The Godfathers of Britpop: the dichotomy of the mid-90s – it’s a new article on Robin Carmody’s Elidor site, and I hope he won’t mind me saying that it’s taking a pop at what has become really quite an easy target. Britpop is a conservative genre, yes, but at least what it was looking back at was progressive and radical. This is why Robin’s political analogy – Britpop = Major – misses its mark: if anything, the Britpoppers were the equivalent of the Old Labour stalwarts peppering their every speech with references and reverences to Attlee or Bevan.

Robin also focusses on the ‘Brit’ part and misreads the ‘pop’: they may have been made using guitars, but a lot of the ‘classic’ Britpop singles are marvellous, energised pop music. The rhetoric about sweeping crappy dance-pop and boybands away was just rhetoric after all, and there was no more substance to “Alright” or “Yes” than there was to any East 17 track. A lot of it – most of it – was crap, but five years on it should be possible to cut through the smokescreen of journalistic nonsense and appreciate the cheeky pop heart of the music a little more.

Not to mention that, ultimately, revivalism is revivalism – you can talk about context and reclamation all you want but in the end there’s no higher ground won by harking back to 70s funk, or early Moog experiments, or analog e-z listening, or TV theme weirdness than there is by ripping off the Beatles.

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