Sunday, 29 January 2017

Britpop's Greatest (Non) Hits

Any show can play the Britpop classics, and many do. However what makes our show that bit different is the detours that we make into Britpop's backwaters. The great songs that somehow never quite made it and now lay forgotten. Some of these we know because we bought them, or because they are preserved for posterity on disc 2 of a Shine compilation. (There were 10 volumes of Shine and they are in the CD bag for every show!).

However we rely on our awesome listeners for most of these forgotten bands. Someone will email or tweet requesting a band that we've never heard of and thus spark a search here at Britpop HQ. Firstly, to find the CD and then to find a band member to come on the show. Sometime it's the former band members themselves that get in touch, which makes arranging the interview a bit easier.

And amongst these forgotten bands are some real quality tunes. Listening again 20 years later you think "How was this not a hit?". Who knows, maybe the wrong management, the label screwed up or perhaps that was the week that a dozen other good indie bands released a single so you just never got the airplay or the review in NME/Melody Maker/Select etc.

The 90s is littered with a whole slew of singles that missed, albums that never got released and indie bands that got dropped when the Britpop bubble burst. You just need to read the Speedy Story to see what was happening.

So this is where we take a stand. This is where we excavate those long forgotten hits that never were and return them if not to the limelight then at least to the consciousness of the Britpop cognoscenti. 

We are going to release our own forgotten Britpop compilation CD.

Why not just make up a playlist on Spotify or YouTube? Well where is the fun in that? The CD was the music format of the 90s and that is what we shall have!

There are a few challenges to face, not least the fact that we don't know what we're doing. However this is a show that prizes enthusiasm over professionalism so we will find a way. We have already started talking to a label who are interested in getting involved and that will make things easier if it comes off but it's still very much at the stage of not knowing what we don't know.

So what happens next? The way we see it we have these steps to take:
  1. Compile a long list of great, forgotten Britpop singles
  2. Try and get rights/permission for as many of those songs as possible
  3. Sort out the business end; artwork, pressing, distribution, promotion etc. Maybe a PledgeMusic campaign with some extra goodies.
  4. Have an awesome launch party (or gig?)
  5. Clear a space on the wall for the gold disc
How hard can it be? Probably quite hard actually but let's not let that get in the way right now... The aim is to have the CD out by the end of the year.

So, focus on Step 1. Compile a long list of great, forgotten Britpop singles. This is where we need your help. What should we include on the compilation? 

There are just 2 rules:
  1. The band never had a Top 20 hit
  2. The single itself didn't chart (Top 40)

You can leave your ideas in the comments below, tweet us @britpoprevival or email Of course if you think that you can help in any possible way, do please get in touch.

This should be fun! 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Guest Post: Soda Album Review

Soda - Artificial Flavour album review

When I first heard the album and the band mentioned on the Britpop Revival Show (BRS) I have to admit I'd never come across them back in the day. Even as an avid reader of the NME/Melody Maker/Select/Vox etc I don't recall seeing them advertised or mentioned. So their sudden reappearance on the Britpop landscape intrigued me somewhat; who are they, where do they come from, and most importantly what happened to them? Luckily these were answered by Nick on the BRS when he had them on for interview.

Soda in 1995
Fast forward a few weeks and BRS and Soda had a copy to give away and I was the lucky recipient. I told the Soda guys I'd write down a few words after I'd heard it in full but Xmas and kids, etc slowed me down. But here we are in 2017 and we are at the dawn of the 20th anniversary of the year that Britpop is widely agreed to have expired (or at least the music press decided to give it the elbow having got bored of their plaything), Tony Blair got into power, Oasis got slated for Be Here Now, Blur went lo-fi and more American, Pulp turned darker and sadly the manufactured pop industry fired up its factories to churn out the (still seemingly never ending) chart friendly meaningless pop acts that the industry love to flog to kids. Fitting then that I'm thinking about a Britpop band that just missed the boat and found that the Britpop boat not only sailed off without them but sadly sank and took many good girls and lads with it.

The album opens with One Sweet Lie that catches your attention with chugging guitar power chords that to my ear fall somewhere between the punky pop of Ash and the short lived genre called New Wave of New Wave (NWONW). The verses and choruses bounce along at a good pace with a sound that really reminds me of the NWONW band These Animal Men, whom I really like so Soda have got a thumbs up from me on this opening track!

