Tulsa Times #64 From A Different Angle

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From A Different Angle

Many thanks to Redrospective.com for this edition of Tulsa Times.

Red is a UK based freelance music reviewer and photographer.
An admirer of great music she has seen Hanson in concert many times.
Here she shares some reflections, along with photographs taken in London.
Since these were taken Red has turned professional and hopes that a Hanson concert will be on her work schedule next time around.

I was born around the same time as ‘the middle Hanson’ (as I knew him for many years), so I was in peak pop years in ’97 when MmmBop was everywhere. Nevertheless, the band didn’t make the impact on me that they did on most of you. Or rather they did, but with delayed effect!

It’s all about context. 1997 was a vintage year for the music that still means everything to me. It was the year that Romeo and Juliet and Scream 2 came out. Through those film soundtracks, I discovered Everclear and Less Than Jake, still among my favourite bands. Punk, rock and indie were quickly crowding out my pop sensibilities.

I was so busy looking across the Atlantic for something different – in hindsight, painfully mainstream for the average American teenage girl at the time – that I didn’t have much time for a pop band that were all over the UK airwaves.

I wasn’t completely immune to Hanson, of course. The media landscape back then was very different. We didn’t have hundreds of TV channels or Spotify. The internet was slow and patchy. It was pretty normal for me and my friends to be glued to the Top 40 rundown, even if just to find out if the American modern rock bands we loved had scraped in at number 38. So, I knew all of the Hanson’s singles that were on heavy rotation in the late ’90s.

Home taping was killing music so obviously I didn’t make carefully curated playlists on cassette. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I did. Then there’s definitely one still kicking about that has Hanson followed by Smash Mouth. I’d spend the small hours scouring MTV and VH1 (back when they still played music) for the modern rock bands I loved. On all those videos – that I *definitely* didn’t make – there’s still a Hanson Pop Up Video patiently waiting for VCRs to come back around.

Fast forward a few years and I spotted Middle of Nowhere in the £3 sale at Our Price. My boyfriend at the time was perplexed. I was going to buy him a Teenage Fanclub album so didn’t I perhaps want him to buy me something else? Something…better? With that, my decision was made!

The thing is, it wasn’t just a case of proving a point or a bit of recent nostalgia for the singles. I really liked it. Then I found that I also liked the newer albums. No, I don’t fit the hackneyed stereotype of an obsessive Hanson fan. I don’t know their middle names or favourite colours. In fact, I don’t know much about them at all. As far as I’m concerned, the music speaks for itself, as it is with any other band I like.

 London 5of5 Shout It Out June 2011

I often wonder what would have happened if Hanson had emerged in a more traditional garage band way; late teens/early 20s, gradually rising up the circuit without a back catalogue of radio-friendly, era defining hits. Perhaps they wouldn’t have the global reach and the longevity they’ve enjoyed. On the other hand, maybe the quality of their work on The Walk and Shout It Out would have been taken on its own merits rather than obscured by the tiresome ‘they’re all grown up!’ headlines.

 London 5of5 Shout It Out June 2011

But counterfactual history is useless here – they made it big as kids and the stereotype still lingers: they play mindless pop for teenage girls. Don’t forget the ultimate misnomer – they’re one hit wonders. It’s a perception that’s persisted despite two decades of independent releases, touring, considerable charity work, and even a brewing business, [The fact that Hanson have a beer called MmmHops is still one of my favourite facts ever.]

London 02 Anthem Tour 2013

I haven’t followed the band particularly closely but the live shows that I’ve caught every few years have been consistently entertaining. They’ve never struck me as being obsessive fan territory, but there has a always been a palpable sense of joy, no matter the crowd. I’ve seen Hanson play in America, Canada and Britain. The Toronto show was in the dead of winter. -20°C outside but real warmth in the room. I particularly remember a grandmother, mother and young daughter (with oversized ear defenders), all equally excited and beaming.

London 02 Anthem Tour 2013

You might find it weird, but there are plenty of people who share a healthy respect for Hanson’s music but don’t shout it out. Our interest in the band sits quietly alongside a variety of other, perhaps more critically accepted, bands. Wondering where’s the love? Speechless? Don’t worry, we’re another voice in the chorus and we’ll give a little out on tour right there next to you!

                        100 Club London 2011

The Walk London 5of5 June 2011

London 5of5 Shout It Out June 2011

From London 5of5 Shout It Out June 2011       London 02 Anthem Tour 2013


From London 5of5 Shout It Out June 2011

From The Apple Store December 2013

Many Thanks to Redrospective for sharing thoughts and images with us.

Please do not share or use images without credit to Redrospective.com




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