On April 25, 1994, about two weeks after Kurt Cobain checked out of this world, Blur released Parklife, a remarkable celebration of British-ness. For most of us, this was the beginning of the Britpop era, a three year (ish) Rule Britannia party that eventually burned itself out in a haze of heroin, cocaine and hubris. Still, it was fun while it lasted.
Since that was 20 years ago, there’s plenty of Britpop nostalgia to go around. But not everyone is keen revel in the things that once were. Check out this article from The Quietus.
It was July 6th, 1995. A hot summer’s evening. London was, to a naive and wet-behind-the-ears 16-year-old, still a rather intimidating place – I think it wasn’t long before this, on a CD shopping trip to HMV and Virgin, that I saw someone being beaten with a bicycle chain in King’s Cross, in broad daylight. So we were glad to get off the train from St Albans to Kentish Town and head inside the Forum for the concert in aid of homeless charity Shelter, with Elastica, Gene and SMASH all on the bill. The latter were part of the New Wave Of New Wave, that speed-addled movement that slightly pre-dated Britpop, and were in a petulant mood. I think they walked off early after smashing something.My hero Jarvis Cocker was there, a friend had a piss next to Mark Lamarr (then riding high as host of Shooting Stars, that most Britpop of television programmes), Damon Albarn slouched onstage to present a prize, Gene were eloquent in their Home Counties Morrissey thing (their first album’s not bad), and Elastica were a tour-de-force of black-clad, fringe-flicking, high-energy saucy punk. Everyone went home sweaty.