The hippest, edgiest pop stars attended state schools! (Only the wimps went to private schools)

6 December 2010
The Local Schools Network
link to original

The biggest rock and roll acts of the past twenty years attended state schools. Robbie Williams, possibly the most successful pop act of the last decade attended Mill Hill Primary School at Stoke-on-Trent then St Margaret Ward Roman Catholic School in Tunstall, both community schools.

The edgiest, hippest band of the past few years is without question, The Arctic Monkeys, who no doubt gained their street cred by going to local schools.

Frankie from The Saturdays actually attended the state school where I teach in Havering. The Saturdays are among the most popular girl bands of the moment. Another important, emerging band had all its members attend my school too: Stereo Decade. I’ve been to some of their gigs and they are really good.

Other members of massive rock bands of the last two decades, Blur, Oasis and Suede all attended local state schools. There is no doubt that the fact that they all mixed with their local communities brought the verve and zest to their music. Blur is probably the most innovative act of the last twenty years; their craft was famously honed at a Colchester state school. Damon Albarn has talked of being inspired by his music teacher. Meanwhile, the two Gallagher brothers may not have been very well behaved at school, but they certainly gained their edginess and grit by attending their local school.

In contrast, the acts that have attended private schools and gained some success pale in comparison with these giants. It probably comes as no surprise that Coldplay were privately educated. You can hear it in their mournful, middle-of-the-road music; it’s very sorry-for-itself stuff. Wimp rock basically.


  1. Lefty, self-serving ,class-envy drivel

    from Terry Priest
  2. Terry, your comment reveals that you have no serious arguments to counter what I’m saying.

    from francisgilbert
  3. You’re right on Coldplay, but Florence and the Machine’s public school origins were a disappointment to me.

  4. Given the state-educated Gallagher brothers’ well known views about education, and those who have it, I commend your bravery for writing that piece on a website dedicated to, among other things, encouraging parents who do value education to send their children to such a school.

    But, of course, since the children are all guaranteed to become rock stars, perhaps it’s a good role model to adopt in any case.

    from Geoffrey
  5. 250 public schools, 25000 state schools?

    Please add Genesis, Radiohead and Shane MacGowan of the Pogues to your wimp list…

    from Michael

your comment