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August 26 1995: The Day That Britpop Died

NINETEEN years ago on this very day, all the way back in 1995, teenagers tuned into the chart rundown on Radio One to find out which of Britpop’s gargantuans were going to land the killer blow.

It was on the 26th August that Blur scored their first UK No.1 single with ‘Country House’ ahead of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’.

Animosity had been high between the two camps, with Oasis hoping Blur would die of AIDS and generally dismissing them as Southern softies. Blur meanwhile sarcastically referred to Oasis as being like ‘Status Quo’, to which Oasis promptly started selling ‘Quoasis’ t-shirts.

It was puerile, pointless and a whole load of fun for people who like a narrative on their pop music.




Both acts released their new singles on the same day, both landing in the top two slots in a month that was erratic at best. While Britpop duked it out, the run-up saw Robson & Jerome’s ‘Unchained Melody’ at the top spot, as well as Outhere Brothers’ ‘Boom Boom Boom’, Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ and followed by Michael Jackson’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ and Shaggy’s ‘Boombastic’.

It was a weird and brilliant summer.

However, as everyone knows, the most irritating thing about the whole battle was just how poor both band’s singles were. ‘Country House’ was Blur’s vision of Great Britain gone too far; too bloated on lager. ‘Roll With It’ was Oasis dialling it in, from a body of work that had stronger LP tracks and B-sides. Oasis ploughed through and became stadium-fillers while Blur slowly collapsed under the weight of their own skewed look on the world, before retreating away, ready to unleash ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Song Two’ at everyone from their follow-up, eponymous LP.

The release of the two records effectively killed Britpop stone-dead, with only Pulp and the Super Furry Animals managing to maintain any sort of quality control thereafter, with Elastica vanishing down a smack hole, Suede losing their grot-glamour and exchanging it for sickly, pristine Bowie tributes. Things were in such a bad way that Dodgy became headline acts.

The fallout from this Battle of Britpop opened the door for Embrace, Coldplay, Travis and a whole new dawn of overly sincere and overwrought indie rock, which in turn, transformed into something the NME briefly dubbed NAM (New Acoustic Movement) with the likes of Alfie, Turin Breaks, Badly Drawn Boy and Ben & Jason.

Britpop’s bombast reached the zenith 19 years ago, and the momentum kept Oasis going for a while, while Blur got a little lost, touring the very dubious ‘Great Escape’ LP. Of course, it being Blur, it had some fine moments, but so quickly they’d gone from sparky and sarcastic, to getting lost in their own creation, that you couldn’t see the boys who made ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ in the fug of Camden cocaine anymore.



Both Oasis and Blur suffered in the immediate aftermath of 1995, and would have to regroup to get their motors running again, while their Britpop pals all slid into the Andy’s Records 9p Bargain Bin. Oasis were almost certainly the more determined of the two, filling Manchester City’s old Maine Road stadium and Doing Knebworth in 1996.

However, it wouldn’t be too long before they released the pretty terrible ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘All Around The World’ and hauled the flabby ‘Be Here Now’ LP around the planet while hanging around with Tony Blair in Downing Street for a ‘Cool Britannia’ photo-op.



While Oasis soldiered on until 2009, when Noel finally left. The band were exhausted and going mental. Blur meanwhile, saw Graham Coxon throwing the towel in, leaving Damon to create numerous projects.

And here we are, in 2014, and still, Blur and Oasis have our ears. Be it Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds or wonderful DVD commentary where he’s revealing himself to be a pleasantly daft old curmudgeon or Damon Albarn’s magpie approach to music, with record labels (Honest John’s) and his million bands; Dodgy, Shed Seven, The Bluetones, Menswear, Powder, Sleeper and all the rest, have all but vanished apart from in the hearts of corduroy wearing thirtysomethings.



With Britpop celebrating a 20th anniversary lately, it can only mean one thing – teenagers are going to start fetishising it and starting up bands that sound like Octopus.

God help us all.

Posted: 26th, August 2014 | In: Music | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Big Reunion: Andi Peters and Britpop



ARE you aware of the ITV2 series, The Big Reunion? Thus far, the show has brought Blue, Atomic Kitten, Liberty X and more, back together.

Now, voice of the show – Andi Peters – has said he wants to do a Britpop version. Just imagine. All those 30somethings fishing out their velvet blazers and flared cords out of the bedding box!

