Every Britpop band & Blur fan instantly recognises the front cover of Parklife by Blur (By photographer Bob Thomas ) featuring Greyhounds at Walthamstow Stadium Dog track races. But did you know Parklife was going to be called a multitude of different other titles first? Britpop Musician Andy Starkey from Brit pop tribute band Britpop Reunion takes you through the stories behind the ideas of Parklife.
Blur Parklife Alternative Titles
There were a number of possible alternative titles and sleeve artwork for Parklife by Blur. These included:
Soft Porn (Spelled as one whole word Softporn on the album sleeve).
Park Life (Two separate words)
Chris Thomson & Rob O’Connor (Graphic designers at Stylorouge) designers of Parklife met Damon Albarn and blur at Worlds End pub on Kings Road, Chelsea and they proceeded to a William Hill betting shop. Between them and Blur they had been exploring “Britishness” including the atmosphere within these types of establishments and the types of folks visiting them. Damon had also been reading London Fields by Martin Amis. A novel about the seedier, working class side of London life and realised his songs for Parklife were somewhat based on this. (Drinking, sex etc)
Chris & Rob’s images depicted the class divide in London, but leaned more towards the Upper Middle Class end as can be seen in the 1960s image of a posh tennis player. But Damon didn’t want this and seeing these images helped him to focus on the working class social class. They were taking images of every day mundane things in London and reappropriating them to put them onto a different format . “Tourist tat” like The Queen’s Guards but making it famous, referencing Pop Art artists like Peter Blake. Pop art.
As you’ll see a number of different album sleeves were also trialed for Parklife including:
Park Life (With a space) featuring the front grill of a Rolls Royce car.
1960’s image of an upper class male tennis player.
8 models of Buckingham Palace Guards The Queen’s Guards dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats (Tourist tat)
Soft Porn featured Buckingham palace and its guards (Again)
Another alternative cover for the Parklife album cover featured a fruit and veg stall in London’s Portobello Road but no images of this are available.
The alternative album sleeves were shown to the band at Maison Rouge Studio where they were working no Parklife with Stephen Street in London, Fulham, Chelsea during 1993 & 1994. Where they continued to discuss
Named after the organ…
I think I mentioned that we pinned things on the studio wall during the Parklife sessions. Well not saying that’s where the album title came from or anything..
B-sides and none featured album songs that never mad it onto Parklife include:
People in Europe
Theme from an Imaginary Film
All of which are featured on the “The Special Collectors Edition” compilation album
Britpop Artist Andy Starkey has seen it all and done it. All through through the 90’s and also into the modern day Andy has been pushing live Britpop out to mass audiences. He performed in original Britpop bands throughout the nineteen nineties in Camden Town, London. As an accomplished Britpop musician Andy Starkey then moved onto the professional tribute scene. He now fronts the UK’s only professional Britpop tribute band ‘Britpop Reunion‘.
Andrew Starkey and his band ‘Britpop Reunion‘ capture exactly what it is to be Britpop artists. You’ll hear live performances of songs by Britpop bands like:
The Stone Roses.
Also The Verve and more.
But more than just the music you’ve also got the indie image, the original period guitars, amps and clothing too. Also with the bands britpop 90’s swagger you’ve got one heck of a live performance too. Britpop Artist Andy Starkey knows how to handle crowds of all sizes and has been doing so for the past 30 years. Whether you’ve got 30 guests or 30,000 Andrew will have them eating out of the palms of his hands. He’ll make sure everyone’s singing and dancing along to his britpop band.
Andrew Starkey Britpop Artist performs live songs like:
Andy worked on the idea of the band trying to keep the audio as close to the original recording as possible. They faithfully replicated every guitar lick, bass note and the exact drum pattern. Andy then also went on to produce this self filmed music video for James Laid cover version. (Video to follow – For now here is ‘Sit Down’ performed live)
James tribute band?
Britpop Reunion also perform a number of songs by James the band. So perhaps you could even call us a James Tribute Band of sorts. We also perform Sit Down (released numerous times by the band) and from time to time occasionally perform She’s A Star from Whiplash released 1997.
Laid was released November 1993 from the album of the same name ‘Laid’ peaking at number 25 in the UK charts. But it gained the band huge success in the USA on college radio also being featured towards the end of the nineties in the film American Pie. Can you believe that there are three official videos by the band for this song? The song Laid by James is a very easy to master featuring only three different chords played as:
Chords for Laid by James
C – Csus4 – G – F – G
Lyrics for Laid by James.
This bed is on fire with passionate love,
The neighbours complain about the noises above,
But she only comes when she’s on top.
My therapist said not to see you no more,
She said you’re like a disease without any cure,
She said I’m so obsessed that I’m becoming a bore, oh no,
Ah, you think you’re so pretty.
