Album review: Britpop At The BBC
PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 July 2014
Not a definitive round-up, but a fair stab at summing up the mid-'90s guitar scene by the Beeb.
More of a media brandname umbrella for the many different strains of indie, rock and guitar-led pop coming out of the UK music scene than anything sought by the bands themselves, Britpop became a marketable force across the globe that arguably put us back on the map.
20 years on from its genesis, lead by the explosion of Oasis and their manufactured battle with Blur in the charts and gossip rags, the BBC has revisited this already fetishised period for a three-disc naval-gazing retrospective.
The 44 tracks offer a diverse grab-bag of acts, from crucial bit-part actors (Lush’s Single Girl) to scene stalwarts like the Longpigs.
For those already familiar with all that, it’s disc three that holds all the interest.
The 14 live Evening Session tracks dodge the obvious choices (perhaps due to rights as much as the whims of curators Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley), with Catatonia’s teeth-gratingly dated Mulder And Scully making the cut, along with the symphonic Beautiful Day from 3 Colours Red, more hard-rockers than Brit-poppers.
Damon Albarn is suitably oiky on the fresh-faced Girls & Boys and Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes delivers a wonderfully yearning, stripped-back acoustic version of Late In The Day.
James Dean Bradfield is searingly earnest on a gritty take of the Manics’ She Is Suffering, taken from the album before they hit paydirt with Everything Must Go, and Suede rock out in classically debauched, fuzzed-up glam stlye in Trash. There’s something to savour here for any fan of the era.
Rating: 4/5 stars