And Finally Artist News Awards Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #344: Falling House v Left Shark

By | Published on Friday 24 February 2017

Katy Perry

The year 2015 was a great year in many ways. For one thing, it wasn’t 2016. Nor was it 2017, which is looking like being a bit of a shocker too. It was a more innocent time, when we didn’t realise how massively divided we all were.

It was the year when the UK didn’t accidentally vote itself out of the greatest political union in human history. And when Donald Trump was still the comic outsider for even the Republican nomination, let alone the US presidency itself. But the greatest thing about 2015 was Left Shark. Left Shark really highlighted the innocence of the time.

Katy Perry was the headline performer at that year’s Super Bowl halftime show, but it was really Left Shark’s night. During one section of the performance, behind Perry on stage stood dancers dressed as palm trees, beach balls, surf boards and, of course, two sharks. One of them – Right Shark – stuck to the rules and did the dance moves they had rehearsed in time with the music. Some of the time Left Shark also did that, though Left Shark also spent parts of the performance flailing around out of time or simply wandering off looking lost.

The performance could be seen as an allegory for those times, really. Everything was brightly coloured and idealistic. And when one rebellious little shark went against the commonly agreed rules of the day, it was edgy and exciting, or at least somewhat amusing.

Then came Falling House – the Left Shark that 2017 deserves.

Katy Perry’s performance at this year’s BRIT Awards could be seen as an allegory for these times we find ourselves in now. Mainly because that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. The Katy Perry of 2015 was an optimistic, bugglegum popstar who literally once released an album that smelled of candy floss. The Katy Perry of 2017 is disillusioned with the world, penning songs about how you’ve all let everything go to shit, probably because you were distracted listening to bubblegum pop.

The BRITs stage set mimicked that of her Super Bowl show two years previously. Except this time there were no bright colours or smiling palm trees. She arrived on stage dressed in dark purple, lost in a see of identikit white houses. Later, giant skeleton effigies of Theresa May and Donald Trump danced for a room of drunken music industry executives.

Like all those fun, cartoon-like props of 2015, the houses were not just there to dress the stage. Each contained a dancer, who got up and swayed ominously, to further drive home how doomed we all truly are.

Then disaster struck. Like Left Shark before them, one of the houses went on an impromptu wander part way through the performance. But it was not a fun wander, like when Left Shark did it. This dancer going off script couldn’t just be enjoyed as a delightful break from an otherwise carefully honed performance. Oh no, this was much more sinister, as the wandering house crashed off the stage leaving you shouting, “Shit! I hope that dancer’s career isn’t destroyed now that they’ve got two broken legs!”

Thankfully, a rep for the BRITs has since insisted that the house – or, more importantly, the legs inside it – are all fine. But is that really the point? Ultimately, who cares if the house was OK? No one, because no one in 2017 cares about anyone.

These are dark times, where we may never see the like of Left Shark again. Little did we know back in 2015 that one happy-go-lucky rebellious dancing shark would come to symbolise the end of something special. Perhaps the end of many things. Perhaps the end of everything. Because today, we are all Falling House.