I suppose I was just a little bit too old for Britpop when it happened. I mean, I was still buying music and I was still reading music magazines; hell, I was even writing for music magazines (having graduated from writing letters to music magazines, which is rather more fun). At the same time, though, I was too old to take sides in the hyped-up, coked-up Blur vs Oasis nonsense. If you’d put a gun – probably the sort of gun that fires a Union Jack flag with BANG! written on it – to my head, I would probably have picked Blur, because they wrote more than one song. But Pulp were better than either of them and in any case once you’re in a culture where Chris Evans is mediating the musical taste of the nation’s youth you may as well cut your ears off.
But some people still seem to get excited by the whole farrago, maybe because they still want us to remember when they were young and pert and relevant. First Robbie Williams takes a verbal swing at Brett Anderson, reminding us IN BLOCK CAPS that some Britpop bands were, y’know, a bit not good, right and at the same time reminding us that Britpop jumped the desert-booted shark when Robbie Williams started hanging out with Oasis. (Although, were Chapterhouse really Britpop? Curve? Kingmaker? Hey, I guess if you remember the mid-90s you weren’t really there, eh, Rob?) Then Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher snuggle up at a charity gig as if all that antipathy might have been y’know, just a stunt and, hey, Anna Friel and Damien Hirst have come along for the ride as if they were trying to recreate a Camden photoshoot for a Loaded cover story (I’m guessing Keith Allen and Sadie Frost and Ewan McGregor were otherwise engaged) and suddenly I’m quite glad that I was just a bit too old for Britpop. Because if I’d been just the right age for Britpop, if it had really, really mattered to me, if I still had any youthful illusions left, I’d probably be sitting on the floor right now playing my blue vinyl Bluetones singles one by one and then melting them with my hot tears of embarrassment.