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What Did Happen To The Biggest Britpop Bands?

It's been two decades since Oasis battled Blur in the charts.

05/04/2016 14:14

A subgenre of pop rock and alternative rock, Britpop was a cultural movement in the 1990s that represented a cocky, patriotic attitude.

Creating political lyrics and living hedonistic lifestyles, the forerunners of the movement were the musicians themselves. The 2015 film, 'Kill Your Friends' (based on the cult novel of the same name by John Niven) follows the life of A&R man Steven Stelfox, as he experiences the cutthroat world of the British music industry of 1997. 

To mark the film's home release, we’ve taken a look at five of the most era-defining Britpop bands, and what they’ve been up to recently…

  • Blur
    Terry O'Neill via Getty Images
    For most, Blur was the epitome of Britpop. Their playful and intelligent hits were anthems for Generation Y. In 1995, they won the 'Battle of Britpop', beating Oasis to No.1 with 'Country House'. They reformed last year to create The Magic Whip, a critically acclaimed album that earned them a Brit Award nomination. While all members of the band have led colourful careers post-Blur, non were more surprising than drummer, Dave Rowntree. After owning his own animation company for a number of years, Rowntree went back to school to study law, and is now a qualified solicitor. Rock and roll.  “Haven't I wasted my life? Hasn't it all been rather trivial? Hitting things for a living, isn't that rather stupid?” - Dave Rowntree
  • Suede
    Dave Tonge via Getty Images
    After meeting whilst studying at UCL, Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann formed Suede in 1989. The pair dated until Frischmann left the band to form Elastica in 1992. Once managed by Ricky Gervais, their first album 'Suede', entered the UK charts at No.1. Following critical and commercial praise, the band went on to do a European tour. However tensions began to rise between frontman Brett Anderson and guitarist Bernard Butler, and in 1994 Butler left the band. Suede continued without him, whilst Butler went on to great success as a producer working with artist like Paloma Faith, Kate Nash, Duffy, and Frankie & The Heartstrings.  "They were very cool, very in-their-own-world. And I wasn't." – Brett Anderson
  • Elastica
    Mick Hutson via Getty Images
    Arguably the queen of Britpop, Justine Frischmann formed Elastica in in 1992. Their first LP became the fastest selling debut album in history, beating Britpop rivals Oasis, who had previously set the record with 'Definitely Maybe'. Frischman also had a long-standing relationship with Blur frontman Damon Albarn. It was believed that their relationship heavily influenced Albarn’s song writing, in particular on the album '13'. After 9 years of fronting the band, Frischmann moved to Colorado to study visual arts at Naropa University. She also co-presented a BBC series called 'Dreamspaces', and co-wrote an album with her old flat mate, MIA. Now a respected artist, the Volta NY is exhibiting a solo show of her paintings this year, from the 13th April – 28th of May.  “I just thought it was better to be Pete Best than Linda McCartney” - Justine Frischmann
  • Kenickie
    Martyn Goodacre via Getty Images
    Now a presenter, author, radio DJ and comedian, Lauren Laverne was once the lead lyricist and guitarist of Kenickie; the pop punk band from Sunderland. The band was most noted for it’s minor hit of 'In Your Car', which reached No.24 in the UK singles chart. Although they weren’t as musically successful as their Britpop peers, Kenickie had a strong cult following for their outspoken opinions and adolescent vulnerability. Courtney Love described the band as a “big, raw-boned bunch of sex”. Laverne has remained in the spotlight since Kenickie’s disbandment in 1998. Her candid opinions have made her a popular media personality. As well as hosting BBC Radio 6 Music, she has written a novel, appeared on a number of quiz shows, and last year launched The Pool, an online platform for women who are ‘too busy to browse’.  “The Britpop mania was the last gasp of that big band movement where people really got behind artists and stuck to one type of music.” – Lauren Laverne
  • Oasis
    Getty
    Often referred to as the bad boys of Britpop, the Gallagher brothers were as well known for their public fallouts and cocky attitudes as they were for their hugely successful Oasis hits. This month Radio X listeners voted 'Wonderwall' as the best British song of all time. But In 2009, the constant feud between the brothers resulted in Noel leaving the band. Oasis continued on without him, working under the name Beady Eye until 2014. Noel went on to form his own band, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Despite the brothers’ differences, there are still rumors that a possible reunion is in the pipelines...  “I like Noel outside the band... But the geezer that’s in this fucking business, he’s one of the biggest cocks in the universe.” – Liam Gallagher


'Kill Your Friends' is available to own on Blu-ray and DVD 

 

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