I’ve gone and done it again.
Taken delivery of a big old bundle of Britpop brilliance.
The more observant among you will have noticed that not all of the singles pictured are Britpop…much as I love ’em there is no case to be made for including Daphne and Celeste into the Britpop hall of fame. It is true too that Annie Christian arrived too late for the party and so probably/definitely/maybe don’t deserve to be counted either.
As for the rest?
100% Britpop gold.
Blur – yup despite, as my good friend James from the Oasis podcast describes it those who claim that they were in fact “post-baggy/proto post-rock”! Good name for a band that “Protopostrock”. Anyhoo, anyone who wants to claim that blur were not Britpop deserves as much of your attention as…something that doesn’t deserve your attention. Like Ed Sheeran. Or Gerry bloody Cinnamon.
Cast – yup.
Catatonia – yup.
The Charlatans – like blur they arrive during Madchester and their body of work transcends any “scene” or moment but they are part of the party if only for the brilliance of “Can’t Get Out of Bed” which, to my cloth ears, is one of the singles of the decade.
The Dandys – yup. Part of that small gaggle of bands who rejected the knees up Mother Brown “Country House” school of Britpop and focused on sex, sleaze and perversion! Say “hello” to Elcka and Strangelove too!
David Devant and his Spirit Wife – yup. Only during Britpop could those arthouse, art-school, arty-farty, scamps have found themselves in the charts and on the telly-box.
Divine Comedy – ah, tricky. The truth is that Neil Hannon is part of a select group of people in the world of pop who really does deserve to be tagged as a genius and, like certain other groups, his work transcends scenes and eras. However, there cannot really be any argument that the work he produced during the Britpop era was, well, Britpop. Baroque pop for sure…but Britpop too.
Dodgy – yup.
Echobelly – yup. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Sonya? I have? Well, I don’t care…I love her.
Gene – yup.
Hurricane 1# – yup.
Kenickie – yup. This one shouldn’t really be controversial but a mini Twitter storm broke out over whether or not they actually were Britpop today. My position is clear…they were too melodic, too arch and too damned cute (in every regard) to be part of any other micro-scene that may have been fluttering around the edges of Britpop at the time…riot grrrrl or anything else. For their pop sensibilities alone I’m calling it…Kenickie…YUP. Britpop.
Kula Shaker – yup.
Oasis – yup.
Pulp – yup.
Shed Seven – yup.
Sleeper – yup.
But, for people like me…probably like you…who were there at the time it isn’t actually all that silly or meaningless. Britpop, as another contributor to a discussion on Britpop tonight in Twitterland said; “…Britpop was an era rather than a musical genre.” which is actually a position I have taken for a long time…including on several articles here.
That being said there are very definitely things that are and are not Britpop.
Shampoo are Britpop but the Spice Girls were not Britpop.
“Trainspotting” (much as I loathe it) was Britpop but “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was not Britpop.
Ozwald Boateng was Britpop but George at ASDA was not Britpop.
The Flamingoes were Britpop despite never appearing on Top of the Pops or “Britpop Now” but Take That were not Britpop despite being British and pop.
The only way to settle any of the Britpop is they or isn’t they debates is to accept my word as final.
Can we all agree on that?