Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop

The Rise and fall of Brit PopLive Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop

Remember the 90s? No? Well, put down that Modest Mouse CD, Sally, and I’ll tell you all about it. They were heady times. The economy was rocking, and so was the White House. While the market was going up, Monica was going down and we were all having a laugh while Republicans tried to dismantle democracy in America. Yes, we were all gleefully hoodwinked by the early volleys of a culture war that is just now taking its toll.

But the real fun was happening across the pond in Jolly Old England. Brit Rock was making a splash and Lad Culture was taking off. Instead of being reprimanded and threatened with impeachment, Britain’s movers and shakers were celebrating loutish behavior with Liam and Noel Gallagher leading the way. Live Forever: The Rise and fall of Brit Pop is a DVD that looks at the cultural precursors precipitating the rise of Brit Rock and the political co-opting of a movement that led to its ultimate decay.

Britain in the 80s was politically synced up with America. Thatcherism was to Britain what Reaganism was to the United States. Conservativism was the way and you better step in line or face the wall. In Live Forever, Noel Gallagher explains it thus:

“I think a lot of young people had accepted Conservativism and dull culture and daytime telly…Britain was dead in the 80s.”

But Conservativism naturally leads to an underground swelling of creative angst; a bucking of the powers that be. The creative stew and political desperation rises to a boiling point. In the late 80s, three elements bring Britain to the edge of that boiling point: the poll tax riots, the introduction of Ecstasy into the club scene, and the Stone Roses.

In the summer of 1990, high on the massive European success of their debut album, the Stone Roses headlined the Spike Island festival.

“Spike Island was the blueprint for my band,” said Gallagher in the film.

The Stone Roses brought art and music and a hint of politics to the youth culture and energized a nation of young Brits who’d known nothing but Thatcherism. The band’s appearance at Spike Island was the gathering of the tribes and anyone who followed Brit Rock at the time could feel a change coming.

“Spike Island was freedom after being locked up for 11 years by conservative government,” said journalist Jon Savage.

But like so many flashes of brilliance, the Stone Roses were a dream ultimately left unfulfilled. A five year lawsuit and eventual personality strife kept the band from the world dominance they’d so arrogantly declared theirs. The band’s disintegration left a hole in Britain’s musical psyche; a vacuum. And nature abhors a vacuum.

Just as Britain’s music scene rebelled against Conservativism, so too did America’s. November 1991 saw the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind. And everything else paled in comparison, if only in the public’s eye. For a time, Britain was just as caught up in the anger (or apathy) of grunge as America was. Suddenly, British culture was again overcome by the exports of its former colony and Brit Rock languished for a time. There were glimmers of hope here and there: Suede’s debut album shook for a spell; Radiohead appeared but were at first written off as “the band who sings ‘Creep;'” Blur put out a good record but hadn’t yet shaken their affiliation with the Roses, Happy Mondays, or Inspiral Carpets that was soooo 1990!

But in April of 1994, Kurt Cobain ended grunge with a shotgun blast. Around the same time, Oasis released Definitely Maybe to a smattering of critical attention and a growing legion of tough fans who soaked up the Gallagher brothers’ lifestyle as much as their music. Soon, the band was too big to ignore and the NME started to pay attention.

Like all cycles, the cultural pendulum was swinging back overseas. In the same month as Oasis’ television debut in England, the Atlantic Bar in London opens. The Atlantic quickly became the gathering place for hip, young celebrities. Over the next year and a half or so, a small flood of art and pop culture pours out of England. See if you remember any of this:

• Artist Damien Hirst opens his controversial “cow” exhibit.

• The film Trainspotting and accompanying soundtrack shocks everyone and spawns a spate of gross fiction from freshman creative writing majors across the U.S.

• Verve releases A Storm in Heaven. Stoner rock is saved, and—quite impossibly—made cool!

• Pulp releases Different Class and reopens the class wars that Brits always fight, sometimes more quietly than other times.

• Kate Moss

Suddenly, England was the center of the world again, at least as far as the culture of cool was concerned. A new generation of Brits came of age who resented America’s cultural dominance and it was like the opening scene to Austin Powers all over again.

