It seems with a new wave of bands that have emerged over the past year or so have all been thinking along the same lines when it comes to giving themselves a memorable moniker. Gone are the legions of upstarts beginning themselves with a ‘The’ to an altogether more wordsy variant. I’m talking of course about the vast list of new bands, and solo artists, who have gone for the ‘and the’ variety; Pete and the Pirates, Samuel and the Dragon, and possibly the best/worst – Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong. These type of names aren’t anything new of course, let us not forget Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Diana Ross and the Supremes and, erm, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine... As with anything , there’s so many out there it’s undoubtedly a minefield to come up with something new that hasn’t been thought of before or isn’t just forehead-slappingly awful. Good band. Awful name.The type of sound has also changed, in that the lively aggressive Indie of the early noughties has fallen by the wayside, from The Libertines, The Enemy and The Futureheads; to be replaced by the new, much more melodic type of indie, with richer harmonies and less likely (hopefully, for their sakes) to be cited by an embarrassing politician as their ‘new fave band’ – keep out of it, Gordon. Of course you could argue, being the cynic, that this is a handy vehicle for the likes of Florence and her Machine, that ‘The Machine’, while it is just the one bloke, he is essentially replaceable. Having a name checked frontman or woman means that few-years-down-the-road solo career is that little step closer. A canny marketing ploy, non? On the flip side, the much hyped and touted solo Marina and the Diamonds – curse myself for referring to them both as part of the same point, though if you ever read an interview with Ms Diamonds, they are NOT similar, at all – is able to keep her session musos happy and still be the face of it all. You might be reading thinking, but what’s this got to do with anything? It’s all about the music, maaan. Well yes, but as with many trends we get a good couple who will stick around after it’s passed – The Killers are a prime example – but you must admit that there were an awful lot that disappear into the ether as a bad hangover – The Wombats, anyone? A good band name can set you apart from the competition, or doom you to forever being remembered for being, just, terrible. Nickelback is possibly the best example; rubbish name, rubbish band, rubbish hair. Images by Anna Wadham