Caught your hand inside the till, Slammed your fingers in the door,
Fought with kitchen knives and skewers,
Dressed me up in women’s clothes, Messed around with gender roles,
Line my eyes and call me pretty.
Moved out of the house so you moved next door
I locked you out, you cut a hole in the wall
I found you sleeping next to me, I thought I was alone
You’re driving me crazy, When are you coming home?
Laid James Cover Version – List of James musicians who recorded Laid were:
Tim Booth – Lead Vocals
Saul Davies – Violin & Guitar
Larry Gott – Guitar
Mark Hunter- Keyboards
Jim Glennie – Bass Guitar
David Baynton-Power – drums
James Mike – Drums
Laid was written by Tim Booth, Larry Gott and also Jim Glennie. As with a number of James albums it was produced by Brian Eno. Did you know there is also a “Clean radio edit” of Laid by James too? The lyrics “She only comes when she’s on top” was changed to “She only SINGS when she’s on top”.
James also continue to tour live in 2020 and 2021 for their newer albums including “Living In Extraordinary Times”.
Here’s our round up of the Top Ten Songs Of The 90s By Year. We’re only allowing one song per year from 1990 to 1999 and it can be from any genre. Be that Britpop, pop, rock….whatever, as long as it’s a great party tune. The nineties were such an amazing time for new and older artists to make their mark in this incredible decade. Bands like Nirvana, Suede, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Blur, Oasis, No Doubt and more. Many of these songs are performed live by 90s tribute band Britpop Reunion and are the main reasons we formed our professional group. There have been some tough decisions that you might not agree with but here’s what we think anyway.
Top Ten Songs Of The 90s – Nineteen Ninety to Nineteen Ninety Four
The perfect pop song from Liverpool based band THE LA’S originally released in 1988 from their self titled debut (and only real release) album. Subsequently re-released in October 1990 so we can thankfully play it ourselves. Note: This pop song has no real chorus much like ‘Losing My Religion’ by REM doesn’t have one either. A staple in our live set list and adored by all ages.
‘There She Goes’ – The La’s from the album ‘The La’s’
Manchester based band James with their most well known song is our choice for 1991 (Although ‘The One & Only’ by Chesney Hawkes was nearly our choice). James singer Tim Booth belts out this anthemic chorus in a way that always gets everyone singing along when we perform it live at weddings, birthdays, festivals and corporate events. This song was recorded and released multiple times (The original clocks in at 8m 31s on the 12 inch record) before it eventually gained the chart respect it deserved. Fun fact: Tim Booth appeared as a baddie in Batman Begins as Victor Zsasz.
‘Sit Down’ by James from the album ‘Gold Mother’
Continuing with our top 10 songs of the nineties during the year that Black Wednesday occurred Blur released ‘Popscene’ and Suede released ‘The Drowners’. This (arguably) was pretty much the start of Britpop as we know/knew it. Yet one band who had existed since the the late 70’s / 80’s had one of their biggest chart successes to date during this year. ‘Friday I’m In Love’ written by Robert Smith was released May 1992 and reached number 6 in the charts.
An uplifting song and with much happier tones than what you’d come to expect from a “Goth” band. The Cure still perform this live to this very day and so do Britpop Reunion. Another notable tune from 1992 was Mrs Robinson’ by The Lemonheads from the album ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’. This was many peoples introduction to a ‘Grunge’ type sound later mass marketed by Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl from Nirvana & Foo Fighters.
‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure from the album ‘Wish’
Carrying on with our top 10 songs of the 90’s but where to start? There was 4 Non Blondes with ‘What’s Up?’, Lenny Kravitz with ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ and REM with ‘Everybody Hurts’. Plus Whitney Houston with ‘I’m Every Woman’ and Arrested Development with ‘Mr Wendal’. But then you had the amazing come back of Duran Duran with their hit superb worldwide hit single ‘Ordinary World’ (Where they looked more like a Britpop band than an 80’s pop band).
Then also Irish-American rappers House Of Pain hit the charts with incredible ‘Jump Around’. All that said, for us, we have to move across the pond back home to Manchester. Our Top Ten Songs Of The 90s for 1993 is ‘James’ again with ‘Laid’. Very much a pure Britpop song about what you hear your neighbours getting up to.
‘Laid’ by James from the album ‘Laid’
Top Ten Songs Of The 90s – 1994
Argh, it’s pretty much impossible to choose ‘The best song” from 1994 as this really was the year that Britpop bands went mainstream and so many other fantastic 90’s acts broke through. Where to even start when you’ve got such poptastic hits like ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ by Deep Blue Something from ‘Home’, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ by Oasis from ‘Definitely Maybe’ & ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ by Ocean Colour Scene from ‘Moseley Shoals’. Also ‘Rocks’ by Primal Scream from ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’ & ‘You & Me Song’ by The Wannadies from ‘Be a Girl’.
