The excitable ranks of guitar based indie rock are abuzz, following confirmation that the dullest possible band name for the genre has been located and copyrighted by researchers at Leeds University.
It is understood that a number of record companies are in a bidding war for ownership of the name The Tabards. Rumours are circulating of six-figure sums being offered to the team, who are said to have been working for several years to pinpoint the name.
‘We’ve known for several years that a stupefyingly prosaic band name is non-negotiable when marketing guitar-based indie’ explained Jez Whitmore, UK CEO of indie label Sony BMG. ‘Unless a name infers a sufficient level of unadventurousness, the average indie fan is prone to become fearful and indecisive. He or she quickly retreats to the reassuring timbre of names such as The View, The Feeling and The Wombats.’
Indie music was founded in the late 1970s in the wake of punk, but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that record labels noticed the disproportionate interest in bands with dreary forgettable names - The Smiths and The Cure regularly outselling The Cocteau Twins by 5 to 1 - until their record label forced them to re-crhisten themselves The Daves.
Over subsequent decades critics have regularly declared the indie rock genre to be dead, before further tediously-monikered bands such as Pavement, The Strokes, Pulp and Coldplay lead another revival of its fortunes. But as the supply of suitably tedious band names finally seems close to exhaustion, even the stoutest defender can be heard expressing concerns for the future of indie.
‘Names like The Tabards are becoming harder and harder to come by’ explained Mr Whitmore ‘For that reason Sony is willing to pay whatever it takes to secure it. And we have the perfect band waiting to adopt it; ‘The Tabards’ sums them up perfectly - except of course they don’t stand out, thank God!’