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Britpop Supergroup: Chaz Chance and the Prophets

Chaz Chance and the Prophets / © Mat Osman

Chaz Chance and the Prophets / © Mat Osman

It was recently revealed that the all-star jam session that Suede bassist Mat Osman tweeted about last month was actually a rehearsal for a fictional glam band appearing in a forthcoming television show. The supergroup is known as Chaz Chance and the Prophets, and the quartet are expected to contribute three tracks for the new program. Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, drummer Mike Joyce of the Smiths, and Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes joined Osman in the studio last month to record three songs for the three-part drama series called The Records. The show, expected to air in this UK this autumn, explores the highs and lows of the music industry in the 1970s, as seen through the eyes of a music talent scout.

Joyce spoke to the NME about their upcoming project: ‘The calibre of the players – heroes, y’know [sic] – it’d be mad not to do it. And the tracks are genuinely good. They sound Bowie-ish, but they’re not a pastiche.’

Osman is not the only member of Suede to perform in a fictitious supergroup. Suede guitarist Bernard Butler was one member of Venus in Furs, a group that featured in the 1998 film, Velvet Goldmine. Venus In Furs also consisted of Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead, David Gray, and another Roxy Music veteran, Andy Mackay. The band performed five songs for the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, mostly Roxy Music numbers. The most recent fictional supergroup graced theater screens in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The Weird Sisters were comprised of Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey of Pulp, Johnny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead, the All Seeing I’s Jason Buckle, and Steven Claydon of Add N to (X). J.K. Rowling’s band famously appeared at Hogwarts’ Yule Ball. The movie scene was too short, but the soundtrack included three magical songs, all composed by Cocker.

We can’t expect anything less than brilliant from the Prophets’ legendary line-up. Below we have the first video of the group performing one of their songs. ‘She’s A Queen’ sounds very much like Hunky Dory-era Bowie (‘Queen Bitch,’ anyone?). Johnny Daukes has also shared demo versions of the three songs on Soundcloud. Listen now to ‘Ghost Of A Chance,’ ‘So Far Away (From Me),’ and ‘Bitchy Queen’ (the demo version of ‘She’s A Queen’) at Soundcloud.

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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