Thursday, June 09, 2005
The explosion that was Britpop was one of the most enjoyable phenomena since the boil-lancing that was punk. All of a sudden the air was full of canny, sharp, intelligent music, drawing heavily on the late 60s influences of bands like the Kinks, the Small Faces, new wave groups like the Jam and giving the occasional nod to the Beatles as well. It was such a pleasure to hear guitars again in all their glory, harmony choruses, from the light-as-air "There She Goes" to the wall of rumble that was anything by Oasis. And in between, with a cheery wink, throwing shapes like a ducking-and-diving wide boy, were Blur. Perhaps "Parklife" is a bit of a cartoon, but it's a perfect picture, drawn in wonderful shades of attitude and thumping East-End charm, a little like a Chas & Dave singalong down the pub. I like that they brought in Phil Daniels to do the vocal, slightly weary yet optimistic, cynical yet fresh-faced. You can see a hundred faces in his voice as he brings the song to life: "I get up when I want/Except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened by the dustmen/I put my trousers on/Have a cup of tea/And I think about leaving the house/I feed the pigeons/I sometimes feed the sparrows too/It gives me a sense of enormous well-being/And then I'm happy for the rest of the day/Safe in the knowledge/There will always be/A bit of my heart devoted to it."