The 1990s saw an unprecedented period of musical brilliance in Guitar music, for British bands this was seen in Brit-pop, but over two decades on where are they now?
Despite the ridiculous number of amazingly talented bands that emerged under the label of Brit-pop, including Pulp, Suede and the Manic Street Preachers to name a few, the headlines will and have always been dominated by two bands united in the 90s under the slogan; the battle for Brit-pop. I am of course talking about Blur and Oasis.
Blur recently released their 21 box set, celebrating 21 years since the release of their first album Leisure. As for most people celebrating (normally by drinking enough to kill a small rhino, before vomiting all over a bin, which you have mistaken for a slightly under the weather Daleck and then attempting to escape from your now freshly decorated friend) reaching the grand old age of 21 is a big deal. The box set contains all seven albums alongside a host of additional tracks and B-sides amassed by the band over the years that celebrates the brilliance of one of the greatest bands Britain has produced and for any Blur fan, a must buy. Alongside the new release Blur look to headline the Olympic closing ceremony alongside New Order, The Specials and Bombay Bicycle Club, an honour worthy of their contribution to music and continuing the exceptionally high level of musical choice for the Olympics as seen in the opening ceremony.
And across the ring in the red corner the once overwhelming dominance of the Manchester band Oasis looks to have disintegrated. The brothers, renowned for their spates appear to have fallen out once and for all, and there wasn’t even any tambourines involved. The band split in 2009 after more rows and both brothers have gone off to form their own bands; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird and Beady Eye. Neither band has come remotely near the heights reached by their previous band despite a few catchy numbers from both. The dispute looks to have continued after the break up, with Liam dedicating a song to Noel and his ‘High Flying Smurfs’ this weekend at the Fuji Rocks festival. The fear for Oasis remains that like the Spice Girls, together they conquer the world but individually they can’t even win a conker contest.
So 20 years on who really won the battle of Brit-pop? because an extra round looks to have been added.
By Joe Longhurst