Reading 95


A Twitter chum shared a picture of the Reading 95 line-up today.

For no particular reason I thought it would be fun to put together a Britpop festival from the bands who appeared over the three days.

I’ve decided to put together three days with five acts appearing on each day…because I’m a middle-aged man with absolutely nothing better to do with his time.

Don’t judge me.


Teenage Fanclub

I know.

Teenage Fanclub owe more to West Coast America than they do to anything British but they have so many great songs and “Grand Prix” was an absolutely massive album for them in 1995 that they deserve to headline on day one.


Headlining at an actual Britpop festival this year (HELLO STAR SHAPED!) John Powers and the rest of his gang can deliver a greatest hits set that would get any crowd going.




You get all of that and a bit more from these boys.

My Life Story

Find me a better frontman.

I can  wait.


Well, whoever you are suggesting isn’t as good as Jake Shillingford and the only reason you are suggesting them is because you haven’t seen him.

You should do something about that.

These Animal Men

Darlings of the New Wave of New Wave and the men who single-handedly saved the UK mascara industry.

Their sneering, cocksure, swaggering, power-pop, punk delights deserve to be heard by a much bigger audience and, hopefully, a slot on this festival that didn’t happen nearly thirty years ago will ensure that this happens.

This could make for an excellent episode of Dr Who.


In  many ways the archetypal Britpop band.

Neither as bad as some people tried to claim at the time or as good as you wished they were.  Regardless, they released at least three brilliant singles and lived the dream for a little while…which is much more than the likes of me have ever achieved.

God bless them.


The Bluetones

One of the very best bands in British pop music history.

Oh yes they are.

Soaking up the likes of The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Buffalo Springfield and The Byrds they then spewed it all out as something utterly new…a shuffling, shimmering, spiffing, bag of melodies, maudlin lyrics and more.

Also…one of the best live acts you will ever see.

***See the pinned post on my Twitter page for details on how you can win copies of “Science and Nature” and “The Singles” on vinyl thanks to  my friends at Demon Music…@MildManneredMax***

Super Furry Animals

You cannot come along to my festival and not accept the fact that you are going to see the Furries.

Their blend of the bonkers and the sublime make them a band that everyone should see live at least once.

Plus, I am going to make it a contractual obligation that they finish their set with a note for note recreation of the above performance.

You’re welcome.

60ft Dolls

I’ll be honest with you, the cost of your ticket will have been worth every penny just to see the Dolls.

Living much of their life in the shadows of their countrymen SFA and the MSP’s they never really enjoyed the sort of success they deserved.  But here, on my imaginary stage, they are about to right that particular wrong with a set that is going to live long in the memory of everyone who isn’t going to be there.


Should have been massive.

But like so many great bands in the nineties a mixture of bad luck, bad timing and there being too many bands stopped them from getting to where they should have.



They might not have been very good, or even any good, but there is something of the spirit of nineties Britain in the Powder story…chancers, trading on looks not talent, songs even they don’t remember now but still, somehow, ace.

And I don’t even like them.



“What about Weller?”


Get over it.

1995 was a wonderful time…lad culture hadn’t quite landed yet and the Britpop scene was still, largely, populated by, served by and created by, indie kids.

Echobelly are all the evidence you need.




At the same time they were a powerful live proposition…and remain so today.

Because this is my fantasy they will also be able to play a lot of songs they hadn’t written at this point too…which means you will get a greatest hits set that will set fire to your soul.

Shed Seven

You’ve seen Shed Seven right?


No need to explain this any further.



I saw Gene live more than any other band in the nineties.

There was a very good reason for that.

They were magnificent.

With Steve Mason looking like the acest of ace faces, Matt pounding the drums from beneath his hat, Kevin doing a great impression of the coolest man in rock and Martin Rossiter doing…that thing he do and did.

Often I was hearing the same songs but every time felt like the first time.

Can we all agree that a one off reunion gig at the last night of the Star Shaped Festival in 2020 is all any of us really wants?


Jaime, if you are reading this…we love you.

I love you.

The voice of an angel fallen to earth and forced to walk amongst men.

Lyrics that paint pictures of the vulgar and the brutal and make them sound like hymns.

What more do you want?


It’s my festival and Thurman are my favourite Britpop band so I’m having them.

A field full of people roaring the lyrics to “English Tea”!


Tickets go on sale for Maxfest on March 27th 1995.