Blog

We like a community spirit here at Star Shaped where everyone plays a part. So, with this in mind, this section is for your blogs!

Are you itching to tell the world (the Star Shaped World at least…) about your first Britpop gig, your favourite album, your experiences buying singles every week at Our Price, or just how much you fancy Jarvis? Tell us! Let’s host them and have some discussion. We are all like-minded spirits here.

Or, maybe you were a fanzine writer and want to scan and host them here for folk to enjoy?

Either way, whatever your chosen topic, email us at: starshapedclub@gmail.com and share the Britpop love...


Me and Damon (or is it Jarvis…)

Big thanks to Miranda Diboll for sending in her recollections of being in the heart of the Britpop storm – Camden in the mid-90’s!

I was never a ‘big player’ on the scene, rather a shy fan who used to stand against wall at the Laurel Tree every weekend, taking it all in and occasionally spotting famous faces I was too nervous to say hello to.

I probably spent more time on the night bus home. Whatever would get me south to Trafalgar Square and then the long journey eastwards on the N25.

Later Camden became home for me for a year between 95 and 96. I’ll be more specific- Primrose Hill was home, I had a room in a maisonette in Hopkinsons Place. I was supposed to be studying in my final year at the University of East London in Barking but you can see by my choice of address, getting to Uni was not a big priority. I wanted to be where the music was and it was by luck that my boyfriend knew someone who was looking to rent out a room in his house to make a bit of extra cash. No more night bus for me, just a creepy wander along the canal instead!

For me, 1994 was the year of Blur and 1995 the year of Pulp. When I was going through my Blur phase, Jarvis probably walked past me a few times and I didn’t even notice. By the time it was all about him, our paths never crossed. My closest brush with Britpop stardom was my brief stint as website creator for My Life Story in early 96. I especially loved the more orchestral and quirky side of Britpop and they delivered it as well as The Divine Comedy who seemed to distance themselves a little more from the scene.

Jake Shillingford seemed quite delighted that myself and then boyfriend were willing to create a website using the server space that had been allocated to us by the university. Of course, this webspace was supposed to be for publishing stuff about our dissertations but I saw it as an opportunity to try and jump on this new media. We knew nothing about web design, I brought a HTML For Dummies book and managed to cobble together a website than included photos and of course up to date tour information and messages from Jake. The only downside was the very long website address, there was no dot com for us. If I remember it ended with uel.ac.uk, the universities web server address.
It was still on their servers until quite recently so I’m told..

The next task for us was to get the website publicised amongst fans. Nick and myself had a stand set up at the back of Dingwalls during their ‘Month of Sundays’ residency in early 96. It was their last attempt at a major record deal when that sort of thing really did matter. We’d give out slips of paper with the site address on them, all printed off in the university library of course. We had no idea how many hits we got but I’m proud to be part of this early digital revolution and a bit gutted I gave up on it all really. Well at least there was no dot com bubble bursting for me!

Its Britpop history that My Life Story did get their deal with a major, Parlophone in this case and they could afford a better web designer and a proper website. Its interesting that Jake was one of the first British recording artists to embrace online distribution. I still remember his cheeky response to my suggestion about downloading music back in 96. I’d been absorbing all the buzz words in my ‘For Dummies’ book and when I threw ‘download’ at him, his response was ‘You can download me anytime!!’ I don’t think he remembers it, sorry Jake 😉

I still have fond memories of those days and it was good to be in the place where it was all happening. I now have an audio tour which can by downloaded (ha!) onto a phone and will take you around Camden and Primrose Hill via GPS, taking in all the sights on the way.

My Britpop Camden Walking Tour

Britpop Camden Walking Tour – Facebook Page & Twitter Page

Me and Damon at Soccer 6 96, Mile End Stadium. I was in that screaming crowd and remember Liam Gallaghers sun hat!

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…  


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