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The BBC Celebrate 20 Years Of Britpop


April marks the twentieth anniversary of Blur’s Parklife, a milestone that will multiply over the coming months. Soon, we will be celebrating Oasis’ Definitely Maybe and Suede’s masterpiece, Dog Man Star. Do you remember the first time you heard Pulp’s ‘Do You Remember The First Time?’ or made a connection with Elastica’s ‘Connection?’ That’s right, they, too, were released twenty years ago!

1993 might have sown the seeds of Britpop, but 1994 saw it blossom. In honor of the momentous occasion of us all being twenty years older (ugh!), the BBC is devoting a television and radio season to the Britpop phenomenon. The season runs from Sunday, April 6 to Friday, April 11 on BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, and BBC Four (television).

Keep reading for the complete schedule.

Steve Lamacq’s Britpop programming – all week from 4:00 to 7:00 PM daily on 6 Music

Steve Lamacq’s daily show will feature a week of special programming during its regular slot. Special guests Gaz Coombes (Supergrass), Justine Frischmann (Elastica), and Creation Records’ honcho Alan McGee will stop in to chat with Lamacq. Expect plenty of archive material. The final special show on Friday, April 11 will have a Britpop Top 30 countdown based on the votes at the BBC’s Britpop site. Vote!

All New – The Evening Session – Monday, April 7 to Thursday, April 10 from 8:00 to 10:00 PM daily on Radio 2

Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley reunite for the Evening Session, which originally aired on Radio 1 from 1993 to 1997. From the BBC’s Maida Vale studios in London, there will be new sessions from Chvrches and Sophie Ellis-Bextor covering Britpop classics, plus more artists to be announced. In addition, Gaz Coombes (again) and Louise Wener (Sleeper) will be live in the studio. The shows will also dig into the Evening Session’s legendary archive, and Jarvis Cocker will co-host once again with Jo Whiley.

6 Music Live Hour
– Monday, April 7 at 3:00 AM on 6 Music

This program, presented by Chris Hawkins, will highlight Blur live at Glastonbury in 1994, plus BBC sessions from Lush and James. The 6 Music Live Hour programs throughout the week will also feature classic Britpop sessions.

Radio 1 Evening Session –  Tuesday, April 8 at 1:00 AM on 6 Music

Here’s another chance to hear highlights of the classic episode of April 4, 1995, in which Jarvis Cocker of Pulp co-presented with Jo Whiley. Other classic Evening Session shows will be broadcast throughout the week.

In addition, there will be a series of documentaries, including:

How Britpop Changed The Media  – Sunday, April 6 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on 6 Music

Miranda Sawyer examines the influence of Britpop on British culture as it exploded into the mainstream alongside modern artists like Damien Hirst and new culture magazines like Loaded. Both the government and the media embraced new musical icons as a way to appeal to young Britain. This documentary will be followed by a debate on the Jeremy Vine Show (Monday, April 7 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM on BBC Radio 2) about how Britpop changed Britain.

Oasis – What’s The Story? – Sunday, April 6 and Monday, April 7 at 4:00 AM on 6 Music

Oasis’ Liam and Noel Gallagher, Alan McGee, and others tell the story of the band and their success. Mark Radcliffe takes a look at the trials and tribulations of one of the biggest British bands of all time. This two-part series was first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2002.

Britpop: A Very British Pop – Monday, April 7 from 10:00 to 11:00 PM on BBC Radio 2

Stuart Maconie traces the rise of Britpop from its beginnings in Camden to the front room of Downing Street, exploring why it happened when it did and its legacy on British music today. The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Brett Anderson and Mat Osman (Suede), Alex James (Blur), Luke Haines (The Auteurs), and Louise Wener (Sleeper) will offer their insights.

Not Just Britpop – Tuesday, April 8 to Thursday, April 10 from 10:00 to 11:00 PM daily on BBC Radio 2

Apparently not all of the music of the 1990s was made by guitar bands signed to indie labels. This three-part series looks back at the dance, pop, and hip hop scenes from 1994 to 1998.

Finally, switch on the TV; there’s a BBC Four Britpop night on Friday, April 11.

Details are scarce, but we can be assured that the BBC archives, ‘a rich treasure trove of the joy and time that was Britpop,’ will be expertly ransacked. The usual suspects will all be accounted for: Elastica, Sleeper, Suede, and, even, Menswe@r! Brace yourself for plenty of Cool Britannia, Britpop War déjà vus, and Camden envy.

Bookmark the official Britpop at the BBC website for the most up-to-date schedules, Steve Lamacq’s Britpop blog, and exclusive archive clips. Also, remember to check back next week in time to vote for the Britpop Top 30 countdown on Friday, April 11!

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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