BritPop Month: An Introduction

BritPop Month: An Introduction


20 years on and with a slew of reissues, reformations and books about the period daubed ‘Britpop’ we at GIITTV are devoting entire month to the era. A ‘so called’ movement that inspired a media created genre that wrapped itself proudly in the flag,  at time when tunes as disparate as Massive Attack‘s ‘Teardrop’ , Whitetown‘s ‘Your Woman’ , Underworld‘s ‘Born Slippy’ and The Longpigs ‘She Said’ were pumping on your stereo.

The truth is  like any so called ‘scene’ the pre Britpop period was the most exciting , the instant it became mainstream it signaled the beginning of the end, the early years were fruitful a triumvirate of albums were released that would go onto shape the sounds of the following years. Blur‘s ‘Modern Life(1993) is Rubbish,’ Pulp‘s ‘His n hers'(1994) and Elastica‘s ‘s/t'(1995) debut were imbued with a new confidence, a starker vision and spikier tunes.

Don’t misunderstand this month it’s not a pure celebration Britpop still inspires as many questions as it does plaudits. Depending upon your vantage point’ ‘Britpop’ was either a refreshing blast of guitar noise, tunes and characterful new bands after what seemed like a wilderness of bad dance music, coy alternative bands intentionally hiding in the shadows and a preponderance of overly American music.

For Luke Haines he has questioned it’s entire existence beyond a media created pigeonhole for many unconnected boorish bands “I think it was a fairly crap period for British music. Pulp made good records during that time and there were probably people that weren’t anything to do with Britpop, English bands, that made some good records.” 

“Other than that, the whole Britpop thing killed that eccentricity in music for quite a long time.”

Where ever you stand there’s no denying Britpop’s impact, in point of fact it could be argued that it was the last gasp for guitar music in the mainstream. As the laddish ridiculousness of Oasis‘s Kneworth show saw them topple over into self parody and labels like Creation were swallowed up by the majors. The disparate nature of the music media, the rise of the internet probably lessens the chance of a time when independent bands can ever break into the mainstream the way they did in the 90s. The post Britpop charts would be full of tiresome copies of a particular strand of dreary stadium bothering terrace balladry thus the next years would be dominated by Embrace, Starsailor, Keane and Coldplay and the likes.Also the preponderance of Laddishness that would invade the culture inspired by the likes of Loaded Magazine and female DJs that would like to be seen drinking as many pints as it would take to fall down and be papped by a tabloid were unseemly….

But the truth is Britpop inspired as much as it conformed, it became a bandwagon as much as it produced brilliant albums, and some kid some where is probably putting on Dummy, Dog Man Star, and Everything Must Go and being inspired all over again. It was a brief few years when bands with something to say and give, were let in, gatecrashing Top of the pops and the higher end of the charts, what would have been considered ‘indie’ in the 1980s became mainstream and in many cases keeled over drunk on success, twattishness and cocaine.

Yes time can rose tint our spectacles, as we often remember the music we first fell in love with when we were young most fondly. But because and despite of everything:  BRITPOP was gloriously contradictory, fucked up  at times brilliant at times rubbish but impossible to ignore. So let us celebrate, criticise, revel in and for better or worse relive the years roughly between 94-97 this February, I hope you can join us!

Here’s Noel Gallagher’s take on Oasis videos of old, it’s fair to say that in retrospect he isn’t that impressed.

Britpop Covers Project

To Celebrate the month we are also putting together a covers compilations of songs by artists from the Britpop era, if you are interested in getting involved the deadline is the start of March email: [email protected] for more information.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.