Winning by default in our opinion though in our top 10 songs of the 90s for 1993 is ‘Parklife’ by Blur featuring Quadrophenia star (And Eastenders star) Phil Daniels. This song really is exactly what Britpop was about, telling tales about the every day lives of normal, common people. A highly Ray Davies/The Kinks inspired indie pop tune that caught the ears of many none indie folk, turning them on to Blur forever. Yet strangely topping out at only number 10 in the UK charts. At every single performance ‘Britpop Reunion‘ have done since we formed in 2014 we have performed ‘Parklife’ live and it continues to be enjoyed by crowds many decades later.
‘Parklife’ by Blur from the album ‘Parklife’
Top Ten Songs Of The 90s – Nineteen Ninety Five to Nineteen Ninety Nine
During the year of nineteen ninety five we were solidly into the era of Britpop bands dominating the UK charts. By this point in the 90’s it was VERY COOL to be in an indie pop guitar based band. Every late teen/early 20 something was in a Britpop wannabe band. You had ‘Country House’ by Blur, battling it out with ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis for number 1 in the charts. Also ‘Alright’ by Supergrass and another Oasis firmfavourite ‘Wonderwall’ (And the list goes on). But how do you choose just one song to sum up this amazing year of music?
Well, we’re going to give it a go. For us it has to be the Laura Branigan inspired corker ‘Disco 2000’ by Pulp. Again this is the epitome of what we consider to be Britpop. Songs about every day folk like you and me. Agreeing to meet up with an old pal years later if things haven’t quite gone to plan throughout the rest of their life.
‘Disco 2000’ by Pulp from the album ‘Different Class’
Top Ten Songs Of The Nineties – 1996
We’re still in the era of full on Britpop bands mode in the mid nineties with huge crowd favourites to chose from by Reef, Cast, Radiohead and The Bluetones. But also the 90’s were a huge mixed bag of genres too from artists like Republica, Spice Girls, Mark Morrison, Gina G, Coolio and more. But Britpop artist Andy Starkey says there is only one song from 1996 that sums up this year, if not the whole 90s decade and Britpop movement. And thats ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Oasis.
The song starts off with a piano tribute/rip off to ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon (Surely they had to pay some royalties along the way due to similarities?). Then goes full on Noel-Rock. Liam Gallagher takes a backseat and lets his brother sing this one. (As Liam, given the chance to choose one song had chosen Wonderwall instead). Probably the biggest song in our live performances enjoyed by every single person on and off stage.
‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Oasis from the album ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’
Heading out of Britpop era now but still firmly in the realms of 90’s pop music. We had Blur with a totally new American sounding style with ‘Song 2’ (Inspired by bands like Pavement). Also ‘Karma Police’ by Radiohead and the fantastic ‘Torn’ by Neighbours star Natalie Imbruglia (Did you know this is a cover version?). Britpop Reunion perform the 1997 hit ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morissette which always goes does incredibly well at weddings. Also ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba is an insane live song with people literally loosing their minds and going full on mosh-pit.
But for us the winner of 1997 has to be ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ by The Verve. Using a sample by the Andrew Loog Oldham orchestral cover of the Rolling Stones’ song “The Last Time” Richard Ashcroft and his fellow band mates created this new 8/4 looped time signature track. An absolute classic banger of a 90’s song about how life treats you.
‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ by The Verve from the album ‘Urban Hymns’
Up next 1998 in our Top Ten Songs Of The 90s
By 1998 what we classed as ‘Britpop‘ was pretty much completely totally over. An indie band that remained though still releasing Brit pop esque songs were the likes of Catatonia (feat Cerys Matthews from BBC Radio 6 Music) with ‘Road Rage’. But even Shed Seven had moved on to become more like Happy Mondays/Black Grape with the lad chanty ‘She Left Me On Friday’. Ex Suede guitarist Bernard Butler re-emerged with his debut solo album ‘People Move On’ album. Featuring the dreamy esque single ‘Stay’ which is a little to derivative of late period Beatles (even though it had that amazing Bernard Butler guitar tone solo). Still, there were massive chart pop hits emerging from B*Witched with ‘C’est La Vie’, Massive Attack with ‘Teardrop’ and Aerosmith ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’.
‘Dance The Night Away’ by The Mavericks and ‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Robbie Williams are unstoppable to this day and still on heavy rotation on daytime radio. But for Britpop Reunion, the crazily big chart hit from Britney Spears ‘Baby One More Time’ is where its at. We’ve changed the key of this tune every so slightly and rocked it up a little bit. Feel the power of this 90’s pop tune below in our live video at a 90’s Night at a University in Cornwall.
