Rock School, Channel 4

by | Sep 27, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Kiss legend Gene Simmons raises hell in a quaint English school as he teaches the pupils to rock-out instead of being suffocating by soulless classical music.

What to say if you didn’t like it

A bloated rock dinosaur is genetically revived from a deep, deep grave and then sets about despoiling the worthy traditions of a proud English school with his unclean ways.

What was good about it?

• Gene Simmons upsetting the ascetic deputy-headmistress through encouraging the pupils in his charge to express themselves rather than learning by rote some moribund symphony from a long-dead composer who only wrote tunes to assuage his own bountiful ego.

• Awkward Josh, rock codename: Emperor, who has a terrible voice but was selected to be the singer in Gene’s band because he was most attuned to the passions of rock. The rest went off to sulk and jealously snipe at Josh

• When the angelically-voiced Rodney, who could quite easily sit on the X-Factor production line and be churned out like a ceramic cistern with all the humanity burnt out of him, sang for Gene. “Amazing, really amazing,” remarked Gene. “But that’s not what

I’m looking for.”

• Josh speaking Elvish.

• The pupils’ faces rigid with a deathless ennui as they sat through a history of Kiss.

What was bad about it?

• Queen’s We Will Rock You as the theme song. Lovers of this indulgent cesspit of ragged drums and choking asbestos riffs make perfect soldiers as they can take

any number of bullets to the head with only a small risk of a projectile hitting the brain.

• The strained artifice of the set-up where the pupils were described as “well disciplined”, as though those who like rock music (indeed any music other than sterile classical) are considered as lowly as the swine who trot around the verdant fields which surround the school.

• Gene Simmons arrived in a stretch limousine. Those who habitually travel in such an ostentatious vehicle deserve to have the doors welded shut and the whole amoral phallus tossed into the ocean.

• Gene wearing sunglasses indoors. One of the cowed girls he was teaching perfectly summed up why this is such abominably bad manners, she couldn’t see his eyes so she could not observe his mood. She always thought he was angry.

• Gene extolling “cool” as a virtue. The whole notion of “cool” is a bunch of elitist self-proclaimed critical deities who bestow the boon of “coolness” arbitrarily on a guided whim. “Coolness” is just a modern-day media equivalent of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrought solely to control and manipulate otherwise liberated sensual instincts. If you enjoy Scissor Sisters, say, buy their album, don’t wait for some frigid-faced human pock mark from some Sunday supplement to tell you it’s “cool” to like them first.

• Five thousand Motorhead fans being described as the “hardest rock fans”, which is pulling the spiky gauze deathmask over the eyes of the ignorant viewing public to promote Motorhead as the “hardest” rock around when they are docile soft-rocking puppies compared to the feral beasts lurking about the hinterland of heavy metal.

• The wilful ignorance of the headmaster who assumed that bumbling apathy to modern culture all spiritually obsolete people do when confronted with something which doesn’t conform to artistic trends set down three centuries ago.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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