Remember Powder? Britpop’s answer to Hole, Powder was fronted by Pearl Lowe, who is arguably more famous for being famous than her contributions to England’s musical landscape. Pearl Lowe’s hedonistic lifestyle of partying, drugs, and partner-swapping fueled her celebrity and kept her face in the tabloids throughout the decade. She was a well-known fixture on the London social scene, along with her ‘celebutante’ friends like Sadie Frost. She was also half of one of the more famous Britpop power couples. Pearl Lowe and Danny Goffey of Supergrass have been together for eighteen years. The couple were founding members of supergroup, Lodger, which formed in 1997 after the demise of Powder.
Musically, Powder’s greatest legacy is being included in the excellent ‘Britpop Now’ special. Powder set themselves apart from the other Britpop bands with a heavier sound, almost a messy marriage of grunge and Britpop. Their shambolically fabulous performance of ‘Aphrodisiac’ makes quite an impression. The dirty glamour of the group is on full display as Pearl Lowe sways and slinks around the stage like a dazed panther with her vintage dress and sleek Louise Brooks bob. Pearl is no sweet-sounding Louise Wener. Her voice is rough with too many fags and late nights. And I dare you to get this song out of your head!
Pearl Lowe has since overcome her drug addictions and written a revealing memoir of her difficult struggle. She was quoted in the press as saying that she would rather be remembered as “Pearl the Singer than Pearl the Swinger.” Pearl has continued to be a style icon with her own fashion label and textile designs.