“American’s have tremendous confidence, but not much talent,” said the publisher of Revolver Magazine (whose name I cannot remember nor find online).

The spotlight was focused exclusively on Britain and particularly on the boys in the bands. Pictures were published daily in the British tabloids of one Gallagher or another picking a fight with a local in a club (or more often, with each other). Drunken nights were front page fodder. The Lad culture that gave us what is now Maxim magazine was just boys being boys.

But there’s only so much room in the spotlight, and a rivalry soon sparked—or was created—by the British media who’d grown accustomed to the phat sales whenever the face of a member of the new rock royalty graced their covers.

The Oasis-Blur battles are touched upon in Live Forever, but woefully handled. The interviewers let the Gallagher brothers off with their bawdy, flippant boasts and Blur’s Damon Albarn blows off the whole thing like it was so much hot air—which it ultimately was. But shit, we want some dirt but this film basically breaks it down to the obvious class differences between the two bands, leaving us with just one gem from Noel Gallagher on the subject, “I worked on building sites. That makes my soul fundamentally purer.”

But that’s not to say that class doesn’t play a major role in the appeal of Brit Rock. It certainly does, if to no one else, than to the Brits themselves.

“For a long time a lot of people were marginalized like you were a turd,” Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker says of the traditional class hierarchy in Britain. But the 90s saw the class roles reversed, “Now the turd was center stage.”

Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory debuts in October of 1995, bringing the band to its creative and influential peak. In August 1996, they headline a show at Knebworth castle, which was the largest free standing concert in British history. That kind of pull is bound to turn some heads, and where there are people, there are politicians.

That year, the publisher of Vanity Fair convinced Tony Blair to appear in the Brit Rock edition of the magazine, since New Labour was billing itself as a breath of fresh air. Liam Gallagher and wife appear on the cover. Noel got the call first.

“[Vanity Fair tells me] ‘if you don’t do [the cover] Blur will,’ to which I laugh and hand the phone to Liam,” said Gallagher.

But Noel soon signs on with New Labour and actively campaigns for the party, as do several other prominent young stars. Like his American counterpart, Bill Clinton, Blair sold himself as a populace candidate ready to take his country across “the bridge to the 20th Century,” as Clinton was so fond of saying. Blair and his party won the majority in Parliament and many of the stars who helped get him there were invited to 10 Downing Street as a show of thanks. But the honeymoon was short and soon many of the rockers who had put their faith in New Labour found themselves out of favor with their new leadership. Albarn even claims in the film to have received a threatening call from a Blair staffer when the star criticized the Prime Minister’s decision not to send his kids to public schools.

The perceived selling out of New Labour left many stars bitter and more fans disappointed in the co-opting of their scene by hustling politicians. Noel Gallagher could hardly carry the banner of the working class hero as he’s glad-handing the Prime Minister in front of a throng of cameras. It was the beginning of what would be a long, slow decline for Brit Rock.

Britain fell slowly into a funk as Oasis’ 1997 album Be Here Now failed to impress critics or shoppers. The day after the album’s release, Britain wakes up to the news of Lady Di’s death in a car crash. Soon, ex-Take That star Robbie Williams releases the massive “Angels,” which is more or less a light rock homage to Oasis. Before the end of the year, the charts are dominated by hits from the Spice Girls and a kiddie band called S Club 7 Juniors. It is over.

Today, there are lots of good British bands, including the fantastic Libertines, the brash and flashy Darkness, and the schizophrenic Franz Ferdinand (yes I know they’re Scottish, save the hate mail), but none have captured the imagination or directed the culture of Britain’s youth like those bands of the mid 90s. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to identify them as British at all on first listen. And maybe that’s where Brit culture is now.

As Massive Attack’s 3D says near the end of Live Forever, “Today, Britain is quite anonymous.”

Live Forever is a brief look at the elements that made and broke Brit Pop/Rock in the 90s, clocking in at 103 minutes. While it falls short in going into depth about how the movement was seduced by New Labour or how Britain’s two biggest bands were duped into a war to sell tabloid magazines, it’s still an interesting look at the scene and the characters who made it so fucking fun in the first place. Besides, there’s great music, clothes, and hair throughout. And as Liam says, “you’ve gotta have a decent haircut if you’re going to be front man of a band.”

