Thursday, September 27, 2007

Where did the Strange Ones Go?

Many would argue, including myself that 1995 until 2000 were great years for music.

In the UK, Britpop reigned supreme with great bands such as Blur (featuring Damon Albarn of Gorillaz fame), Kula Shaker, Sleeper, Manic Street Preachers and Echobelly bringing out their greatest works.

It was in 1997 whilst watching Saturday morning television that I discovered what would turn out to be one of my favorite (so far) songs of my life.

The band was a Supergrass, a three piece (now a 4 piece) from Oxford, UK, and the song was Late in the Day.

That afternoon I rushed out and purchased the album 'In it for the Money'. This album is now a firm favorite. It also in my opinion has one of the best album titles ever...but I would say that.

I was 16 at the time and like many teenagers music was one of the most important things in my life. I couldn't go anywhere without my Discman and the minute I returned home from college or work I would run upstairs ignoring my parents and lay down to listen to some music.

Recently music has sadly been resigned to the 'when I get a chance' pile of commitments and especially over the last few months, whilst traveling and finally moving to Montreal, I have neglected my duty to listen.

Over the last few weeks I have been aware of how much I have been missing it and have vowed to try and get back in touch with what is going on in modern music and also start listening to all my old favorites.

All my CD's are packed in boxes back in Liverpool, UK so this morning I started downloading songs (that I own on CD, I think this is legal!) and one band that I payed particular attention to was Supergrass.

This band have always made me smile and helped me cheer up or chill out when needed. I have decided to give a glimpse to anybody who wants to read and watch/listen a chance to discover or remember this great band.

1995 - I should Coco.

I never heard this album when it was released but I had heard the single 'Alright' which is really the main thing that ever defined this band as a Britpop band. This album was a great snappy, fast paced and fun affair. Strange Ones for me was the stand out track and since this was the 2nd Supergrass album I ever listened to and loved it was also the album that cemented me as a life long fan.


Strange Ones, live at Glastonbury Festival, UK


1997 - In it for the Money

I listen to this album more than the others. Original ideas flow through this album and the distinctive sound really stylized their essence and gave them great foundations for future works. Hard hitting singles such as 'Richard III' and great uplifter's like 'Sun Hit's the Sky' give this album classic status.

But it was Late in the Day that still enters my mind every day.


Late in the day Single Release Music Video, 1999


1999 - Supergrass

Strangely their third album was self titled and lyrically took a darker turn and a smoother slower flow but still defined itself with the Supergrass feel. Moving was a beautiful track from this album and was used with great effect to poignantly end the film East is East.


Moving - Live on Jools Holland


2002 - Life on other Planets

Bringing back some of the hardness of earlier Supergrass albums but keeping some of the chilled charm learned from the last album this album really did work great. The songs were fresh and as always inventive but the album sounded like it had been recorded using equipment from 40 years prior. It was a great combination. Sharp bursting songs such as 'Never done nothing like that before' and 'Mary' will stick out for the rest of their career


Mary, Music Video

The Future
Supergrass are recording a new album and I really can't wait. One of the members (Mick) is currently in hospital after breaking his back but he is still helping with mixing and artwork and stuff.

I know this band will be producing another corker. After surviving the Britpop era and establishing themselves as solid performers and album makers I believe we will see these guys still rocking for another 4 or 5 albums.

Further Reading / Watching / Listening
Supergrass are:
Gaz Coombes - Guitar/Lead Vocals
Danny Goffey - Drums / Vocals
Mick Quinn - Bass / Vocals
Rob Coombes - Keyboard /Vibes

I finally got to see Supergrass live in 2006 and I can honestly say they were amazing. They played songs from all their albums and really made a lasting impression on me. I suggest you check out some of their live stuff on You Tube.

And also check out the sites:
Supergrass.com
Strangeones.co.uk
Childrenofthemonkeybasket.com

I really hope that somewhere along the way I have introduced or reintroduced someone to Supergrass, or if not maybe you have enjoyed the read anyway, I enjoyed writing this. So please leave your comments and stumble me if you like.

1 comments:

People in the Sun said...

Just to make you jealous, I saw them in Glastonbury (in '96, I think). Our tent was facing the NME stage, and when they started playing we just ran there. It was windy, and throughout the show the sound moved from one side to the other, together with the wind. It was amazing.

 
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