As the title suggests, this post is the second part of a series of posts about obscure pop group Hussey. You might want to read part one first, otherwise the following may not make much sense.
As I left the Hussey showcase on Whitfield Street, I felt confused. I didn’t understand why a company as big as TBWA would get involved with a band as amateurish as Hussey or why Trevor Beattie would want to associate them with a client as important as FCUK.
As a band, they weren’t actually that bad. Girls On Top is quite a good little tune, not hugely groundbreaking – a slightly weedy imitation of Sound Of The Underground which had come out a couple of years before – but not too bad (Girls On Top is on Spotify if you want to have a listen). They had another song which sounded a bit like FLM by Mel & Kim and was better than Girls On Top, but I can’t remember what it was called (not only can I not remember what it was called, I can’t remember anything about it at all except that it sounded a bit like FLM by Mel & Kim).
There was potential there. They looked a bit rough maybe, but think back to those early clips of the Spice Girls, before Wannabe had even been released. Audition clips. Footage of them sharing a flat together. They didn’t have a stylist, they couldn’t afford one. But then again, they weren’t being offered a promotional tour with FCUK backed by a major advertising company. Hussey were. They could at least have got someone to sort out their website so it didn’t look so awful. Trevor Beattie’s not an idiot, he must have known it didn’t look right.
While I was at the showcase, I spoke to a man called Alex. He was the lawyer of the band’s manager. He’d been given a CD a few months before but had never bothered to listen to it. However, in the weeks after appearing in the b3ta newsletter, the Hussey website had got nearly a million hits – and now here they were, performing a London showcase.
I thought originally that maybe Beattie had found out about the band in much the same way as I had and, as word of mouth spread and people kept emailing the website to their friends, decided to get involved. But, in reality, Beattie had been associated with the band long before they appeared on b3ta.
Could it be possible, I wondered, that the whole thing had been deliberately manufactured to try to create a band who had such a bad image that once people discovered them, the whole thing would go viral? That the website was actually meant to look like that? They had specifically chosen the name “Hussey” because it was such a terrible name for a band? Could that be the explanation? No-one had heard of them and then suddenly their website gets a million hits, all because it looks a bit shabby and one of the members is called Gay Marvin.
No. I don’t think that’s what happened. It’s a shame, because I really like that theory. It suggests a brilliant svengali mind behind the whole thing, but it’s too elaborate. It’s too retrospectively focussed. Just because they managed to get a load of people to visit their website doesn’t mean they planned to do that. It just happened. Sometimes things just happen.
I think Trevor Beattie got involved because he liked the idea of “discovering” a pop group, and didn’t really know enough about pop music to see what was wrong with the band. And I think that was the problem with Hussey. They’d been put together by people who didn’t know what they were doing.
END OF PART TWO