Who can argue with that?

38 thoughts on “Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop”

  1. ah, britrock…who could forget? you know you fell hard when you still can remember Shed Seven lyrics!..she left me on friday, and ruined my weekend…

    good article..good times.

  2. Great review, Derek. How much (if any) does the documentary pay attention to Alan McGee (Creation Recs) and his ill-fated maneuvers in the political process?

    For more about Britpop, I’ve gotta recommend the two Creation Records biographies. Being Oasis’ label, Creation had a front-row seat to the rise, legitimization, and fall of Britpop as well. Good stuff…

  3. “Are you sure the S Club 7 juniors started in 1997? As far as I know their first single was released in 2002.

    Yeah, I may have misunderstood that part. Liam is quoted in the film as being a fan and thinking they’re cute. I guess you busted me not doing my homework.

    Murph, there’s not much about Creation in the DVD. That’s another shortcoming of the movie, but otherwise it’s pretty interesting.

  4. Is it possible that there is some confusion between S Club 7, who were created in 1999 and the spin-off band S Club Juniors who came into existence in 2002? I feel really embarrassed appearing to show any type of knowledge of this situation…..

  5. For a much sharper insight into Britpop (what’s Britrock? Must be some US thing) read John Harris’s Live Forever: Britpop, Blair and the death of British pop.

    His thesis is that the success of Oasis led to a raft of mindless lad-rock bands (Shed Seven, Cast, Northern Uproar!) and stifled more interesting and eclectic acts. As a Scot, I was distinctly unmoved by much Britpop – its frame of reference was white English music and culture. When Asian bands like Cornershop emerged it was a godsend.

    Scotland has always had an affinity with the US underground – the likes of Mogwai and Bis were looking to SLint and Riot grrrrl. Some of the anti-US sentiment from Britpop players was just disgusting. How hypocritical of Blur to turn round and declare their love for Pavement et al.

    And does anyone still listen to Blur? They had some fine songs, but a lot of pish too – Country House is Britpop’s nadir, and the video a pathetic sub-Benny Hill romp that showed up lad “culture” for the unreconstructed knuckle-dragging chauvinism it was.

    I have to take issue with the notion that Franz and The Libertines don’t sound British. Whaaat? The Libs are as cockney geezerish as you like, and Franz have the fruity vocals and angular guitars of the UK art-school tradition.

  6. “His thesis is that the success of Oasis led to a raft of mindless lad-rock bands (Shed Seven, Cast, Northern Uproar!)”

    Add Menswear to that list and we have the unraveling of Britpop…

    While I agree that the Libertines and Franz have the elements that make up Britpop (as does Travis), they haven’t quite captured the imagination of British youth culture. They don’t influence it (or reflect it so brazenly) like the Mod movements did or the Britpop of the mid-90s did. And that is no slag on either band. I like both very much. They just haven’t become the focal point like the Jam, Oasis, Blur, or Pulp were in their respective heydays.

  7. I have to disagree, I think (the Libs’ especially) have captured the imagination of British youth culture in a way unseen since Britpop. It may be different because you don’t have some of the ancillary things that Britpop and mod culture had (a set uniform for example) but if you talk to a Libertine fan or look on band websites you see the kind of blind obsession reminiscent of those heady days of the nineties.

    But I’m interested (and kind of surprised) that you put Travis in with those bands….

  8. I think Libertine fans are certainly dedicated (myself included), but there isn’t a bigger cultural impact. Like the influence on fashion with the Mods you mentioned. That impact on a wider youth culture is what I mean. It’s not to say that the Libertines are any less “British” than Oasis or Blur, but the latter bands used their Britishness as a marketing tool and a rallying point. Songs like “Parklife” would never, ever come from an American band. It is a celebration (somewhat absurdly) of British culture.

    I included Travis in my last reply simply because they too demonstrate a number of elements that make up Britpop in my mind. And maybe that’s where my use of Britrock vs. Britpop comes into play. While the Libertines are solidly a Rock band, Travis is a pop band. Again, making no comment on integrity, just noting differences in genres.

