In the words of the Shamen, Britpop is a genre that is, “Very much maligned and misunderstood”. From 1994 to 1997 (ish) the indie scene, bubbling under since the early 80’s suddenly went pop, and started filling the charts with guitar bands for the first time since the late 80’s. Indie became the mainstream, but lost a lot of it’s sense of otherness at the same time, as seemingly everybody started wearing Trimm Trabbs and saying that they always loved football.
While there was a lot wrong with it, with parties at Tony Blair’s house, the silliest battle of the bands ever, and the baffling success of Shed Seven and Loaded magazine, it was the era that got me into music, and as importantly, into John Peel via his Festive 50. If you want to see in more detail where Britpop went wrong, here is a fantastic article about how it paved the way for a generation of idiots. But for me, it’s inextricably linked to being 10 or 11, and naively thinking that Steve Lamacq, Jo Whiley, Mark, Lard and Chris Evans (the bespectacled TV fixer, not Captain America) knew everything.
So anyway, here is a playlist of a bunch of less well remembered Britpop songs, by the bands who were too manufactured, too clever, too much a one single band, or just too unlucky to continue on successfully past the last orders bell of New Labour, and the death of some royal tart. Enjoy with a nostalgic bottle of alcopop and a fisherman’s hat.
The title and cover are lifted from the fantastic comic Phonogram, which is well worth buying for Luke Haines of The Auteurs, Black Box Recorder and Baader Meinhof, as a spirit guide, before you even consider the fact it’s just a bloody brilliant read.
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