“I think there’s a Britpop version to be made,” Peters told Digital Spy. “There’s all those Britpop bands of the same era as the bands on this series. Of course, the adoration wasn’t the same. People didn’t adore them in the same way as they adored pop bands. But, oh my God, they’d have loads of stories.”

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Posted: 27th, March 2014 | In: Music, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

BBC To Shock Everyone By Celebrating Yet More Music Played By White People: The Britpop Years

Manchester pop group Oasis accept the Brit award for Best Video (for 'Wonderwall') from Inxs frontman Michael Hutchence (left) at a star-studded ceremony at London's Earl's Court. Liam Gallagher, with beard, confronted Hutchence, once linked to Gallagher's present girlfriend Patsy Kensit, and said "Has-beens shouldn't present awards to going-t-be's'.

Manchester pop group Oasis accept the Brit award for Best Video (for ‘Wonderwall’) from Inxs frontman Michael Hutchence (left) at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Earl’s Court. Liam Gallagher, with beard, confronted Hutchence, once linked to Gallagher’s present girlfriend Patsy Kensit, and said “Has-beens shouldn’t present awards to going-t-be’s’.


THE BBC have been doing a lot of reminiscing of late. They set up BBC Four and filled it with old episodes of Top of the Pops and documentaries about the kind of music 40 year old middle class white men like.

It’s been blues this, Beatles that; classic soul this, Danny Baker talking about his record collection that. It is all perfectly lovely and often worth celebrating.

However, get the feeling there’s a whitewash going on?

The BBC give blanket coverage of Glastonbury and white rock music throughout the year. When it comes to black music, they apply the classic rule of ‘Black music is only credible if it is 20 years old, or more.’

With that, the only black music you’ll get on the BBC is stuff about disco, rhythm & blues, 60s soul music, jazz and at a push, maybe a fleeting nod to some of the hip hop released in the late 80s. Again, this is not some shrieking liberal complaint, but it certainly feels like the BBC are more likely to do a show about The Mighty Wah rather than The Wu Tang Clan. And while it is fine to like and celebrate both, you have to concede that the boys from Staten Island are infinitely more influential than Pete Wylie & Co.

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Posted: 17th, March 2014 | In: Music | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Alex James Is Doing Everything He Can To Stop You From Liking Britpop

Blur bassist Alex James at an exhibition showing the environmental effects of cocaine production on Colombia, in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture Date: Wednesday May 21, 2008. Alex James, who recently filmed a documentary on Columbia's cocaine trade, launched the exhibition with Vice President of Columbia Francisco Santos and Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker. Watch for PA story POLITICS Cocaine. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Blur bassist Alex James at an exhibition showing the environmental effects of cocaine production on Colombia, in Trafalgar Square, London.

NOSTALGIA is a wonderful thing, regardless of what idiots say. 90s kids remember the times they were thin, first started drinking, bought their first pair of flared cords, smoking fags in clubs and kissing people ill-advisedly who wore velvet blazers. Marvellous times, just like everyone’s teenage years.

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Posted: 14th, January 2014 | In: Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Robbie Williams versus Britpop

Williams launches tirade at Suede

REMEMBER when Robbie Williams left Take That and promptly went all ‘indie’ in a bid to be taken seriously while he stuck all manner of drugs up his conk? Well, The Fat Dancer From Take That has decided he doesn’t like indie anymore and gone mental telling everyone about it.

In a CAPScentric blog rant, Robbie lashed out at Suede’s Brett Anderson who took a swipe at pop music.

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Posted: 22nd, March 2013 | In: Music, Reviews | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Noel Gallagher Wants Liam To Come And Ruin A Perfectly Good Wedding

WARRING siblings, Liam and Noel Gallagher, haven’t seen eye-to-beady-eye since they collectively knocked Oasis on the head. A welcome relief for anyone with ears and at least one brain cell.

And thanks largely to the current crop of indie poppers all being dullards in tight, bollock-rupturing jeans, people still look to these bickering feather-cut headed has-beens for something to write about. With Noel getting married to Who Cares?, thoughts go to the fact that when families get together at a wedding, reunions can sometimes end in fistfights on the car park.

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Posted: 7th, June 2011 | In: Music | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0