    That may be entirely confusing now that I read back…

  9. the modern day is just being ran by teaching and authority, now my point is not to be rebelling to a point of riot, but surely 1 point off essence in brit pop was being unique to everyone else, as points have been made on how music these days cant be compared tpo the definately maybe time of the nineties, why dont we join in the message of brit pop, why dont we stand up for being who we are and show some dan attitude like all others did. im in a band and i cant imagine being some material crap thats not making any diference, music is about feeling yea, but surely you should be reaching out to the whole world liek brit pop did and still does, brit pop does live forever, so why dont we all make that known and keep it going, brit pop wasnt just made for the nineties, its made forever, so join in!

  10. id also wanna say that i think another band that is coming through well and standing out to all the rest is keane, that may be contradicting the “bad” and british image that i was talking about before, but they are huge and are doing britaint great favours, but then i think they lack that 1 point of atitude, they as i said are a greta band, but if you compare them to the likes of blur or oasis, ther is no comparison, there was a point where brit pop rulled the world and it needs to be found again through new people because i cant think of a big band at the moment that are as infuenial as they were, all these bands that have been mentioned ont he site are good bands dont get me wrong. but i cant find enything that they stand up for.

    so in with the new generation of brit pop i say, lets take it to the next level…

  11. Just saw it last night. Seemed to be too much of a focus on Oasis, not enough Blur. And why just a mere mention of Massive Attack, and even less of Portishead? If they are going to touch on the English hip-hop scene, why no mention of Tricky’s Maxinquae? But whatever, it’s not my movie, and it was entertaining nonetheless.

  12. No, I agree Steve-o. I understand there’s only so much time to work with, but they devoted a lot of time to Oasis at the expense of some other bands and factors. They didn’t address the influx of “Lad” bands like Menswear and how that diluted the scene either.

    It is an entertaining film though with some cool footage and great quotes from Liam and Jarvis Cocker.

  13. This has to be the most awful commentary on music and film I have ever read.

    Why? Oh where do I start?

    It’s clear that you have little to no grasp of the subject matter, nor have you bothered to research any of the topics you have chosen to address.

    Instead you peddle the same tired old cliche’s about Britpop/Britrock

    that makes me think while you have watched “Live Forever” you have no idea what it was abut and completely missed the musical and cultural subtext it addresses.

    Here’s jsut a few things you got wrong…


    In “Live Forever” Noel Gallegher says, “”I think a lot of young people had accepted Conservativism and DOLE culture and daytime telly…Britain was dead in the 80s.”


    I know it’s tough to sort out the think Mancunian accent sometimes, but that’s a very important point he’s making.

    2.) “Spike Island” was not a festival. The Roses didn’t hold festivals. They did one off *events*.

    The Roses were the only band that played that day.

    They brought in DJs to warm the crowd up.


    The fact that they rarely played live and only did one off *events* was a very important part of their mystique and why a large number of people were drawn to them. It’s also part of the reason that their reputation has remained intact.

    Iconoclasts in music and in live presentation no matter how crap “Second Coming” was.

    3.) “The Oasis-Blur battles are touched upon in Live Forever, but woefully handled. The interviewers let the Gallagher brothers off with their bawdy, flippant boasts and Blur’s Damon Albarn blows off the whole thing like it was so much hot air—which it ultimately was.”

    Excuse me, but did you really watch this movie? Gallagher makes it VERY clear that Damon Albarn and Blur’s management colluded with the High t. music publications to MANUFACTURE the “Blur-Oasis Singles War”. He also makes it celar that Oasis wanted no part of it.

    He says that point blank to the camera…did you miss that?

    When the interviewer asks Damon this point blank he mumbles an answer and then clams up.

    Also, Noel is taking the PISS when he makes the comment about working class vs. students. Gallegher has got a wicked sense of humor, and it’s a shame you completely missed it.

    He does make one very good point though about Blur being fakes when they embraced British culture as an image related marketing ploy.

    Specifically he says, in reference to “Modern Life is Rubbish”, that if Damon Albarn has time to moan about the Americanization of Britain (the infiltration of strip malls, McDonald’s, etc…) then “he needs to get a proper fucking job.”

    3.) “But Noel soon signs on with New Labour and actively campaigns for the party, as do several other prominent young stars.”


