Last month, in the absence of Kurt Cobain, an array of leading women including Annie Clark of St Vincent, Lorde, Joan Jett and Kim Deal took to the mic when Nirvana were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. We asked you who you’d want to replace the singers of your favourite bands if the situation ever arose – here were the best of your suggestions…
Kanye West – The Strokes
Tom Barton suggested getting Yeezy to lend his considerable charisma to The Strokes should Julian Casablancas ever need a day off to go leather jacket shopping. Aside from some small footwear disputes, we reckon the two would provide such an explosive level of cool it might actually rip a small hole in the O-zone somewhere near downtown New York.
Annie Clark - Stereolab
She may have already had a stint with Nirvana, but Annie Clark was one of your most popular choices to front an array of bands. Miguel Nuno Teixeira voted that the St. Vincent singer joins the ranks of Stereolab: “It's a triple win,” he argued. “You get St. Vincent, Stereolab reunite and you still have Laetitia [Sadler] solo... cheeky”.
Annie Clark – Talking Heads
In her original blog, Deputy Editor of NME.com Lucy Jones suggested that the new chameleon of vocalists Annie Clark would be best off in Talking Heads. “I saw David Byrne and Annie Clark play a set that included Talking Heads covers a couple of years and she's surely one of the only artists that could do justice to Byrne’s voice, brio and dancing,” she wrote.
Miles Kane – The Libertines
Kelvin Oktavianus, meanwhile, reckons that Miles Kane would be a suitable successor to board the good ship Albion with The Libertines. “Similar voice, similar music and concept,” he said. “And Miles has a wider perception in terms of writing lyrics”. Only question is would he step into the shoes of Pete or Carl?
Jack White – Wolfmother
Kelvin also suggested that Aussie rock band Wolfmother could be spiced up with a little sonic intervention from Jack White. “Jack will surely improve the sound and in my opinion Andrew's voice is a bit annoying to hear,” he justified. True – but it might be a little bit of a step down for ol’ Jacky boy, eh? Still, he’s done stranger things…
Tom Smith – Joy Division
We might need to try and make Hooky kiss and make up with his old chums first, but Chris Walton thinks that “Tom Smith from Editors should team up with New Order and go on a Joy Division tour”. Baritone vocals, doom-laden lyrics and a lanky frame – there’s definitely something in it.
Mark E. Smith – Pavement
Bryan T. Fitzgerald, however, thinks that the crotchety uncle of post-punk, The Fall’s Mark E. Smith should take time out to replace Stephen Malkmus in 90s slackers Pavement. Not sure that Smith’s politically-charged rants and tendency to wander offstage would go that well while the rest of the group are cooing ‘Range Life’, but each to their own.
Karen O - Blondie
Ho Yik Ping suggested that current queen of effortless New York cool Karen O replace the former holder of the crown Debbie Harry. “Debbie's the best but Karen can handle her job just as well,” she proffered. Hell, Karen’s even a blonde now anyway – it’s like she already knew.
Eminem - Oasis
Going a little bit further into the strange realms of fantasy, Danny Myles suggested that Eminem front Oasis. With a Grade A gob on him, we reckon Marshall Mathers could be the one ingredient that would make the endlessly quotable Gallagher brothers even more hilariously mouthy.
Tom Meighan – Oasis
@superrrsonic also made the suggestion that Kasabian’s hyperactive frontman Tom Meighan should join the ranks of the Gallagher brothers. If nothing else, then watching Tom plough through ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ with his heroes would be like watching a kid get all his Christmases at once.
Richard Ashcroft – Oasis
Heading back into Camp Gallagher, and @jorge7786’s vote goes to The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft to take up Liam or Noel’s position. Having played some gigs in the early 90s with a then-fledgling Oasis in support, maybe Ashcroft could even remember snippets of their sets?
PJ Harvey – Slint
NME.COM’s Assistant Editor Al Horner, however, puts his vote to PJ Harvey taking the mic with American post-rockers Slint. During the recording of their seminal LP ‘Spiderland’ the band put out a request for a female vocalist, which Harvey reportedly answered (unsuccessfully), so chances are she’d be pretty up for the collaboration too.
