Unsigned band to crack pop chart on downloads

I used to take great pride in knowing what was happening in the pop charts. Gradually it stopped being instinctive, and became something I had to make a conscious effort to do. I remember deliberately memorising the names of everyone in S Club 7 (er – Tina, Jo, Rachel, Hannah, Jon, Paul, Bradley… and that’s without resorting to Wikipedia!). Then, at some indistinct point round about the time McFly emerged (and I’m not necessarily blaming them, but…), I just stopped caring. And the worst thing is, I suspect I’m not alone.

But we could actually see something interesting happening in the charts this weekend, with an unsigned band looking set to make the Top 40. According to Tech Digest, Essex ‘pop punk / rock / punk’ boys Koopa made it to #33 in the mid-week chart, with 97% of their sales coming through 7digital. (Their Green Day-esque take on the Proclaimers’ 500 Miles is cute… hear it on Myspace.)

Two ways to look at this. One, it’s the birth of a new wave of musical freedom, a return to the punk ethic of the late 70s, without even having to manipulate the record business. Or – and this is the theory I currently prefer – it marks the end of the pop chart as a valuable concept.

Tragically though, a piece on their website announces that the father of the band’s Stuart and Oliver Cooper has died following a heart attack at the weekend. ‘Obviously (dad) Martin was an avid supporter of his sons’ music and it is a great injustice that he is not here to see the current media interest and the continuing rise of Ollie and Stu’s band KOOPA within the music industry. Can we please request that Ollie and Stu are left to mourn in peace, and also kindly ask you to not e-mail them unnecessarily during their bereavement?’