    Noel Gallegher NEVER, EVER actively campiagned for New Labour.

    In fact he was very much against being involved with them in anyway.

    There were only 2 times he did anything remotely related to New Labour and that was his one sentence comment at the ’95 Brit Awards (where he has admitted he was high on LSD and Extasy) and his appearence to No.10 Downing Street after Blair was elected.

    That was it.

    Now here’s my question…

    Nowhere during the movie does it say or show Noel “actively” campaigning for New Labour.

    Where the fuck did you get that from and in the absence of evidece why did you make it up or al the very least assume that it was true.

    The movie, never, ever makes that connection. Why did you?

    Derek, with all due respect this is not your finest hour. If indeed you did watch this movie I think you were too busy trying to make it square with what your perceptions regarding Britpop/Rock were as opposed to what really happend.

    As someone else suggested you should take the time to

    read John Harris’s “Live Forever: Britpop, Blair and the death of British pop”.

    In fact I’ll be happy to send you a copy if you’ll read it.

    (reply to my email)

    A bonus I’ll also send you “Breaking into Heaven: The Rise and Fall of the Stone Roses”.

    You’ll have to buy “Morrisey and Marr: The Severed Alliance” yourself.

    Final note:

    I met Noel Gallegher 2 weeks ago in London at the 93 Feet East club off Brick Lane in London.

    He was hanging out with some mutual friends of ours(The Soundtrack of Our Lives) and having had a couple of bottles of Stella I walked up to him and said, “You owe me a tenner for Be Here Now” (remember that from the movie?).

    He looked at me and laughed, reached into his pocket, pulled out a ten pound note, handed it to me and said, “Here ya go mate, enjoy.”

    I then went to the bar and bought two cans of Red Stripe and gave one to Mssr. Gallegher when I made it back to the dressing room.

    Got a smile and a “Cheers” for that. Not bad.


    the jammybastard

  14. Jeez, Jammy. Do you have a stake in this film? My article wasn’t so much a commentary on Brit Pop as how it was addressed in the film, which is lacking.

    If you’d like to write an alternative review of the film, I’ll gladly publish it for you.

  15. “If you’d like to write an alternative review of the film…”

    I think he just did.

    By the way, in America we do not give a fuck about the difference between an event and a festival. Who cares?

    Oh, and Oasis still sucks.

  16. Hey Jake,

    blow me!

    Devil in the details my good man.

    Hint: Think Dan Rather while your cleaning out the fry vat.


    Write a song half as good as “Live Forever” and I’ll value your opinion about what sucks and what doesn’t.

    Remember that there is no nobility in ignorance.

    Now run along.

    If you are a fan of music, Oasis or not, and you plan on making a public display of you knowledge you should know your shit*.

    (*unless you are aiming for a spot as a kulture kritic at Fox News, but I digress…)

    This stuff isn’t even Fox-stylee opinion, it’s entry level, recent rock history 101.

    Derek, how do you know the film is lacking when you don’t even have a grasp of the subject matter?

    That’s what the whole point of my post was, again…YOU MISSED THE POINT OF THE MOVIE.

    I don’t need to write a review to tell you that. It’s obvious. In the “adding insult to injury” category: you missed the humor in whole thing. That’s criminal!

    Look, if you were just reviewing the movie I’d have no problem. But you weren’t and you didn’t. Instead you chose to draw (incorrect)conclusions about what you thought the movie was about without having the background to do so.

    Now what’s the point in that?

    I found your piece misleading.

    Was that your intention?

    After all what are you trying to accomplish as a writer?

    If I was in your shoes I’d try to motivate people to see the movie and judge for themselves instead of attempting to draw all the conclusions for them.

    After all you aren’t you here to promote a relatively enlightend take on music and pop culture? Isn’t that the mission of Glo-no?

    I think that if you are a fan of music, and enjoyed any of the music coming out of the UK from 1985-2000 then you should check this movie out.

    It’s a great documentary for the simple reason that it effectively distills the meeting of music, fashion, art and politics in Britain in the ’90s and what effect it had on all of the participants.

    There were some serious casualites and consequesces.

