Maker Shaker 2# – Melody Maker 8/7/95

Are you sitting comfortably?


I’ll begin.


New Order, Sleeper, Menswe@r and cover star Martin Rossiter of Gene.  That’s Britpop Premier League right there in front of your eyes.  At this point in time I had managed to convince myself that Gene were better than The Smiths.  I don’t think that was an unreasonable thing to believe, especially when you remember that when The Smiths were still an entity I was listening to Wet Wet Wet and Bros.  I’m older now, a little wiser…but even though I may no longer view Gene with the same awe as I did then, they were still pretty great.

The “news” section of this edition of MM was a treat for Britpop fans.  Look at this for starters, the bloomin’ Boo Radleys announcing a UK tour and a new single in the shape of “It’s Lulu”.


This is a little chunk of Heaven…the news that Brett Anderson and Richard Oakes had contributed backing vocals to the Strangelove single, “Living With the Human Machines”.  Not only that but Brett had also lent his pipes to another track for Strangelove, the very beautiful, “She’s Everywhere”.


“Sleep Freak” was the soon to be released debut single from Heavy Stereo.  Whatever happened to that Gem Archer bloke?


He ended up doing what?


Nice work fella.


Do you remember where you were when you heard that Robbie Williams left Take That?

You do?

You are reading the wrong blog.

Thanks for popping in though.

I love you.

It’s just that we have nothing in common.


I remember where I was when I heard that Alex Keyser had left Echobelly.  Reading Melody Maker in the student union in Paisley.


More Menswe@r news now (I know how much you love it) in the form of a very tabloid tale of the boys mucking about in a boat and being given a bollocking from a farmer!


Tim Wheeler from Ash really didn’t like Reef.


Further confirmation now about that debut Heavy Stereo single.



Well done mate.


Remember Big White Stairs?

I don’t think many people do, which is a terrible shame because they really were good.  A sort of psychedelic Suede?  Anyway, here is a teeny-tiny advert for their single “Non Star”…


Cast, of course, would become one of the biggest selling and best loved bands of the Britpop era so it’s odd to think of a time when they hadn’t released any music…but here is proof that such a time did exist;


Do you love the fact that the single came not only on green vinyl but also with a FREE stencil!

A stencil.

Happy days.

Here are Cast again on the very next page with an interview…

The live pages are a veritable orgy of Britpoppery!

Let’s start off with a bit of Sleeper…


Here’s David McAlmont before the arrival of his Butler, yes?


The Helter Shelter gigs for homeless charity Shelter really tapped into the Britpop scene…


Does anyone else have that lovely set of 7″ singles in the box that was released at the same time?

I saw Menswe@r live on a few occasions and, despite the way that certain people discuss them, the truth of the matter is they were a good live band and they drew bloody big crowds too.





Me neither.

Here they are in concert though…great hair.


Somebody at Creation Records clearly had a thing for Heavy Stereo because here is, another, plug for them…


2017 saw Starshaped put on a touring Britpop festival that managed to be everything but nostalgic, sets from My Life Story, Salad (undressed), Dodgy, Space, Sleeper and The Bluetones had me grinning from ear to ear for about 6 months after.  This ad from the live pages could well be the line-up for this year…


Failing that line-up I’d settle for The Verve, Elastica, Gene, Boo Radleys and S*M*A*S*H…


The main event now, an interview with Gene singer Mr Martin Rossiter.  I have tales to tell about Martin…nowt terrible or too tawdry but still not fit for a family blog like the Mild Mannered Army.

He was a gift for the music press…genuinely clever, very funny, witty when it was required and terribly pretentious too.  He got peoples backs up and he inspired a rabid sort of devotion at the same time.  That’s quite the trick if you can pull it off.  He may not have had the ability to send sales of a music weekly soaring in the same way as Morrissey did (even at this point in time) but he was a lot more interesting than certain other front men.


The single of the week was “Perfect” by The Lightning Seeds…who cares, right?  The answer is…nobody, not even The Lightning Seeds.  Of much more significance was the Single of the Week 2…


That’s right!  Britpop Britain in 1995 was a place where The Weekenders could get a single of the week nod with a song called…”Inelegantly Wasted in Papa’s Penthouse Pad in Belgravia” and nobody, absolutely nobody, batted an eyelid!

Of equal significance was the appearance in the single’s reviews of David Devant and His Spirit Wife with “Pimlico”…


Further evidence that Britpop Britain was a great place to be…a band called David Devant and His Spirit Wife releasing records, selling out live dates and nobody, nobody, was batting an eyelid.

A huge debate rages in the world of Britpop survivors.

Blur vs Oasis?

Nope.  Everybody knows the right answer to that question…even the people who got the answer wrong at the time.

The big debate.

The only debate.

Were Reef Britpop?


Proof, if proof were needed, of the hideous nature of certain music journalists arrives in the Viewpoint from Everett True and this snidey little piece of anti-journalism “Ten Reasons to Hate Menswe@r”…


The week finishes off with adverts for two classic records of the era.  Supergrass with “Alright” and The Verve with “A Northern Soul”…

Anyone fancy meeting me at Virgin records to listen to The Verve on the listening posts tomorrow?

One thought on “Maker Shaker 2# – Melody Maker 8/7/95

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