So with this week's Britpop 20th anniversary celebrations on BBC 6Music, Radio 2 and BBC Four, a number of other people have been having their say on the final big musical phenomenon the world ever saw. Clashmusic.com ran a piece yesterday entitled "Britpop Was Rubbish, Apart From These Six Records", and while I agree that the incredible Mansun were responsible for some of the best music of the 90s, I despair at the pathetic, bandwagon-hopping remark that Ocean Colour Scene "were responsible for some awful releases that deserve to be buried as deeply as your patio can accommodate." Let's get this right, OCS are and never were a Britpop band. However, they were part of the wider picture. One thing that IS certain is that this hugely talented four piece have made some brilliant music over the years. Just because they're influenced by the past (like every other guitar band out there), does this automatically mean that their songs are "derivative drivel"? The author of the piece should perhaps have a more in-depth listen to Ocean Colour Scene's work and eat his words.
Talking about the recent re-release of their 1997 album 'Marchin' Already', I opined that "it's still hard to believe that so many critics insist in disliking a band responsible for such brilliantly written and well delivered songs like these. They may not have been pushing sonic boundaries or trying to invent the music of the future, but many of these songs are just as essential as the classics that influenced these four top class musicians." From the accompanying disc of B sides and rarities, here is 'Monday Morning', a stripped down acoustic number powered by a stark sombre tone, where a spine tingling vocal from Simon Fowler lights up a spellbinding, haunting melody and the yearning emotional power is astounding. In a bit of OCS news, Fowler's other band Merrymouth are releasing a rather brilliant album next month entitled 'Wenlock Hill'.