BBC celebrates 20 years of Britpop with Champagne Supernova of programming.
Twenty years ago, Britpop emerged and reignited the British music scene. To celebrate this milestone, Britpop at the BBC on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Four from Sunday 6 to Friday 11 April will be looking back at this phenomenal period.
There will be a week-long return of the legendary Evening Session on Radio 2, a range of documentaries, plus interviews with artists who were pivotal to the movement, plus a top-30 countdown on 6 Music asking listeners to vote for the song that sums up Britpop for them.
Britpop at the BBC will also live online at bbc.co.uk/britpop where fans will be able to hear all the programmes in the season, see exclusive archive clips, view a photo gallery, and test their knowledge in a Britpop quiz.
In the wake of the US grunge scene, which invaded the UK in the early 90s, new British groups such as Suede and Blur spearheaded the Britpop movement by writing and singing about topics and concerns that were uniquely British, evoking the essence of their 1960s counterparts like The Who, The Kinks and The Beatles. Soon the scene was brimming with a wealth of bands including Oasis, Elastica, Pulp, Supergrass, Sleeper and The Verve. Together, they brought British alternative rock back into the mainstream. Britpop had it all: rivalry, polo shirts, cigarettes and alcohol, parkas and cool haircuts – all with great music at its heart.
Britpop at the BBC on Radio 2 sees the mighty duo of Nineties radio - Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley - reunite for the Evening Session (Monday 7 to Thursday 10 April, 8-10pm) which aired on Radio 1. From the BBC’s iconic Maida Vale studios in London, there will be sessions from Chvrches and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who will be covering Britpop classics, plus more artists to be announced.
Supergrass frontman, Gaz Coombes, and poster girl of Britpop Louise Wener from Sleeper will be live in the studio with Jo and Steve reminiscing about those heady days. Plus, there will be highlights from the Evening Session archive, including Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker co-hosting with Jo Whiley as well as performances from the original shows. And throughout the week in the Evening Session on Radio 2 and his daily 6 Music show, Steve will be hosting the Britpop Timeline, an insightful and in-depth look back to highlight the historical moments that formed the cultural and musical landscape of Britain, from the unofficial Britpop beginnings in 1993 through to Oasis’s momentous gig at Knebworth in 1996.
On 6 Music across the week there will be further Britpop programming from the BBC Archives, including:
Oasis - What's The Story? (Sunday 6 and Monday 7 April, 4am) – Oasis’s Liam and Noel, Alan McGee and others tell the story of the band and their success. Mark Radcliffe takes a canny look at the trials and tribulations of the Gallagher brothers and what was one of the biggest British bands of all time. This two-part series was first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2002.
6 Music Live Hour (Monday 7 April, 3am) - Blur, recorded at Glastonbury in 1994, plus BBC sessions from Lush and James. This programme will be presented by Chris Hawkins. The 6 Music Live Hour programmes throughout the week will also feature classic Britpop sessions.
Radio 1 Evening Session - 4 April, 1995 (Tuesday 8 April, 1am) - Another chance to hear highlights of the classic episode in which Jarvis Cocker of Pulp co-presented with Jo Whiley. Other classic Evening Session shows will be broadcast throughout the week.