    I have no doubt that many of the people who shilled for New Labour, like Alan McGee, now completely undertand what Johnny Rotten meant when he said, “Have you ever felt you’ve been cheated?” at the Pistols last stand in S.F. circa ’77.

    (Blair and Iraq? That’s some serious betrayal for any Labour supprter to swallow.)

    Then you’ve got people like Damon, Noel and Jarvis who are just fucking casualites of the whole thing. Damon Albarn looks and sounds like a miserable cunt who now regrets his actions during the whole decade. As well he should, though he seems to be in denial about how crap he really was.

    (At least Noel admits he was off his tits on Peruvian flake in ’96-’97 and lost the plot completely.)

    So many priceless moments in this movie!

    BTW – Yes, Oasis do *suck* these days. They are nothing more than a classic rock tribute act. Their own best cover band if you will.

    But here’s a little inside scoop if you are a fan…

    Noel’s got a song on Ian Brown’s new cd that’s damn good, and Liam is writing with John Squire.

    “Come back Reni, all is forgiven!”


  17. “Derek, how do you know the film is lacking when you don’t even have a grasp of the subject matter?

    That’s what the whole point of my post was, again…YOU MISSED THE POINT OF THE MOVIE.”

    Doesn’t that sound like a failing of the movie? Why should I know the background of British politics, culture, and music to “get the point” of this film? If that’s the case, then don’t distribute it outside the UK.

    I understand more about British politics (and political science in general) than you’re probably giving me credit for. This movie didn’t convey enough of the fact that members of the Brit Pop scene were taken for a ride and let off a stop too soon–like so many celebrities who are wooed by politicians. It touches upon it, but doesn’t focus on it. That’s my major problem with the movie, it’s spread pretty thin.

    That said, I did like the movie and will likely watch it again if for no other reason than to see the Noel and Liam interviews, which are always fun.

  18. Jammy — Derek says the film is interesting; you say it’s great. Is there that much difference between those two positions? Your reaction to his review is like he denounced the freakin movie to kingdom come. He didn’t. He discussed it in terms of the politics of the times. Maybe he doesn’t get to every intricate detail known to Britons, but that’s hardly possible from this media-challenged isle. In any case, like he says, why shouldn’t the film be informative on these points?

    “After all you aren’t you here to promote a relatively enlightend take on music and pop culture? Isn’t that the mission of Glo-no?”

    Yes! Relatively enlightened is a good way to put it! I.e., not exhaustively, pedantically, humorlessly (because that would be criminal) etc.

  19. Derek,

    re-read my initial post.

    My problem was specifically regarding the assumptions you made and then tried to pass off as fact.

    Big no-no.

    That’s what really pissed me off.

    I could care less if you like the movie or not. Just get your facts correct.

    What I don’t think you should be doing is drawing conclusions and then passing them off as facts.

    For example: Nowhere in the movie does it say that Noelly G. was “actively campaigning” for New Labour.

    Where did you get that from?

    I’ll tell you where. You drew a conclusion, an incorrect one at that, and then tried to pass it off as fact.

    Please resist the temptation to do this in the future.

    Do not present your opinion as fact, it’s dangerous. Watch “Outfoxed” if you don’t beleive mr, or just watch the daily polling numbers.

    In this case the worse that can happen is a bunch of GloNo readers would think,

    “Ah that fuck Noel Gallagher! Not only did Oasis suck but he got Tony Blair elected and is therefore resposible for the war in Iraq!!!


    Actually, as much as I’d like to be kidding I bet someone thought that, and all because you drew a link in your mind that wasn’t there to begin with and then decided to tell everyone about it.

    Again, please don’t do this. Very, very bad.

    “Doesn’t that sound like a failing of the movie? Why should I know the background of British politics, culture, and music to “get the point” of this film? If that’s the case, then don’t distribute it outside the UK.”


    Did they shove the movie in your face and force you to watch it?

    Yes? No?

    If “yes”, then I hope you were well paid.

    If “No” then—> what’s your point?

    You made a choice to watch it and write about it, so then you bear the resposibility of getting the story correct. Don’t you?

    No matter what country it was released to or for you should still make the effort to come correct so that people aren’t given the wrong information.


    what a witty rejoinder!

