Lets face the facts that this is a man’s world and was a man’s scene by all measures. Women were the totally under represented ones yet somehow carved out their own little niche and made something damn great.The thing is that if you reflect back while understanding the present I think all of these musicians can really hold their head high both creatively and perceived written success.. I’m not going to devolve into the “kids these days” trope, but lets reflect on what they created while thinking somewhat about the present popscene.
First of lets state who the Girls of Britpop were. I guess if you’re here you know the no doye answer: is Justine Frischmann, and to a lesser extent, Donna, from Elastica. In a little less music focus one would say Diane from Trainspotting was the best. That scottish accent just melts your heart, right? And we all saw trainspotting, right? After that in no order is Louise Wener from Sleeper, Cerys Matthews from Catatonia, Sonya Madan from Echobelly, Sarah Cracknell from St Etienne, Miki from Lush and Rachel from Slowdive. I know I’m missing out on Portishead, Republica, and Massive Attack, but I guess you have to draw the line somewhere? Really thought that’s a lot to write about – deal with it.
What do we have today? Brittney – (she has been around since 98) then you have the utterly tragic story of Rhianna. There is Katy Perry and also Mariah. There is always Madonna and by proxy Lady Gaga. I’ll have no gaga hate here though. She scratches the itch, ok? Then there is also Adele, whom it seems noone can escape. The thing about them, despite any case for talent they might have, is that they have their stuff all hanging out. Sure in some way the girls from our scene did sell that fact and the pictures below tend to paint that picture, but it was not what it is today. Sex sells, I get it, but it’s only been 15 years since 1997. We haven’t devolved that much, have we? My point is that I believe they didn’t sell their bodies like other acts today do. They seemed to focus on making music while the sex part was a secondary additive of just being damn cute. And for that I’m really in awe of them. Enough of my own beliefs – lets talk about the bands!
Lets start at the top shall we? Elastica. I really like Connection by Elastica, who didn’t, but listening now I can’t help but wonder what affect Damon had on the song. There is that weird rumor he wrote it, and maybe he did, but i’d like to think not. I guess it also sounds like some other no name band that decided to put their name in that wikipedia article to get some fame. Fuck em. So what is Justine up to these days? She’s a painter. In California. I shit you not. What happened to Donna? She’s found god.
Catatonia was always a band that fit with Stereophonic for better or worse. Obviously they’re both welsh and that fact doesn’t harm them at all, it just seems to fit nicely as a means to clump them together. The songs were always good and well crafted but never really sat well with me. It’s those rough vocals, I guess? I ask this question, but do you go back and listen to them? Exactly. It’s shame really because they’re really nostalgic. Cerys is currently keeping on with a solo career. Check it out below.
Sonya Madan of EchoBelly is fucking cute as hell. I can’t lie. And it’s the kind of cute any sane man will look at and think to themselves some wickdly dirty thoughts, but then say “please marry me”. She’s kept the look going all these years and girlfriend if you got it keep on showing what you got. Ya know what I mean? Of course you do.
Remember that lead song from Trainspotting – Atomic? Well it’s by Sleeper and the lead singer was Louise Wener. All you need to know about Louise Wener is…well…she is Totes Amazing. Not many people are good at one thing let alone two. This one we have here has multiple hit albums and songs and then decides that is not enough. She says nope! to music and starts a writing career. Jesus. Go out and support her.
St Etienne was always one of those like them on your own but never in public band for me. I was far too self-conscious for my own good clearly. I guess the trouble is they did cover songs and were more closer to the Spice Girls than the other bands? Not really. Regardless they were massive. Only Love Can Break Your Heart the bands first hit ironically did actually feature Sarah Cracknell was EVERYWHERE. The other massive song was with Tim Burgess before he turned totally insane that surprisingly (not surprisingly) turned out quite good. Saint Etienne seems to still be kicking about but you’d probably know better than me about what they’re doing. This song from 2012 – called Tonight – with the autotuned vocals is terrible from a woman with a beautiful voice. A reader wrote in saying that this was not shocking due to the dance nature of the album and upon reflection: they were right! Good song none the less in comparison to other crap on the radio.
Miki from Lush and Rachel from Slowdive are by date of releases the earliest musicians in this whole thing. Trouble is they belonged to that shoegaze scene if you’re looking to lump them into an era. Where is Miki now? Noone knows. And holy shit is this website terible. Made in 2007? Seriously? This looks like geocities junk. Ha ha. Fucking frames. Terrrrrrible! Rachel Goswell from Slowdive went onto Mojave 3 and there made a few good songs. They took a total 180 and went the country route – which I totally picked in the office pool of “what direction will slowdive members go in post breakup”. They did make breaking the ice which I to this day adore. And she’ll always be boss in my book because Alison is one of my all time favorite songs.
Can you pick favorites here? Who was yours?