The best song on the album is Inside which ticks every box on the Britpop checklist; great hook, a chorus you can yell along to, music that's fun and spiky and demands the listener to jump around too. This could've been a huge 90's chart hit if it had been given the right backing and found a helpful hand from the likes of Chris Evans as he did for Ocean Colour Scene.

The rest of album is the type of great Britpop tune-smithery which is sadly lacking in today's current indie scene, and One Track Mind gives us another 90's trademark; the string section accompaniment to the main guitar riff, this song also showcases the vocal talents of a lead singer who can actually sing! Don't ask me why but I can easily imagine this being sung by Sonya Aurora Madan from Echobelly, in fact a duet of Soda and Sonya on this track would really work I reckon. Prettiest Souls is another song that would be a great addition to any mix tape found under a teenagers bed circa 1996, stick it on in the 6th form common room between Supersonic by Oasis and Dolphin by Shed Seven and this number won't be out of place.

The penultimate number Let Myself Slip is crashing guitar chords which sound like waves hitting an indie pop beach back in that sunny summer of 1995.....happy days.

To sum it up I'd say this is a lovely time capsule of mid 90's Britpop that has been a treat to dig up and enjoy in 2017. Soda were obviously a talented band who suffered from either bad luck or bad timing or both. They had a sound that was a mix (to my musically-uneducated ears) of Menswe@r, These Animal Men, Ash, Feeder, Echobelly and Sleeper. I get the feeling they were fans of The Jam and The Buzzcocks as they grew up and this has influenced their take on the Britpop sound. My final thought is that it does seem a surprise that they didn't breakthrough in 1996 as they'd planned to, and Britpop is slightly poorer for it.

Artificial Flavour by Soda is out now. Buy it on CD or cassette from

This was a guest post by James Tanner. Follow him on Twitter @britpopmemories.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Same Name, Different Song

You know what it's like. You play Alright by Cast and that makes you think of Alright by Supergrass.

You play Slide Away by The Verve and that makes you think of Slide Away by Oasis. And then you think, I wonder if we could make a whole show of different songs with the same name?

The problem surely though is would there be enough examples to fill a show? Short answer, yes. Lots actually. 160 to be exact.

The simpler the title the more likely there is be another song with the same name. There are 5 bands with a song called Blue; The Verve, McAlmont & Butler, The Bluetones, Elastica and SymposiumHowever there are also two bands (Echobelly and Libido) with a track called God's Guest List which feels a bit more random.

In the end we couldn't fit even half of them into the show but had a lot of fun finding these unusual partnerships. As always on our show we ended up with some big songs by big bands and some deliciously obscure stuff too (Hillman Minx B-side anyone?).

The show is available here:

And we've created a Spotify Playlist of all the songs we found (some of the more obscure stuff is not on Spotify though). If you can think of any that we missed just add them in the comments below.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Albums Of The Year 2015

It's fair to say that we've not seen much activity on this blog in 2015 but the conversation is in full swing over on Facebook and Twitter, so come and join us.

To mark the end of the year we dedicated our final show of 2015 to a look back over the year, some of our interview and gig highlights and of course our Albums Of The Year and New Band Of The Year.

It has been another good year with plenty of old bands back together and playing again from Suede to The Bluetones, Menswear to Shed Seven and we've seen the first 90s festival with the Shiiine Weekender. It's going to be running again in 2016 and we can strongly recommend it!

Blur surprised us with a new album, The Magic Whip, and with new music from Noel Gallagher and Suede (due out January 22nd) we only needed something from Jarvis to complete the set.

So our albums of 2015 are:

  1. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday
  2. Blur - The Magic Whip
  3. Ash - Kablammo!
  4. The Charlatans - Modern Nature
  5. Gaz Coombes - Matador
And our New Band Of The Year was not a band at all but the fantastic Courtney Barnett.

You can listen to our show every Wednesday at 6pm UK on Phonic FM or catch up via our Mixcloud page.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Album Of The Year & 2014 Review

It's that time of year again and we're looking back over the 12 months of 2014. We've enjoyed a good year as we moved to hosting the show weekly on Phonic FM, which has meant more output than ever before.  And of course as well as bucketloads of quality tunes from the nineties there has been a steady stream of great new music from both established names and new artists alike.