‘Baby One More Time’’ by Britney Spears from the album ‘Baby One More Time’
Finally we’re at the end of the decade with 1999
1999 was a funny old year for music. Britpop had completely disappeared (Quite rightfully) and much of the charts were filled with R&B. Eminem broke though with The Slim Shady LP featuring ‘My Name Is’, Christina Aguilera had ‘Genie In A Bottle’ (Theres a great mash up of this with The Strokes’ track “Hard To Explain”). Mr Oizo ‘Flat Beat’ hit number one from Levis commercial and still sounds great to this very day. A little more guitar based The Offspring ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ is a superb track. But pop wise for us it has to be ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ by Ricky Martin. This has to be one of the catchiest songs ever. Latino style melody, beats and horns combined with cool surf guitars. It almost has a Dick Dale feel to it.
‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’’ by Ricky Martin from the album ‘Ricky Martin’
Summing up Music In The Nineties.
Every decade of music has huge differences in genres dominating at certain points but the nineties for us is where it was all at. Pop, rock, indie, grunge, goth and dance all produced great high chart scoring songs. Indie became Britpop which then just became ‘Pop’ music for a few years. Record labels scrambled to sign ANYTHING that looked remotely like a Britpop band even into the mid nineties. But by then though Britpop had come and gone which lead to record companies folding due to huge loses and debt from lack of sales. Big lessons all to be learned from to this very day.
Hire a Scottish 90s & Britpop Tribute Band for your event in Scotland. Amazing live performances from a professional 90’s cover band playing all the best 90’s songs from the best decade in music. Contact ‘Britpop Reunion‘ to check on price and availability.
Book throughout mainland Scotland and the various Isles and the Hebrides. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and beyond. Book a Scottish 90’s tribute band and we’ll perform big hits by Oasis, Blur, Supergrass, Pulp and more. Hire a Scottish 90’s cover band throughout Scotland.
Available for a birthday party, festival, wedding, corporate event or charity fundraiser. Remember when Oasis played Loch Lomond on Sunday 4th August 1996? They were supported by 90’s favourites Dreadzone, Ocean Colour Scene, Bootleg Beatles, Black Grape and Cast. You too can re-live those days with our selection of amazing 90’s songs. So hire a Scottish Britpop tribute band in Scotland and hear tracks by The Verve, Ocean Colour Scene, Reef & The Stone Roses.
We were asked to perform live at The Hilton Glasgow for the Hospitality Industry Trust Awards. And it was a very lavish affair that must have cost tens of thousands of pounds to put on. There was a mirrored dancefloor, huge PA system and also a brilliant size stage for us to perform on. The client clearly knew what they were doing when they book a professional Scottish 90s tribute band Britpop Reunion.
Hire a 90s & Britpop tribute band in Scotland.
Book a 90’s cover band in Scotland performing songs by Alanis Morissette, Deep Blue Something, Robbie Williams and also Chesney Hawkes. Similarly hire a Britpop cover band in Scotland with banging live tunes by James, The La’s and Primal Scream.
We’ve performed nineties music live all over Scotland and also beyond. Below are images from 90s Weekender festival at Hunters Quay Holiday Village, Dunoon, Argyll.
Imagine it’s the 1990’s and you’re watching your favourite Britpop festival band at Glastonbury, V96, V97, V98, V99 Festival, Phoenix, Leeds or Reading. Wouldn’t it be great to relive that decade and that genre of music all over again? Well know you can when you hire ‘Britpop Reunion‘ for your live festival event. Your punters are just the right age to spend their money on tickets for your Brit pop festival. They can’t wait to hear huge Britpop anthems like ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger‘, ‘Parklife‘, ‘Disco 2000‘, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony‘, ‘Alright‘ and more. Our professional festival band can handle any size audience and have them eating out of the palms of our hands. Joining in with huge songs by artists such as Blur, Oasis, The Verve, Pulp, Supergrass and more. Contact to check on price and availability for your tribute festival.
Hire a Britpop Festival Band
Formed in 2014 professional brit pop band ‘Britpop Reunion’ were an instant success story on the tribute festival circuit. We’ve performed at many, many festivals over the years including the Fake Festival, Glastonbudget and Tribfest. Also The Big Tribute, The Ultimate Tribute and Monmouth Festival. Punters love our indie pop 90’s britpop cover band tunes taking them right back to the start of 1990. Continuing all the way through to 1999.
You provide the stage, PA, lighting and audience and we’ll give you all a high energy performance of 1990’s songs all performed 100% live. All your paying guests will lose their minds when we head onto the stage. They really will believe its the nineties all over again Get your flags ready, blow up those huge inflatable footballs, get your wellies on and get booking a Britpop band for a tribute festival band. Trust in a professional Britpop Tribute Band for your live event.