. "We're living in the Simon Cowell generation," he said with the same lack of originality that characterises Keane’s music. "Everyone seems to be a product of a TV show and it's made music quite generic, which I find very frustrating."