We promoted our first ever gig (former Geneva singer, Andrew Montgomery) which was a fantastic night.  As well as Andrew I've been fortunate enough to attend gigs by a number of Britpop bands including Suede, Dodgy and former Bluetone Mark Morriss and the Gene re-issue launch party but the undoubted highlight for me was seeing Speedy perform live for the first time in 17 years as their debut album finally got its release.

It's also been a pleasure to interview so many people this year for the show, from new unsigned bands to the legend that is Sir Bernard Butler.  

These are just some of the people we had on the show in 2014:
I'm already drawing up the a list of potential names for 2015!

One of the bands I want to get onto the show is our New Band Of The Year... Superfood.  A fantastic new band with a sound that owes a clear debt to the nineties without sounding like a pastiche. Their debut album Don't Say That was released in October to rave reviews and they've been nominated for Best New Band at the NME awards (though they'll undoubtedly be more chuffed with getting the nod from us!)

And now to our Album Of The Year. Last year it was Suede's magnificiant comeback, Bloodsports but with none of Britpop's big names in the studio this year, what will take the honours?

Album Of The Year - 2014

1. Speedy - News From Nowhere

2. Manic Street Preachers - Futurology

3. Superfood - Don't Say That

4. Mark Morriss - A Flash Of Darkness

5. Andrew Montgomery - Ruled By Dreams

Yes,  perhaps no surprise this one given the fact that we played this album before anyone else and played a (very minor) part in helping to get it finally released.  A time capsule of classic 90s indie-pop from a band who were always on the edge of something big but never quite made that final step, News From Nowhere is the missing piece of your Britpop record collection.

Album Of The Year... Speedy - News From Nowhere

You can listen to our review show here:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Mark Morriss Interview

When Tim, landlord of the Rose and Crown in Calverleigh, sent me an email to say that Mark Morriss was coming to play in his skittle alley, I knew that we had to get along to interview him.

The Rose and Crown is a great country pub and had hosted a fantastic Dodgy gig in their beer garden back in the summer.  And now the former Bluetones frontman would be performing in the skittle alley.  What's next?  I'm half expecting that the first Ride reunion gig will be in their beer cellar!
Mark Morriss live in a skittle alley near you
I'd sort of met Mark a couple of times.  He was due to be a live guest on one of our very first shows until a monumental cock-up on my part put pay to that. Then we'd chatted briefly at a Shed Seven gig where he was supporting and he'd promised to get back on the show sometime. Plus he's an active Twitterer (@thequill) and will often comment when we play his songs. So we asked and he said yes and we had chat about his old stuff and his new stuff and you can listen to it all below.

The gig itself was a delight. Old songs and new songs, plus a couple of bizarre covers, lots of chat (I'm avoiding using the word banter) and a wonderfully engaging evening in a skittle alley in a pub in rural Devon.  He even played Life Without Friction for me, which he says he doesn't normally play live acoustic as it's a bit tricky, because I said it was my favourite song on his latest album.

I enjoyed the interview and the gig and the next time he is playing round your way I strongly suggest that you go and see him.  More info at

Thursday, 27 November 2014

2nd Anniversary Request Show

Yes, incredible as it may seem it has already been 2 years since our very first show on Phonic FM.  So to celebrate we decided to host a request show. Thanks to everyone who got in touch via Twitter, Facebook or Email before and during show with their requests.  As we would should know by now with you lot, your requests were awesome.

What was really nice was realising how international we have become with requests from the USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Finland and all over the UK, even Exeter!

Here is what you chose:

  1. Popscene - Blur
  2. Razzmatazz - Pulp
  3. Wide Open Space - Mansun
  4. Trash - Suede
  5. International Bright Young Thing - Jesus Jones
  6. Twisterella - Ride
  7. The Day We Caught The Train - Ocean Colour Scene
  8. What Do I Do Now - Sleeper
  9. Town - Northern Uproar
  10. Time For You - Speedy
  11. Babies - Pulp
  12. Lucky Man - The Verve
  13. After All - The Frank And Walters
  14. Live The Dream - Cast
  15. Slight Return - The Bluetones
  16. Monday Morning - The Candyskins
  17. For The Dead - Gene
  18. Monday Morning 5:19 - Rialto
  19. Dimstar - Gay Dad
  20. Disco Down - Shed Seven
  21. Never Here - Elastica
  22. Six - Mansun
  23. The Wild Ones - Suede
  24. Sleep Well Tonight - Gene
  25. I'll See You Around - Silver Sun
  26. Punka - Kenickie
and not a single request for Oasis!