I’ve arrived just in time to hear Salad (undressed) working there way through “Motorbike to Heaven”. That’s good because it’s the only song by them I know other than “On a Leash” which I used to own on 12″. Marijne van der Vlugt looks like she’s stepped off of the pages of Select magazine in 1996….but her stage presence does slip over into tipsy mum on a hen night once or twice; not necessarily a bad thing, it hasn’t held Debbie Harry back. The stripped back nature of this incarnation of the band gives her the chance to show off a good voice and the small group of early arrivers seem to be enjoying this appetizer for the better known names to come.
Here come My bloody Life bloody Story. I’m a bit excited. OK, a lot excited. I’m going to do as Jake Shillingford is urging and breathe in…breathe out…breathe in again. Shillingford is all high kicks, high energy and high style. How this band were not bigger than Oasis is a bigger mystery than the body in the library. They kick off with Jakes other projects exileinside track “Breathe In/Breathe Out” and its fabulous.
Album tracks, singles, b-sides, oldies and newbies…it’s a set that has feet stomping and hands clapping from start to magnificent finish. It’s a rare talent that Jake Shillingford possesses, to be able to write pop songs that have heart and soul in equal part.
I’m back for the end of the Dodgy set. The crowd has quadrupled since My Life Story were on stage and I feel a bit sad about that. Dodgy were never a band you could adore…they were just there. Hold on though…here’s “Staying Out for the Summer” and the crowd go mad. It’s 1995 all over again. Which is good in case you were wondering.
Here come Scouse psychedelic pop stars Space. Leader of the gang Tommy Scott is wearing a hat. Quirky.
They open the set with a genuinely dazzling barrage of noise and light which reminds me of PiL. Clearly a band who haven’t stayed trapped in their, or the scenes, past.
As this set goes on in coming to a realisation…SPACE ARE THE BEST BAND I DIDN’T KNOW I LOVED. This is a proper performance…seriously it’s ridiculous how good this is.
Here is Cerys Matthews up on the video screens to join in with “The Ballad of Tom Jones”. Have I mentioned how good this is yet??
“Female of the Species” is still a wonderful song. A bona fide pop gem.
Well. That was a surprise. I’ve fallen a bit in love with Space.
About 8 minutes until Sleeper.
Hmmmm? What? Excited? Who? Me?
HERE THEY COME!
The first part of this set was, to be blunt, absof$%#inglutely magnificent. Beyond description. I’m literally breathless. What a performance. What a performer.
Louise Wener is THE best thing to come out of Britpop. She’s “smart”, witty, sensitive and too cool even for old skool.
I feel lucky to have been here. Thank you Sleeper and thank you Star Shaped.
Now they’re playing “Lady Love Your Countryside” and I know I can die happy.
“Sale of the Century” finishes their set and the roar at the end can be hard in Edinburgh. Amazing.
Look who’s up next…
Here they are. The thinking (wo)mans indie pop scoundrels of choice. Cheeky, clever and with tunes that would make Burt Bacharach green with envy it’s The Bluetones.
As one would expect from the last band of the night the blue boys pull out all of their biggest and bestest pop hits. The crowd roar every word back at them. It’s what an Oasis concert would be like but without the threat of violence hanging heavy in the air and with lyrics that actually make sense and mean something.
Then it’s all over.
8 hours of Britpop.
A celebration of a celebratory moment in British pop cultural life. I feel elated. And knackered…none of us are as young as we used to be.