Song Of The Day: Gruff Rhys – Pang!

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Gruff Rhys

In the wake of our current Britpop tournament here at the Panic Manual, we figured we might as well make this Britpop week, taking a look at some of the acts that are featured in the tournament or some other projects featuring members of those acts. And maybe even some of the Britpop acts that didn’t make the cut for the tournament. You get the idea.

Today we take a look at Gruff Rhys, frontman of Cardiff-based Super Furry Animals, who has always followed his muse wherever it takes him, no matter how weird or esoteric it might get. This is, after all, the man who once played a concert to an audience of one lone horse in a field in his film Separado!

That muse has taken Rhys to his latest release Pang!, released in September of last year. Check out the video for the title track off that album below.

Song Of The Day: Sleeper – The Sun Also Rises

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Ricky’s Britpop tournament, which he posted to this site recently, acted not just as a fun way to pass the time while everyone’s staying inside, but also as a nice walk down memory lane to the heyday of ’90s Britpop. So we’ll use that an an excuse to check in on Sleeper, one of the acts in Ricky’s bracket who are still at it today.

Releasing their debut Smart 25 years ago, the band went on to release their breakthrough album The It Girl (which just got the Tim’s Twitter Listening Party treatment yesterday) a year later before putting out one more (Pleased To Meet You) and then disbanding for a couple decades or so.

After splitting at the end of the ’90s, Sleeper got back together a couple of years ago and just last year released The Modern Age, the first album of this century for the band who once wrote “Sale Of The Century.” It’s a solid return for the band, with “The Sun Also Rises” standing out as a highlight.

Check out the video for “The Sun Also Rises” below.

Britpop Tournament Preview 2 of 2: Part 2

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

bpbattle

Welcome to the second part of our tournament preview. Once again, to summarize, we made a NCAA style tournament and seeded some bands. Below is a simple comment about each band, and a song we’ve added to our playlist.

Have a read!

Matchup 9

Blur001

Blur (2)
To go from being just another baggy (Manchester sounding band) to the kings of Britpop, wow. Suede may have kicked off Britpop, but “Girls & Boys” and “Parklife” both charting in the UK top 10 was when I knew this was something properly big. – Martin

Song: “Girls & Boys”

vs

Gene (30)
First time I saw Gene, I stood next to Justine Frischmann at the Sheffield Leadmill. Nothing particularly original about them, but, my god, their first few singles were amazing. – Martin

Song: “Be My Light, Be My Guide”

Matchup 10

St Etienne (14)
A proper pop band, with a great band name, in a fair and just world they would have had half a dozen number 1 singles. The intro to “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” is difficult to better. – Martin

Also – JOSH – we miss you. Talk soon.

Song: “Nothing Can Stop Us Now”

vs

Morrissey (19)
Morrissey’s stock has fallen faster than oil prices in recent years, but was anyone really surprised?” – Ricky

Song: “Everyday is Like Sunday”

Match 11

Ride001
Ride (11)
My brother saw them sign to Creation Records with Alan McGhee backstage at a gig in Sheffield. “Leave Them All Behind” is 8 minutes of brilliance. – Martin

I also asked Frank to give me a few words, but he ignored me.

Song: “OX4″

vs

Stereolab (22)
My friend Caroline said they don’t belong here because they weren’t Britpop, but Stereolab were always kind of outsiders so this makes perfect sense in this imperfect world. – Ricky

Song: “French Disko”

Match 12

The Verve (6)
If the video for Bittersweet Symphony was released in the age of social media #vervesidewalkchallenge would exist. – Ricky

Song: “The Drugs Don’t Work”

vs

Sleeper (27)
Let’s be honest, you discovered these guys on the Trainspotting soundtrack. – Ricky

Song: “Inbetweener”

Matchup 13

Suede (7)
Ricky’s favorite band. He’ll be hurt when they get eliminated, because not enough people know about the record Dog Man Star. Shame on all of you.

Song(s): “New Generation” + “Beautiful Ones”, because I love Suede and I think there’s two iterations of them in the Britpop years (Pre/Post Bernard)

vs

Shed Seven (26)
Until recently Ricky Witter kept the Britpop torch burning with his radio show ‘Disco Down’ – Ricky

Song: “Disco Down”

Matchup 14

Supergrass (10)
As an Immature teen, I was always displeased that Supergrass’s breakthrough into North America was for their 1999 self-titled record, instead of I Should Coco. Why? Who knows. So young. So gone. – Ricky

Song: “Alright”

VS

Ocean Colour Scene (23)
Songs For The Front Row is the ultimate cottage soundtrack – Ricky

Song: “The Day We Caught the Train”

Match 15

Lush (15)
One of the few bands to transition from the early 90’s shoegazing scene to Britpop. Single Girl was one of the biggest tunes of the era. And I once danced with Miki Lush at the Sheffield Leadmill (as in danced vaguely near her). – Martin

