Up The Bracket – The Libertines

OK! So the keen eyed among you will have noted that Britpop Week/Week In A Day started with a record from 2006. Ten years after the summer of Britpop was over. And it seems to be finishing with a record from only 4 years earlier than that. Here’s my logic… It’s because Britpop was not a time. It was not a place. It’s a feeling, in here. No not your heart. In here. No, not your arse either. In the spot between your ear and your brain.

Britpop is an amalgam of every guitar band who wanted to get on top of the pops but didn’t fit into another already existing genre or sub genre. It’s pop music, by bands of musicians who rock but don’t go Ska, Metal, Soul or Funk. Entirely.

You need The Beatles AND The Stones to get to Britpop (or you can skip both and just go with The Kinks). You need Slade and The Jam too. You get too close to one aspect or another and you’re not Britpop. Glam is not Britpop, but you need it. It’s almost pub rock, but you can do away with some of the traditional elements of that and it still works. You can be indie without being Britpop. RADIOHEAD. You can be really rather punk indeed and still be Britpop. MANIC STREET PREACHERS. You can be Male/Female/Black/White/Gay/Straight Echobelly, Menswe@r, Kaiser Chiefs, Elastica, Salad, Lush, Marion, Gaydad, Suede, 60ft Dolls, Massive Attack, Kasabian, Bloc Party, Portishead, Black Grape.

There’s a burgeoning Britpop scene now with AM followers like The Reytons and Venus Grrrls avoiding the Landfill Indie trap by making the right stylistic choices and staying on the frantic side of a guitar jangle. The band that bridged the gap between the 90’s and the modern day though. They did their best to burn that thing down as they passed over it.

The Libertines tried their hardest to pack a reenactment of the entire 1990’s (or 1900’s depending who you listen to) into the first half of the noughties. Between debut single What A Waster and the collapse around album number two (The self titled The Libertines) they went from playing squat punk basement shows to dating supermodels and getting caught on the front page of the tabloids with needles in their arms. It was a fucking mess. BUT. And this bit is important. They had some very good tunes. Very good tunes. They were sloppy, fuzzy, loose and fast. But they knew a thing or two about a good hook and a immaculate mess.

Or to put it another way


5 thoughts on “Up The Bracket – The Libertines

  1. Thanks for the definition of BritPop. As you know Hans and I are both doing our own series, he on the “first wave” and me on the “second wave,” but it sounds like the waves are an ocean of sound that raises to the level of whitecap at-will. I like this song. So much to learn so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember this band. I may have even owned the album for a minute, a long while ago, bought on-spec.Your definition of Britpop is spot on, though I think you have to mix in the general British awareness of world events and the intelligence, seriousness and humour about it leavening the whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Also I’d like to say I’m really enjoying your efforts, blasting us with all of these tunes. I am working on CD3 of my SFTD mixes series already! But I need a new ad blocker for YouTube. I used to curse loudly about Grammarly ads, now it’s switched to Peleton. I don’t know what this means. Do they think I need to give up on proper writing skills and whip myself into shape instead?

    Liked by 1 person

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