Music History

A Remembrance of Britpop Bands That Didn’t Make It

This year is the 20th anniversary of the birth of Britpop, which means plenty of retrospectives on the whole Cool Britannia thing that swept the UK between 1994 and 1997.  (Full disclosure: I’m guilty of this kind of nostalgia trip, too.  The Secret History of Rock season wraps up with a two-part series called “The Rise and Fall of Britpop” this week and next. Find a radio station that carries it and listen.)

Like football, Britpop can be divided into different divisions.  The Premiere League included Oasis, Blur, and Pulp with Elastica and Suede close to relegation.  First division bands were Dodgy, Supergrass, Ash, Boo Radleys, Ocean Colour Scene, Gene and maybe Cast.  I’d place These Animal Men, Sleeper, Echobelly, Northern Uproar, Heavy Stereo and Menswear.

Then there’s the also-rans the Millwalls of the scene, the bands that I’d barely (or never) heard of, the ones that did not make it.

Like who?  Anyone remember The Weekenders?  No?  Well, then, how about Jocasta? Llama Farmers? Out of My Hair?

They all existed–and they all disappeared after an existence briefer than that of Element 115.  Londonist takes this look back at seven Britpop bands that failed. Miserably.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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4 thoughts on “A Remembrance of Britpop Bands That Didn’t Make It

  • Some lesser known ones on this side of The Atlantic include Mansun, The Longpigs, Spacemonkeys. A little after ’97, but a great Britpop album that never caught on in North America but that got much press in the UK in 1999 is “Bon Chic Bon Genre” by Campag Velocet.

    • Good catches. I actually had a brief thing for both Mansun and the Longpigs and the Spacemonkeys. But it all passed.

  • There was Britpop but there were also bands that were out of the pop genre like the Bristol scene with Portishead, Massive Attack, countless electronica bands, djs. For me, Britpop was also that: an explosion of really good bands. A bit like what Grunge did: you had Nirvana, PJ and others, but you also had bands that finally made it in the mainstream, like Sonic Youth, RHCP, and others that came out like Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and others.


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