TV Cream


‘I Should Coco’ by Supergrass

FUZZED-UP sideburned sparky pop fun from a trio of hyperactive youngsters who seemed to have worked out everything that was great about Cream-era pop and bashed it out in a collection of rapid-fire punky pop-splurge Buzzcocks-meet-Pistols-meet-Madness-meet-Syd’s-Floyd-meet-Bowie-meet-Beach-Boys-meet-Eurotrash-theme thrills. Seemingly beamed in from a universe where ‘quallidy pop’ never happened, Gaz, Danny and Mickey were the toast of 1995 and rightly so; not only were they immeasurably better than any of their Britpop peers (yes, including Oasis and – at least in their circa-The Great Escape incarnation – Blur) and therefore by association enormously more exciting than anything else around at the time, they also made a rather corking album to boot. There’s the surprisingly large hit singles quotient (Caught By The Fuzz, Mansize Rooster, Lenny, Alright, and we’re counting Time and Lose It as well round here thank you very much), the manic singalongs (I’d Like To Know, Strange Ones, She’s So Loose), the are-they-for-real? jokiness (Sitting Up Straight, Time To Go), the lovelorn epic (Sofa (Of My Lethargy)), and the downright oddness (We’re Not Supposed To, and all that “Igor! I can’t find you…” business) that suggested they’d spent a little too long poking around the more unhinged corners of their local independent record shop. For so many reasons it couldn’t last, of course, but even then Supergrass defied all logic and expectation by getting better and better as their star steadily but very very slowly faded.



  1. Glenn A

    August 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Going Out was a better song, with a distinct late sixties vibe that would have done the Abbey Road era Beatles proud.

  2. Paul Gatenby

    August 26, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Odd that a band with so many good songs seemed to fade away gradually, when Oasis kept churning out rubbish albums for years and remained in the spotlight. Their debut album was pretty much perfect, although they were in The Jennifers before that so I guess they got the rubbish out of their system then.

  3. Glenn A

    August 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Same could be said of Ocean Colour Scene who really got into their stride just as the Britpop bubble was bursting in 1997 and faded away. It seemed unless you were Oasis, if you were a British guitar band who appeared in the mid nineties, then you were tagged as Britpop by the media, given a shelf life and then regarded as dead and buried by 1998-99. The same fate befell Pulp, massive in 1995-96, but by 1998 regarded as old hat with declining record sales.

  4. Rob Free

    August 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    This is one of the few albums that on first listen I felt like I’d heard it a hundred times before. I still love this album and rate the time I saw them at Edwards in Birmingham supported by the Bluetones (remember them?!) as one of my all time favourite gigs. A great, underrated band.

  5. Matty

    September 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    @Paul & @Glenn

    I don’t think Supergrass really “faded away”, they remained pretty huge throughout the Britpop era and retained a following when the movement had exceeded the three-year lifespan these things tend to have. 1999’s “Supergrass”, released nearly two years after the Britpop movement fizzled out, still made it to number three in the charts if Wikipedia is to be believed and I, and I suspect many others, always considered them to be one of the “survivor” bands of the movement who managed to keep their profile up after the fad had faded, the others being Oasis, Blur and The Divine Comedy (whose ‘Britpop’ status is debatable anyway, but that’s another story). Regarding Pulp, I don’t think it was the decline of Britpop that did for them so much as the decision to follow-up “Different Class” with “This is Hardcore” which alienated a lot of the fanbase they’d picked-up in 94-95.

    As for “I Should Coco” not only is it a brilliant album but I think it’s one that the band couldn’t really repeat: it sounds like something recorded by a young band who’ve just hit the limelight and it’s a terrific mix of energy, pop and psychedelia. Along with “Definitely Maybe” and “Different Class” it’s probably one of the quintessential Britpop albums and a good indicator of what the movement could have been rather than the plodding English-blokes-with-guitars-and-regional-accents thing it became.

  6. Glenn A

    November 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Hello, Matty, might This Is Hardcore contain that bizarre single called Help The Aged with Jarvis in a Stannah chair lift? Not bad, but the fans seemed confused. However, anything had to be better than bloody Cast and the wretched Hold the Dream. Are you big enough, are you tough enough, oh sod off?

  7. Richard Davies

    August 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I bought a copy of this on the basis of this artical & was very impressed, with plenty of hidden gems.

    As much as I like Oasis’s 1st 2 albums, the brothers Gallagher seemed to get way too much media attention long after their early verve (no pun intended!) had faded, & Supergrass seemed to struggle to be remembered for anything other than Alright (as great as it is).

    I also noticed that Britpop seemed to loose a lot of it’s fun side in 1997, & started to drift towards the Verve / early Radiohead moodiness.

  8. Matty

    December 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    @Richard I think it was more that Britpop was declining as a musical force in 1997. Bands like Marion and Gene had always dealt with darker subject matter than the more mainstream, more upbeat Britpop stuff, and their time in the limelight was the mid-90s, same as the Britpop bands who were singing about lighter stuff. What I think did for the movement was Oasis’s “Be Here Now” which disappointed a lot of people, Blur’s “13” album which moved away from Britpop and had an American indie lo-fi sound and Radiohead’s “Ok Computer” which, along with The Verve’s “Urban Hymns”, moved the kids tastes towards a more progressive rock and less poppy type of music. It’s worth noting that The Verve’s previous album, “A Northern Soul” was released in Spring 1995, just before the so-called “Summer of Britpop” and was far less successful. A few Britpop-style bands emerged in the last couple of years of the 1990s (eg Rialto) but nobody seemed all that interested any more and they’ve been largely forgotten.

  9. Matty

    December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I meant the album “Blur”, not “13”. Silly me.

  10. Richard Davies

    December 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I remember the music press bigging up Gay Dad to be the “next big thing” in 1998, but the record buying public thought otherwise.

    Railto had similar plugging but on a smaller scale.

  11. Daddy fantastic

    December 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Don’t forget their superb cover of Kenny Rogers ‘just dropped in’ around this era too.

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