It’s Britpop Week On Stereogum

The first time I saw Blur was on September 29, 1994, at the old Academy Theatre on 43rd St. in Manhattan. That place has been shut down now since 1996, but I’d guess it held … 1200 people? 1300? In any case, it was a relatively intimate room, and as I recall, that show wasn’t even sold out. This was the last night of an 8-date North American tour on which Blur had embarked in support of their then-new third LP, Parklife. They were joined on that trek by support act Pulp, who were also promoting a new album, His ’N’ Hers. The timing was good: Both albums had been received fairly rapturously by the UK media after being released within a week of one another: His ’N’ Hers came out on April 18, 1994, and Parklife dropped the following Monday.
If you were trying to identify a single week in which the thing called “Britpop” burst into bloom, you’d probably have to point to that stretch of mid-April 1994. (Actually, you could probably start the clock a week earlier, on April 11, 1994: the day Oasis’ debut single, “Supersonic,” was released.) This was not, crucially, the birth of Britpop (more on that later), but it was the moment at which these many disparate musical things of British origin became a single one. Suddenly there was no more baggy or Madchester or shoegaze: Countless extant bands with monosyllabic monikers (Verve/Suede/Lush/James/Ride) were swept into this new movement; countless new ones (Cast/Ash/Shack/Space/Gene) seemed to arrive immediately afterward, as if coming off an assembly line.
CONTINUE…

The first time I saw Blur was on September 29, 1994, at the old Academy Theatre on 43rd St. in Manhattan. That place has been shut down now since 1996, but I’d guess it held … 1200 people? 1300? In any case, it was a relatively intimate room, and as I recall, that show wasn’t even sold out. This was the last night of an 8-date North American tour on which Blur had embarked in support of their then-new third LP, Parklife. They were joined on that trek by support act Pulp, who were also promoting a new album, His ’N’ Hers. The timing was good: Both albums had been received fairly rapturously by the UK media after being released within a week of one another: His ’N’ Hers came out on April 18, 1994, and Parklife dropped the following Monday.

If you were trying to identify a single week in which the thing called “Britpop” burst into bloom, you’d probably have to point to that stretch of mid-April 1994. (Actually, you could probably start the clock a week earlier, on April 11, 1994: the day Oasis’ debut single, “Supersonic,” was released.) This was not, crucially, the birth of Britpop (more on that later), but it was the moment at which these many disparate musical things of British origin became a single one. Suddenly there was no more baggy or Madchester or shoegaze: Countless extant bands with monosyllabic monikers (Verve/Suede/Lush/James/Ride) were swept into this new movement; countless new ones (Cast/Ash/Shack/Space/Gene) seemed to arrive immediately afterward, as if coming off an assembly line.

CONTINUE…