Morrissey - Gene
Delving back into Britpop, Steve Doyle wants late-90s mopers Gene to be fronted by king moper Morrissey. “Cart before horse, admittedly” he notes, referencing the huge swell of comparisons to Moz that Gene frontman Martin Rossiter received back in the day. Still, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that…
Ezra Koenig – Belle and Sebastian
Bringing things back to a perkier place, Harriet Hey reckons that Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig would do a perfect turn in Belle and Sebastian. Heck – if Ezra had been in the band, maybe people wouldn’t have been quite so baffled when they won that Best Newcomer Brit Award (for those not in the know, bookies were backing cheesy pop quintet Steps).
Alisa Xayalith – Garbage
As well as pointing out the slightly reversed suggestion of Liam Gallagher fronting Kasabian (how the teacher becomes the pupil…), Dr. Crane – presumably not Frasier – also suggested that The Naked and Famous’ Alisa Xayalith front 90s grunge-pop fans Garbage. With both bands fusing dirty guitars and electronic ideas, it could work just fine.
David Bowie – Placebo
Sure, he might not even be playing in support of his own album at the moment, but if there’s anyone out there who could spring a surprise on us it’s surely Bowie. And what would be more surprising than him popping up to replace fellow androgyny fan Brian Molko in Placebo? That’s what @superrrsonic is aiming for anyway.
Julian Casablancas – Pink Floyd
Elliot Vanwynharden, on the other hand, thinks that The Strokes frontman could fit into the ranks of seminal rock legends Pink Floyd pretty well. Whether he’s referring to early frontman Syd Barrett or his successor Roger Waters is ambiguous, but we reckon JC’s got the inscrutable cool to turn his hand to any phase of the Floyd.
Sohn – M83
Given that M83 has primarily been the project of frontman Anthony Gonzalez after his original musical partner left the group in 2004, it seems pretty harsh to try and replace him. However, should the legacy of M83 continue without him, @wheresjoker reckons that Sohn aka Christine Taylor could do it justice.
Obama – Vampire Weekend
Lil Chienne, who for reasons known only to them would like President Obama to step in for Ezra and put his Oxford commas to use in Vampire Weekend. Just an inkling, but we reckon he might be a bit busy that night.
Prince – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Another suggestion from Lucy’s original blog on NME.COM was for the purple Prince himself to cover for Hendrix’s iconic guitarmanship: “He's got the guitar skills, the voice, the blues sensibility and electric stage presence to take Jimi Hendrix's place. Can you imagine Prince covering 'Little Wing'? What a dream.”
Beyonce – Led Zepellin
The first suggestion to fill Robert Plant’s considerable shoes came from Lucy Jones, who controversially chose Beyonce – and not just because of the pair’s similarly curly mop. “You’d need someone with an impressive vocal range so I nominate Beyoncé who can almost span four octaves,” she reasoned. “And if anyone’s a ‘rock star’ in 2014, it’s Queen B.”
Brittany Howard – Led Zeppelin
Taking onus to this suggestion and favouring a more traditional approach, however, was Trenton Bulat. “Beyonce? You've got to be kitten meow,” he replied. “Seriously, that is a joke right?” He then nominated big-voiced Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard as a more likely candidate.
Courtney Barnett – The Las
Another suggested posted in the original blog was for Courtney Barnett to replace temperamental Las frontman Lee Mavers. The logic behind it? “Her thoughtful handle on lyrics and haunting vocals would match the music and can you imagine ‘There She Goes’? It could be even better than her recent Lemonheads cover.”
George Michael – Queen
Since the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen have enlisted a number of people (including Paul Rodgers and former reality TV star Adam Lambert) to fill in for the legendary performer. None have quite worked, so maybe equally flamboyant star George Michael might make a better fit, suggests @supatyp.
Yannis Philippakis – Nirvana
While Annie, Lorde et al may have undoubtedly done a sterling job, NME.COM Editor Greg Cochrane reckons Foals’ Yannis Philippakis might be the one who could best fill Kurt’s shoes in Nirvana. As one of the most passionate and fiery frontmen around, you know he’d approach the job with nothing short of an explosion.
Tim Armstrong – The Clash
The charmingly named DickSplatter, meanwhile, put his vote to Rancid’s Tim Armstrong getting pally with The Clash. NME’s suggestion that La Roux would bring a vibrant splash to the 80s punks, however, was greeted with a firm thumbs down.
Ian Brown – The Twang
Another suggestion from the NME office was for King Monkey to step in and help out ailing Brummie types The Twang. Given that The Twang have modeled an entire career bowing at the alter of The Stone Roses, chances are they wouldn’t be too miffed at the idea either.