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Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

It's fair to say that without the legendary influences of some 'top' UK bands from the early 90s, then our band 'Cool Britannia' might be called 'Hilda's Midnight Runners and we'd be dressed in dungarees, hairnets and flip-flops. Now there's a look!

We absolutely love seeing you guys singing, cheering and dancing to the tunes that we're so very fond of at the gigs. It was great to see you getting into it with the awesome Chamber Lane and us at North Lakes last week.

For those who are new to Britpop or get dragged along by your mates or your better half, and want to know why we do what we do, and why this music is so special to us, then this post, dear reader, is especially for you.

The independent UK rock scene that grew in Manchester, in the late 1980s, was based largely in The Haçienda nightclub and around Factory (Fac51) Records. It became known as 'Madchester', and gained recognition when local impresario and TV personality, Tony Wilson, signed and promoted bands like The Happy Mondays, The Inspiral Carpets, and The Stone Roses. What emerged from the British indie scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands who were influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s.

The movement developed as a reaction against various musical and cultural trends in the late 80s and early 90s, mainly the grunge phenomenon from the United States. New British groups such as Suede and Blur launched the Britpop movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns. They were joined by others including Oasis, Pulp, Supergrass and Elastica and the rest is history.

Britpop groups brought British indie rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement called Cool Britannia, (what a great name for a band!) The scene became the centre of media attention for independent rock in the early 1990s and that's the era from which we draw our influences and hopefully why you come to see us. We're not trying to be a tribute act, but we do pay tribute to the wonderful music and bands.

The period of Britpop dominance was relatively short, with The Stone Roses engaged in contractual disputes, the Happy Mondays having difficulty in producing a second album and Factory Records going bankrupt in 1992. In 1995 the culmination of the Britpop rifts came to a head with a chart battle that actually made the TV news. Country House by Blur went up against Roll With It by Oasis, (but maybe we'll save that story for another time).

Bands catching the tail-end of Madchester, and the UK music press began to drift away from Britpop and the was more of a focus on shoegazing bands from the south of England and US grunge bands. Although some Britpop bands found commercial success overseas, especially in the United States, the Britpop movement largely fell apart by the end of the decade.

Thirty years later, thanks to Mick's vision, the boys from Cool Britannia are keeping the music alive. We look forward to seeing you all at the next gig, and we'll be taking bets on who in the crowd, will be the singing the loudest in the Wonderwall break!

Peace, love and Britpop x



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