“If punk was about getting rid of hippies, then I’m getting rid of grunge.” It was with this sentence from Damon Albarn in 1993 that England invaded the stage previously dominated by Nirvana and Seattle grunge. Britpop is deeply linked to politics and local identity and emerged just as Tony Blair and New Labour were entering the scene. English romanticism was once again becoming attractive compared to the American identity, which was considered too hollow in the UK. Make way for “Cool Britannia”.

To understand the importance of Britpop for British history, we must consider the social and political as well as the musical context of early 90’s Britain. While American culture was transcending the Atlantic with its pessimistic grunge, reflecting a completely disillusioned generation, Thatcher’s socially divided Britain was evidenced by new wave, acid house and Madchester. In the spring of 1990, when The Stone Roses drew 25,000 people to Spike Island, England finally caught wind of its underground scene, led by a drugged-up youth in search of freedom. With this, Britpop was born. This brief but intense trend was quickly marketed and politicized, mixing spirits of freedom, belonging, and national pride. Some bands were good, some bands were bad, but they were forming and reforming at lightning speed.