It’s approximately 8:30pm. The house lights are wavering and there’s a growing feeling of tense excitement in the venue. Spent in the company of various bands from Britpop’s peak, the Star Shaped Festival has already provided a very enjoyable afternoon, but there’s also been a definite feeling throughout most of the day that a reformed Sleeper are the biggest draw, so perhaps this tense and nervous feeling is more than justified. There’s a lot riding on their return and this next hour.
The Britpop years between 1993-97 brought wave after wave of great music. From the well documented – Oasis, Blur, Suede and Pulp – to those lesser talked about years later – Gene, Marion, Menswear – each act brought their own slant to classic retro styles, often centering around guitar driven pop-rock.
Among the big players were Sleeper. Sleeper were special. With a musical grounding that mixed the pop hooks of Blondie and the proto punk-pop of The Undertones with lyrical narratives that were often interesting, their first two albums (‘Smart’, 1995 and ‘The It Girl’, 1996) have really stood the test of time.