The Female Of The Species

Do You Remember The First Time? Well, here it is, your first blog! This was sent it by resident Star Shaped DJ, Jill Nolan! Please send us yours on any Britpop topic you fancy!

It was International Women’s Day recently and it occurred to me that the Britpop era was a golden age for female musicians. Although Britpop and the “Cool Britannia” scene of the mid 90s were eventually characterised by the laddish swagger of Oasis, Loaded Magazine and falling out of The Groucho, many of the scene’s figureheads featured women. Cool women. Talented women. Women I have looked up to and aspired to be like for twenty years! The likes of Elastica, Sleeper, Echobelly, Garbage, Kenickie, Catatonia, Lush were all fantastic female fronted bands who were just as successful as the other defining bands of the era. Justine Frischmann, Louise Wener, Shirley Manson and many more were all talented, intelligent. gorgeous ladies making great music and making a scene alongside Suede, Blur, Oasis etc.

Yet another point to add to my (long) list of reasons why the 90s were the best. I just don’t see as many inspiring, cool, rocking women in the music industry these days which is a damn shame!

Here are a few examples of my fave Britpop ladies…

Elastica – Waking Up

Justine, the ultimate Britpop babe, managed to capture the hearts of both Brett Anderson and Damon Albarn which I’m not jealous about AT ALL(!) Waking Up features the line: “If I can’t be a star I won’t get out of bed”. Words to live by.

Pulp – This Is Hardcore

I’ve chosen this because Candida looks beautifully elegant in this video and I love her mysterious liquid filled ring swirling around as she plays the haunting opening notes. Plus it’s the best song ever written about making a porno.

BONUS CANDIDA – I found this little interview clip where she talks about daring Jarvis to get on stage during that infamous BRIT awards and she is just adorable.

Sleeper – Inbetweener

Lovely lovely Louise Wener. I didn’t know a lad that didn’t have a crush on her in the 90s! I’ve picked this video because it is peak 90s! Dale Winton! A laundrette!

Republica – Drop Dead Gorgeous

Such a great song that I can never resist dancing and singing along to if it comes on. It helps if you’ve got your eye on someone to sing the “drop dead gorgeous” bit too! Saffron had (and still has) the best hair I’d ever seen. Sadly, I couldn’t quire recreate it at the time with hair mascara (remember THAT? One thing best left in the 90s)…

Garbage – I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Featuring the best blue eyeshadow in a pop video since Bowie’s Life On Mars. Shirley has been and continues to be a role model and advocate for the weird kids and outsiders. She said in an interview with the Telegraph in 2012, “I want to hear from the creature who isn’t blessed with unbelievable good looks and incredible genes. I want to hear from the geek girl, the forgotten girl, the invisible girl and the miserable girl.” <3 <3 <3

Lush – Ladykillers

A proper feminist anthem and perhaps the finest example of strong, intelligent 90s ladies sticking it to the blokes, Ladykillers tells the story of a brash, vain guy being cut down to size by our lady-hero Miki Berenyi. As she delivers the killer lines “save your breath for someone else/And credit me with something more/When it comes to men like you I know the score, I’ve heard it all before” she’s bursting his macho bubble.

I could go on much longer and select videos by Skunk Anansie, Catatonia, Kenickie, Shampoo (yes, they are Britpop. No YOU shut up), Echobelly, Salad, Powder etc. etc. but I want to know what YOUR favourite Britpop lady tunes are! Share in the comments below or join the discussion on the Star Shaped Facebook group.

Jill x

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