For all Britpop fans, the annual Star Shaped Festival is the most exciting thing on the yearly calendar. Previous events have seen appearances from most of the Britpop greats, including Echobelly, Space, My Life Story and The Bluetones.
It’s a Saturday night nearing the end of March 2018. A crowd has gathered outside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The night’s star turn is Jim Bob, one time of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, here to play an acoustic solo set to a sell out crowd. Figures stroll up and down in the cold. A typical Saturday night pre-gig scene, you might think… It’s the norm on these occasions to wander past those with flyers and not make eye contact, but tonight, something is different. A flame haired woman is dishing out glossy pieces of paper and yelling “SALAD IS BACK ON THE MENU!” in a way that’s impossible to merely shrug off.
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.