The 1990s will always be regarded as pivotal time in music, if only for the change to a more direct, less polished style of music stripped of the excess, pomp and bombast (typified by the outrageous hairstyles and spandex costumes worn by the dignified gentlemen of the hair metal and arena rock scene) that characterized much of the 1980s. Back in the US, Nirvana and Pearl Jam were two of the seminal acts that ushered in the era of what is now known as grunge music – full of angst and grit. Indeed, the popularity of grunge music and its surrounding culture was one of the high-profile death knells for the wilder theatricality of the 80s rock scene.
In the UK, of course, a slightly distinct take on this paradigm shift was taking place, essentially morphing into the second coming of the British Invasion back in the 1960s. More than half a century ago, it was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones that led the charge with their deceptively simple melodies and mass hysteria-inducing live performances. Back in the 90s, Blur and Oasis were the main figures in yet another sea change in popular music: Britpop. Fittingly, Britpop emerged as a reaction to the US grunge phenomenon; and at its peak, a diverse variety of inventive musical groups took the spotlight along with Oasis’ Gallagher brothers and Blur’s Damon Albarn – Suede, The Verve, Elastica, Supergrass, Echobelly, Kula Shaker, and the Boo Radleys, to name a few. One of the more obscure musical acts that came up during this time was Sleeper, a band that got their big break supporting Blur on their Parklife tour in 1995. Sleeper went on to score three UK Top 10 albums, including 1996’s platinum-selling The It Girl, before eventually splitting up in 1998.
A Slice of Britpop at the Poker Tables
Former lead singer Louise Wener has been a fairly successful novelist since 2001, having written four well-received books including her autobiography Different for Girls: My True-life Adventures in Pop (also known as Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop) and a novel centered around a female poker player titled The Big Blind (also known as The Perfect Play). The ex-Sleeper vocalist has shared her poker knowledge to many aspiring players throughout the years; her pragmatic and focused teaching style has helped poker players win Partypoker qualifiers for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and World Poker Tour (WPT) tournaments. As a matter of fact, Louise credits her older brother Jeff for teaching her the basics and nuances of poker.
Nowadays, Wener lives in Brighton with her husband, ex-Sleeper drummer Andy MacLure, and their two children.