    If we were in a bar right now, I’d more than likely turn to you (with a smile) and say, “Excuse me, who the fuck are you and what are you doing butting into our conversation?”

    Humor is a beauthiful thing, and I try to pratice it on a daily basis.

    In fact that’s part of the reason I stop by GloNo and read all the articles here.

    TO be clear…my problem isn’t with Derek’s sense of humor, though if I were to quibble I did think the Kate Moss reference fell a bit flat.


  20. “For example: Nowhere in the movie does it say that Noelly G. was “actively campaigning” for New Labour.

    Where did you get that from?

    I’ll tell you where. You drew a conclusion, an incorrect one at that, and then tried to pass it off as fact.”

    Yes, I did draw an assumption based on the showing of the Brit Awards clip, Noel’s invitation to 10 Downing, and the use of Noel’s mug (clearly represented in the film) on New Labour Party promotional material. If Noel didn’t consider what he did “campaigning” then why does he feel disenchanted with New Labour and why was he invited to 10 Downing as a “thank you” from Tony Blair?

    Also, I mentioned that if there was a prerequisite for a deep understanding of British politics and culture before seeing this film, then it fails as a film. It should be self-contained and explain itself just fine without outside supporting documentation or understanding.

    I love Kate Moss. Always have.

    In the end, it’s not that big a deal to me that you hated my article, but I have to ask if you really mean this is “the most awful commentary on music and film I have ever read.” Really???

  21. Ho ho. If we were in a bar right now, and you were rude to Kristy, you’d have a bottle broken across your face.

    Fortunately for all of us, we’re on the internet, in a public forum, where people are openly invited to share their opinions about the articles and about other people’s comments. If you want to have a private discussion with the author, then email him. It’s not that hard to find his email address [url=]on this site[/url].

    And for the record, he was forced to review this DVD and he was not paid well. Derek Phillips is one of the foremost authorities on britpop this side of the Atlantic. Why he bothers, I’ll never know…

  22. Mr. Jammy:

    I assure you we already thought Noel Gallagher was a “fuck,” and it had nothing to do with his support of new laboour.

    I think you’re just pissy because the best thing to come out of England recently was The Darkness. It’s okay, I’d be upset too.

  23. Derek,

    well…ok so I was being a bit dramatic with the “worst ever” but IMHO these are not really difficult details to research. It’s pretty well documnented who did what/where/when/how. I’ll leave it at this: it’s not your best work.

    Again, as we both agree, Americans are not the target audience. We don’t naturally know the backstory.

    We experienced all second hand at best.

    (The closest I got to Britpop was the 24 hours I spent in a English jail after getting busted at the Spiral Tribe Rave on the Glastonbury Tor in ’92. Bad scene.)

    Now when I worked as a writer and reporter, if I didn’t know the backstory I’d attempt to supplement my lack of knowledge with ancilliary information before I published the article.

    The one thing I would never, ever do is ASSUME that I knew a subject better than a author or filmaker until I had exhausted my research and had found evidence supporting my instinct.

    So for you to say the film did a poor job explaining to you a subject when your not even the target audience AND you don’t have any facts to backup your opinion is silly and a touch arrogant.

    Also, I can’t believe you would sit though a foreign film and then upon it’s completion have the nerve to say that it was a bad movie because it didn’t go out of it’s way to accomodate you or your cultural viewpoint.

    Do you understand how rediculous that sounds?

    I can guarantee you that not every filmaker thinks, “Wow, I had better make sure I explain things enough so the Americans don’t feel left out” when he/she are in production.

    Instead they make their movie for the audience they want to and that’s it.

    Why should they do anything less?

    If you made a film about grunge or nu-metal, or the genius of Bob Pollard would you really be concerned with connecting the dots for eveyone in the world who might see movie?

    I doubt it.

    This has really gone on longer than it should. I’m busting your balls on this because you are a good writer, but I think you can do better. You just happen to stumble into a subject I know far too much about and have read too many less than stellar commentaries to let another slide. You’re lucky to write for Glo-No, so as the Brits are fond of saying, “don’t let the side down” by doing anthing less than the best.



  24. Jake,.

    you should resist posting until the meds kick in.

    I’m not one for threats, and I can guarantee you that I fuck bigger boys than you for breakfast.

