Wednesday, 26 February 2014

REWIND: The Supernaturals - 'Smile'

So only a few more days of our Britpop Month on God Is In The TV (and RW/FF) left, and after running through the Blurs and Suedes to the Casts and Supergrasses, then from the Northern Uproars and Menswears to the Marions and Salads, once you go past a certain point the quality suffers. So basically I've used up all of the good Britpop bands. However, Britpop means two things to me: music made by certain types of indie guitar bands released between 1994-1996, and the wider definition of Britpop that can be used to describe anything great and British that was popular in the 90s. For me, the proper Britpop era died as soon as Blur returned in early 1997 with the incredible 'Beetlebum', blowing away any association they had with the genre that they themselves had spawned. But the buzz died sometime around the latter part of 1996, after the big Oasis gig at Knebworth saw the era reach its ultimate peak and after Gareth Southgate's missed penalty against the Germans during Euro 96 saw English optimism take a beating. By this point record companies were signing up anyone British who could play a guitar, which led to some very weak copycat acts emerging and causing the public to grow tired of indie rock. 

I'd refer to The Supernaturals as more of a "post-Britpop" group, as they fitted in with the style and sound but arrived on the scene too late. They were bloody good too, taking inspiration from Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys rather than The Beatles or The Kinks. A five piece from Glasgow, the band were signed to Parlophone Records in 1996, scoring five Top 40 entries in the UK Singles Chart between '96 and '98. 'Smile' was originally released in 1996 as the band's debut single, but was reissued the following year and gave the band a Number 23 hit. Hard to believe that such a well known song didn't even reach the Top 20. In May of 1997 they released their debut LP 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', (a Number 9 chart entry) but personally I prefer the 1998 follow-up 'A Tune A Day'. It was released during the same week that I went to see the band at the Fleece And Firkin in Bristol where they were supported by Carrie. Great days. After that album only reached #21 following a lack of promotion, they were dropped by their label before re-emerging four years later with their third, synth-flavoured effort 'What We Did Last Summer'. The band soon split after that.

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