Great Britpop Songs #20: Menswear – ‘Sleeping In’

Ah, Menswear. Referred to by many as “the joke of Britpop”, this stylish and melodic five piece were actually a lot better than certain people made them out to be. It was the darkly camp and hugely infectious ‘Daydreamer’ that was my introduction to them, via the excellent ‘True Brit’ compilation. I’ve already featured that song as ‘Song For Today’ on the RW/FF site ages ago, and the beautiful ‘Being Brave’ was a ‘Rewind’ track not so long ago, so here is the excellent ‘Sleeping In’… After Menswear broke up in the late 90’s, it was to be 15 long years until frontman Johnny Dean performed live again, with The Nuisance Band last year. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to rename the group [email protected], and play a charity gig with an all new line up playing the old hits. “Technically this would be [email protected] v3.0, but to me it’s [email protected] It’s what we should have been” says Johnny. In what he describes as more of a “reformation” than a reunion, the move has been criticised by some… “I’ve had people I don’t even know tell me that I can’t do that… Why is anyone telling me what I can and cannot do with my own band? This band is [email protected] We sound better. We were so young then and it happened very suddenly. I mean, we played 2 or 3 gigs and got signed. I think some members of the band took that ease to mean that we wouldn’t ever have to put any effort into it. People fell asleep at rehearsals because they were too fucked up. It was like they wanted to participate in the drugs and partying aspects but not in actual work. Truthfully, I never felt like I even knew those guys, except for Stuart.”

“I do feel like I’ve ‘gone rogue’ with this whole thing. But that appeals to me, makes the whole thing seem new. Over the last ten years or so I’ve been contacted in various ways, usually email, by Simon asking me if I’d like to do a reunion. A couple of times we’d meet up– the whole band. But I always felt like there was something they weren’t telling me. I’ll lay my cards on the table and admit I don’t trust Chris and Simon. This [email protected] is older (although younger than the original members), nicer and there are no ulterior motives. A few of them were teenage [email protected] fans and I get a massive kick out of that. I am so much more relaxed now. I feel like I communicate better with people while I’m on stage than with them one-on-one.” The new Menswear have lined up more activity for 2014.


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