Song: “Single Girl”

vs

Teenage Fanclub (18)
Norman Blake now resides in Kitchener ON, this alone will guarantee Canadian votes. – Ricky

Song: “The Concept”

Match 16

Radiohead (2)
We’ve got Radiohead on this list, even though Thom York once described Britpop as something that made him “fucking angry.” Other than that, no real flaws with Radiohead. – Paul

Song: “Paranoid Android”

vs

Stereophonics (31)
Often derided for writing shitty songs, Stereophonics became quite popular despite a lack of critical acclaim. Also- were notoriously large Tragically Hip fans. RIP Stuart Cable. – Ricky

Song: “Dakota”

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Britpop Tournament Preview 1 of 2: Part 1

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

bpbattle

Since there’s nothing better to do, let’s do a Britpop tournament. Me and other Panic Manual people have spent too much time thinking about this and we have come up with a tournament to crown a Britpop champion.

Before we get to the voting part (you can just click here to vote if you really want), let’s take a look at the bands we’ve selected. We’ve tried to seed them more appropriately, but really who gives a shit.

We broke up the bands into two posts, and this post will feature 16. Since we always maintain a less is best approach when it comes to actual quality content, we just have a blurb for each band.

We have also created a playlist with one song from each band.

Matchup 1

Quote Oasis Unquote001

Oasis (1)
I stupidly bought a bucket hat once, not sure if it was because of Oasis or because I was an idiot. Either way, live forever!

Song: “Live Forever”

vs

Kula Shaker (32)
Way more famous than they deserved. “Hey Dude” was a good tune but their second best tune was their Deep Purple cover. May have superficially dove into Eastern Mysticism to separate themselves from the Britpop bands.

Song: “Hey Dude”

Matchup 2

Super Furry Animals (17)
Deserves points just for the most creative use of a featured musician – having Paul McCartney chew carrots and celery on the track “Receptacle for the Respectable.”

Song: “Juxtaposed with U”

vs

Ash (16)
In 2021 the gem that keeps Tim Wheeler ageless will dissolve, turning him to dust. This will give Ash a reason to release yet another Best Of.

Song: “A Life less Ordinary” – A very ’90s song that soundtracked a movie of the same name that features Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz, both at the peak of their powers.

Ash001

Match 3

Elastica (9)
Justine……Justine Frischmannnn…from Elastica… (Insert video from star stories) . But also, Justine Frischmann ignited both Blur and Suede to great success and put out a killer album.

Song: “Stutter”

vs

The Auteurs AND Black Box Recorder (24)
Luke Haines had two outputs in the ’90s. Both were exceptional and underrated. In this battle, they will tag team in an attempt to overthrow Elastica.

Song:
The Auteurs – “How I Learned to Love the Bootboys”
Black Box Recorder – “The Facts of Life”

Match 4

Manic Street Preachers001
Manic Street Preachers (8)
4 Real guys, we think Manics will do well.

Song: “A Design For Life”

vs

Black Grape (25)
Shaun Ryder’s post Happy Mondays band probably put out a better record then the Mondays actually did, not sure if Ryder or Bez remembers though

Song: “Kelly’s Heroes”

Match 5

Stone Roses (3)
If you asked half the bands here to name their influences, chances are Stone Roses would be one of them. Ian Brown also wrote the line ‘The dolphins were monkeys that didn’t like the land.’

Song: “Fool’s Gold”

vs

Embrace (28)
Originally compared to Oasis because they were also brothers and kinda wrote anthemic songs, Embrace never reached the heights expected of them, still their debut record was solid **** record. We’ll forget the dreadlocks phase that came with the follow-up album.

Song: “The Good Will Out”

Match 6

The Charlatans (12)
I like the Charlatans a lot more now that Tim Burgess is doing the twitter listening parties. A band that’s been through many ups and downs (including tragedy), it’s great to see them come out still intact.

Song: “North Country Boy”

Vs

Robbie Williams (21)
Purists will argue on his inclusion, but he is British, he writes pop music, and was big in the ’90s. His first two albums were perfect pop records. You know all the words to “Angel.” Robbie and Liam fought over Nicole Appleton. An indispensable part of the era.

Song: “Supreme”

Match 7

James (13)
James has given me some of the best live experiences of my life. Their music just lifts you off the ground and gives you a big warm hug. Criminally underrated act.

Song: “Tomorrow”

vs

Boo Radleys (20)
“Wake Up Boo!” is the perfect alarm music, just make sure you hit snooze before the horns kick in.

Song: “Wake Up Boo”

Match 8

Pulp (2)
This band transformed my life, so naturally they are the best. Big songs, the best lyrics and charisma all around. Who doesn’t dance to Common People?

Song: “Common People”

vs

Lightning Seeds (29)
Queue up ‘Change’ right now and it’ll instantly put you in a better mood.

Song: “Change”

CLICK HERE TO VOTE