Supergrass Review, Fresh Air

Supergrass, Blur, Suede and Pulp are all bands of an era gone by. An era in the 1990’s which was marked by the coolness of Britain and an enthralling new music genre called Britpop. To me Britpop signifies a time of childhood innocence, a time where I was liberated from adult responsibilities and a time of enjoying the summer months in denim mini-skirts leisurely watching the cricket. The artists that emerged over a decade ago embodied this ideal of innocence and freedom; singing about distinct issues that concerned the British youth. Britpop celebrated Britishness finely. Yet every good thing must come to an end and Britpop naturally declined.

After a long hiatus, one which seemed like an eternity, I was offered the chance to revive my childhood summers and watch the best Oxfordian band ever (argue with me all you like, but the lady will not be turned), Supergrass on their latest tour. The band, who have been quiet for the past few years, opened their tour of their sixth studio album “Diamond Hoo Ha” at the sold-out Edinburgh Liquid Rooms.

Feeling as giddy as a school girl yet with a pint of cider in hand I was packed into the tiny venue (too tiny for such a huge act) by music fans twice my age. For once in Edinburgh I felt too young to be at a gig rather than having an apparent mid-life crisis at the ripe age of 19 by being surrounded by 15 year old Emos at Klaxons’ gigs. The crowd seemed ennui and world weary in comparison, but when Gaz Coombes entered to take his position on centre stage the youth of the 1990’s was revived and everyone applauded in respect for the musical legacy of Supergrass.

The band plummeted into various tracks from their new album, which is out on the 24th March. The new album set bodies swinging and hands in rapturous applause, as Supergrass have continued to create ear pleasing music. Yet something has changed from the days of Britpop. Supergrass have finally said goodbye to the carefree entertainment of Britpop, and adopted a mature outlook obviously influenced by psychedelia and funk. The band have taken a glamorous rock musical direction highlighted through “Diamond Hoo Ha Man”, their first release from the new album, and their second single “Bad Blood” with embody a dark attitude, mixed with provocative sexiness. Supergrass appeared to have discarded their days of simple guitar chords, clanging keys and pop. Prioritising their sound with heavy power chords, intricate guitar solos and Goffey’s pro-active drumming.

Supergrass made my night when the lyrics “Moving. Just keep Moving” echoed around the room to a greeting of excitement. Supergrass created an intense nostalgia with their most famous track “Moving” in which every lyric was sung back to Gaz Coombes with as much passion and fervour as the song created when it was released back in 1999. The evening reached its climax when the introduction to “Pumping on Your Stereo” began in which all of the under-25’s (including myself) hypnotically swarmed to the front of the venue for a good old bit of light-hearted jumping around and sing-along.

Supergrass made a marvellous come-back, showing that they are a band that has survived Brit-pop unlike their contemporaries such as Blur and Pulp. Supergrass have entered 2008 with a band; reviving the current alternative British music scene, yet still maintaining their Brit-pop legacy by continuing to perform their songs that made the 1990’s a great time to grow up in.


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