Just under a week ago, it was announced that the guys at StarShaped would make a big announcement on Tuesday 13th February. Here at Real Gone, we had a couple of serious hunches with regards to this year’s festival line-up, so we offered those for discussion, alongside a couple of less likely contenders in an ultimate Britpop festival wish-list.
1992 and 1993 were bumper years for the NME reader. For those less interested in the Transatlantic grunge wave led by the globe conquering ‘Nevermind’, there was a whole world of other music to explore. So much, that in fact, this period could certainly be seen as a genuine musical landmark. In 1992, Carter USM reached the top spot on the album chart with their third long player, ‘1992: The Love Album’ and The Orb achieved a similarly unlikely feat with ‘UFOrb’ barely two months later, surely to the dismay of the omnipresent Mick Hucknall. The Wonder Stuff were riding high off the back of some great singles and Manic Street Preachers released ‘Generation Terrorists’, a hugely grand double platter of a debut. They’d always said it was to be their only LP; you have to wonder how things would have panned out had the Blackwood boys stuck to their word. In ’93, Carter made a headline appearance at the Glastonbury Festival and upset Michael Eavis, appeared at the Smash Hits Poll Winner’s Party and upset Phillip Schofield and still found time to record a new album. Suede ushered in a new era of Bripop with their debut album and some great singles, Radiohead hit the charts for the first time, while Senser made waves with a crossover mix of rap, rock and electronica.
In August 2017, Real Gone attended the Star Shaped Festival in London. Like so many, the re-formed Sleeper were the big draw for us, but the day brought something rather unexpected. A mid-afternoon set from Jake Shillingford’s My Life Story ranked a close second in terms of entertainment. We approached the set with no real expectations and…an hour later, we considered ourselves fans. It wasn’t just the material that won us over; it was Shillingford’s command of the stage and audience. At approximately 3:30PM, from the back of the venue, we watched as a few pockets of people bounced, while others looked on. About forty minutes later, most of the venue was bouncing and waving in unison, so obviously swept along with the band’s infectious levels of enthusiasm. We knew, after that, we just had to see My Life Story again…
It may have been snobbery due to Marijne van der Vlugt’s previous career as an MTV VJ, but the critics weren’t always so kind to Salad back in the 90s. Those who liked them, however – whether from a journalistic perspective or merely a fan – genuinely loved them. Between 1993-97, the band released a string of enjoyable EPs and two albums, but it was in the live setting where the band really shone, as anyone who saw them on a couple of Carter USM tours in 1994-95 will attest.
Following their four much celebrated appearances at the Star Shaped Festival, the recently reformed Sleeper announced a headline show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire scheduled for December.
Very much gathering momentum, Sleeper have now confirmed a run of live dates for next year. Details of dates and venues can be found on the poster below.