Britpop night on BBC Four

I was browing the rather excellent Radio Times website when I saw that BBC Four appear to be having a Britpop night on Tuesday the 16th of August.

One of the programmes in the schedule is a repeat of a one-off 1995 compilation programme, Britpop Now. I remember it very well. We were on holiday, staying at a friend’s house. I was a nine-year-old discovering and enjoying music for the first time just as the Britpop explosion was reaching its zenith.

The programme was presented by Damon Allbran (he says so himself in the introduction). I would like to say that it was a seminal programme for me, but looking back the only bands out of the list of performers that I ever bought albums of were Pulp, Blur (both of whom I already liked anyway) and Sleeper (which I think I listened to about twice in my life).

What is funny is that, ten years on, all of the featured bands would probably be thoroughly ashamed to even be associated with the Britpop label, let alone to have actively participated in a programme trumpeting the genre.

It will be very interesting to watch the evening’s programmes on BBC Four; to see what Britpop looks like with the benefit of ten years’ worth of hindsight.

21 comments

  1. after many years of trying. Part of BBC FOUR’s Britpop Night. So that’s my Tuesday night sorted then, even if it’s called Britpop night, when any fan would know that the term speedily became pejorative. We knew it as “indie”, as a commenter over at DoctorVee’s points out. Now, where are those tapes?

  2. I saw a trailer last night and am looking forward to the whoel strand. Much of Britpop is at the core of my tastes in music, although it’s not a label I’d ever use – it’s Indie as far as I’m concerned…

  3. “Blur’s Country House, plus Pulp’s Common People, Supergrass with Alright and Elastica’s Line Up. With additional classics from Sleeper, Gene, Boo Radleys, P J Harvey, Menswear, Marion, Powder and Echobelly”

    PJ Harvey isn’t BritPop, and Gene are pushing it (bit too depressing), but the rest seem to fit the bill. All marvellous stuff, everyone seemed so much happier making music back then, that, and the music you hear when you’re 12/13 always remains the best throughout your life…

  4. and as for the Indie/BritPop division, it’s a subtle difference IMO, Indie is far more embracing, BritPop had to sound of sunshine, so Supergrass’ I Should Coco was BP, whereas new one is definitely just Indie.

  5. It’s a decade this week since the whole ‘Blur vs. Oasis’ bollocks, so I presume they’ve scheduled it accordingly. I was well into it all back then; went to Knebworth, jumped to Pulp at Glasto etc. and still have a Dodgy album to show for it…

  6. I guess this isn’t the time to mention that I have both dodgy albums before they reformed and went proper-shit, and *more than one* echobelly album…

    But hey ho, between 94-97, I was too young for beer and had nothing to spend money on save music, so accumulated rather a lot of it.

    Bugger it, they’re all still great. When the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than a bit of ‘staying out for the summer’ or ‘great things’…

    And if I wanted to be controversial: Menswear and Cast: not actually that shit?

    Well Cast went shit with beetroot, but All Change is a masterpiece, and anyone that doesn’t like ‘The One’ by menswear doesn’t deserve to have ears.

    Sorry, I tend to go off on one on this sort of thing…

  7. When I was young I always meant to get a Menswear CD, but I never got round to it. I can’t remember any of their songs now though, but they’re on Britpop Now so maybe that’ll jog my memory.

    Never liked Cast though…

  8. I’ve got the Menswe@r album knocking about somewhere, it’s pretty awful apart from their slowy ‘Being Brave’. That’s not too bad. I believe one of them keeps a stall on Camdan Market now selling hats…

  9. I was at knebworth too, Homegrown is one of my favourite albums ever and I also like the first Cast lp, but not so much with the Menswear!

    Doc, I’m not sure I’d agree that the bands would say they were embarrased by the label – especially as the bands who are still making music now that were around them (Oasis, Supergrass, Pulp, Blur) have left the tag well behind – it doesn’t get used to describe them any more…

  10. Being Brave is OK, and Sandstorm is about as close to a good song as the dire Cast ever managed. Dodgy’s best song is Grassman.

    Suede, however, rule.

  11. Saw this prog and was introduced (10 years late) to Echobelly. Since got three of their albums and am really pleased with them.

    One of the other groups sounded really good too, but I didn’t catch their name and can’t remember the song title. Had a female singer. I was wondering whether anyone can remember the female singer/bands and what they sung – wasn’t P J Harvey. Thanks

  12. Ahhh, thanks. It was Powder, who sung ‘Afrodisiac’. Nothing much about them to be found, even Amazon only mention an EP.

  13. I didn’t watch the show, so I’m pissing into the wind somewhat here – but as someone who *was* old enough to drink at the time, I can categorically state that in my university town at least Britpop was the entirely NME-facilitated kind of music played in the ‘meat market clubs’.

    Blur, Oasis and Pulp has released some fantastic music prior to this nonsensical categorisation – and in hindsight, most people got fed up with the ‘laddish’ connotations attached to Britpop.

    Suede were most definitely not Britpop, incidentally.

  14. This ‘Brirpop’ thing entirely passed me by at the time. I thought it was trivial media crap.

    Later I simply considered that the likes of Blur and Oasis were for a younger generation (I’m 49), and that it wasn’t all crap (I did like Pulp), but that’s as far as it went with me and I continued my normal Sabbath/Zeppelin addiction.

    I only watched this prog hoping to catch a glimse of the Pulp keyboard player, but a couple of songs did stand out – by Echobelly and Powder.

    Having now listened to three of Echobelly’s albums I wonder how they ever got saddled with the ‘Britpop’ label (I know the answer is obvious) but really, this is pretty hard stuff, and for the most part, very good.

    Britpop!. I hate the very name. Conotations of Blur/Oasis rivalry, bad behaviour and foul language. Still.there was always the Pulp keyboard player to pretty things up, plus they were excellent live – shame Jarvis is such a dick!

  15. And now, five years on from that repeat on BBC4 and 15 years ( that’s half my life ago) on from it’s original inception, it’s there to be rekindled and relived on the TV heaven that is YouTube…