    Plus, I’m sure Kristy can handle herself.

    As for having an exchange on a public forum vs. email…so what?

    It’s only drive space no matter where you do it.

    and finally…

    “Derek Phillips is one of the foremost authorities on britpop this side of the Atlantic.”

    Again, led the meds kick in before you post something as rediculous as this. If you really feel that way then you need to read more…alot more. Derek makes a few other mistakes that any real Britpop/rock fan would notice. I’m not going to go into it, but you just keeping believing the world is flat and I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    Oh…I almost forgot…


    I’m not British. I live in the US.

    I just happen to have lived and worked there from time to time.

    The Darkeness is not the best thing to come out of Britain recently, but they do whip the ass of most major label US bands working today.

    Style and panache are very important. Rock and Roll was built on it. It helps that they have a shitload of talent too, but ultimately they are a one-trick pony.

    You want some good if not great *new* Brit acts look no further than The Libetines and Kasabian.

    The Libertines are the perfect *London* band carrying on a fine tradition that started with bands like The Kinks.

    Kasabian have a very interesting mix of The Mondays & The Roses circa 1990 with more than a passing reference to the recent sound of Primal Scream (post-Vanishing Point).

    And finally, let’s remember that most of the best American artists had to go to England to become successful because of the narrow mind of the avg. American music listener. The Brits actaully value good songwriting, talent and showmanship.

    Muddy Wters, Hendrix, The Strokes, The White Stripes,etc…

    Can’t fault that.


  25. JB,

    Jake would defend anyone who got insulted on the boards, in case you don’t realize that about him. Far from needing meds (and how are yours working?) he’s the sanest person among us and knows just when and how people are out of line.

    In fact I’m looking forward to his retort to you, so all I’ll say is, ridiculous is not spelled with an e. When you put someone down for being rediculous, you look rediculous.

  26. “well…ok so I was being a bit dramatic with the “worst ever” but IMHO these are not really difficult details to research. It’s pretty well documnented who did what/where/when/how. I’ll leave it at this: it’s not your best work.”

    No, see, I wasn’t reporting on Brit Pop, I was writing a review of a movie about Brit Pop. The research I needed to complete was watching the movie, and checking the producers’ website. Done and done.

    Again, I LIKE this film and encourage anyone with even the slightest interest in British culture and music to see it. It’s interesting. But it’s not perfect and I tried to point out where some of those failings are.

    And as for me being lucky to write for GLONO, I OWN Glorious Noise, bitch! It’s lucky to have ME!

  27. [img][/img]


    Correction, you not only “own” it, but you are one of the leading lights in Britpop commentary!


    I will go to my grave contending that those “failings” are a result of your own lack of knowledge and not the fault of the filmaker. Or Noel Gallagher for that matter.

    Seriously though, if you get it wrong, how good is it?*

    Kristy…I’m dislexic. Meds are involved. Very tasty ones. That’s why I could spot Jake’s problem right off the bat. Takes one to know one eh?

    You’ll also notice many, many other spelling errors. For a good laugh look at my different spellings of Gallegher…or do you say Gallagher?

    Regardless, shitEhappens.

    ‘Blah, Blah, Woof, Woof.”

    Meanwhile I’m having a Stella, watching the new “Live Forever” DVD and wearing my Eric Cantona jersey circa ’94.

    Here’s one for you!


    *not good enough.

  28. yo jamy bastard, y dont u chil out a bit and stop pikin wee arguments about people that are disagreein with ur points- its about the music after all. duno wat the prob is wit oasis myself, but hey im contradictin the point i sed about opinions- i just dont think that anybody these days no mater how hard they hit the scene are going to make as big an impact as brit pop, rock was dead then , and then oasis etc came around and revolutionised things to how they are today. check out the cooper temple claus by the way

  29. wow, jb, you need to learn how to spell, before criticising other people’s opinions! get a life!

    britpop was a great time and encouraged us brits to be patriotic! LONG LIVE COOL BRITANNIA!

  30. am i the only person who fully agrees with jammybastard? i guess that must be because im from Manchester,England where liam and noel grew up. If you were made to watch it derick why did you make so many false recordings of the movie?, which jammybastard stated in a earier post

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