Britpop 100 Years On!


There’s been a lot of talk about Britpop, in this, its centenary year. And it seems to me, that once again history is being re-written in a puerile attempt to sell Fred Perry polo shirts and Adidas Gazelle trainers. It’s time however that we peeled back the tin foil lid on this mysterious era of cheap recreational drugs and promiscuity and heard the tale, truthfully and honestly by someone who actually fought on the front line and still has the flashbacks.

The young Allbran was brought up in the leafy slums of Aldham Village, in Essex, the penniless son of middle class intellectuals. However the young Allbran yearned for more than middle class mediocrity, so… he packed a few personal belongings into a knotted silk handkerchief and headed to the gold covered streets of London with his trusty cat Coxon. However, twas the early 90’s and the evil warlord Thatcher and her bastard son Major had already laid waste to the capital, and while she privately dined, on the flesh of coal miner’s babies, her army of yuppies had already stripped the gold from the streets to feed their insatiable appetite for German luxury goods. The young Allbran and his trusty pet, had no choice but to scratch out a living as Cockney barrow boys selling  jellied eels on Camden Market. It was here, that by chance, they met a young cheese maker named Alex Cheese. Apart from their obvious affinity with Dot Cotton, greyhounds and the Kray twins. Allbran, Coxon and Cheese were united in their hatred of Thatcher, Major and the insidious youth corrupting American Grunge, which was, at the time, being pumped directly into the River Thames. Not only polluting the fresh, sparkling, salmon filled, crystal clear drinking waters, but also forming a thick, stench-laden, fog that seeped from the river and filled the very brains of the capitals youth with despair. The evil Grunge movement was masterminded by the filthy, but charismatic, floppy fringed dirt-meister Cobain from his secret volcano hideout somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. And while the stench of teen spirit descended upon the streets of London, carried by the eerie fog, Allbran, Coxon and Cheese new in their young hearts that something had to be done. It was at that moment that they also vowed never to give in to the temptation of Grunge (apart of course, from Song 2, but that was obviously “ironic“.)

It was also then, as they ran coughing and spluttering through the stink-laden streets of the capital with tears streaming down their honest faces, unable to focus, that Blur was formed. And along with professional groupie Elasti-girl and The Spice Girls they formed Britpop. However over the coming months and years, It was curious to our heroes, that although they had a really cool sounding name and had even bothered to steal some ancient Mod themes and drape themselves in union flags, that there still seemed a reluctance to join their Cool Britannia gang. Ocean Colour Scene applied of course, but they were instantly dismissed, by the astute Allbran. The guys decided then, that they would have to cast their net wider. So they looked to form a creative wing with spotty shark embalmer Hirst and Sainsburys golden boy Oliver and thus Britart and, Britcook were formed, with varying degrees of success.

It was around ‘95 that Allbran made his legendary “ride out” on his Union Jack scooter to Manchester to try and form a northern alliance with the hirsute Monkey Twins. Not surprisingly the legendarily violent Monkey Twins were “Avving non of it” with the cockney pretender, and so began the Battle of Britpop, which waged for almost a fortnight in the minds of music journalists. The whole country was soon divided as Civil War ensued. The lines were clearly drawn. With, on one side, those who saw themselves as leading a brave new youth culture movement and on the other side… Those who just couldn’t give a toss.

Nothing was quite the same afterwards. After the two sides had clashed and the dust had settled. Music journos surveyed the barren musical wasteland that they had created and wept.  Ok they had defeated Grunge but it was a hollow victory. “Let’s all meet up in the year 2000?” suggested Jarvis Cocker, but it was too little, too late. There were many casualties. Allbran had already started turning into a cartoon, Cheese went back to what he knew best and the Spice Girls, well they were forced to degrade themselves even further, with a West End musical and a straight to video movie and lunchbox deal with Tesco. The only partial winners were the Monkey Twins who enjoyed a brief period of happiness before spectacularly and publicly exploding. They have, of course never spoken to each other since. Choosing to communicate instead through a series of highly paid interpreters. There were no winners on that day, only losers as the Britpop void was quickly filled by an insidious, enveloping, blackness much, much worse than Grunge or Thatcherism, because sitting, waiting, plotting, waiting for his time to strike and unleash his evil upon the world was Cowell.

So there you have it. In black and white, with red and blue bits. It was all down to Blur and any insinuation that their loyal Britpop followers had either, ever been to Manchester or had ever listened to anything else prior to 1993, by say… oo… Joy Division, The Bunnymen, REM, The Mary Chain or heaven knows… The Smiths!!!… is a complete fabrication. The fact that Gene and Echobelly sound a bit/a lot/ just like, the Smiths is a complete coincidence in my addled mind.

By Lenny on April 12, 2014

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