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Fran Ashcroft - Waiting For The Britpop Revival (Think Like a Key Music)

14 February 2024

Liverpool has always been its own, separate entity when it comes to music, and that is a good thing. And it is also why when a song like “Waiting For The Britpop Revival” staggers, blinking into the light, instead of being concerned for its welfare, knowing the city of its birth, we shrug, say, “Of course,” and get on with joining in the fun.

And fun it is, a song that somehow nods to Chas ‘n’ Dave’s pub piano antics while mining a 70’s psychedelic sonic seam, taking a stance that outdoes Blur in the race to be quintessentially English and yet sounds avant-garde enough to have come from the mind of Vivian Stanshall’s Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Or The Greatest Living Englishman himself, Martin Newell.

But underneath the sense of fun and beautiful strangeness, there is a barbed tongue, and the deeper you explore, the more vicious it becomes. “Waiting for The Britpop Revival” reminds us exactly why we don’t need one. Why do we still suffer under its shadow through endless tribute bands with bad puns for names and indie-kid soundalikes who should know better?

And better even than the fact that Ashcroft says what we have all been thinking for twenty-five flippin’ years, is his spoken word section, which is essentially him talking about how he hasn’t properly planned this part of the song in advance, so he apologizes and moves on. Like I say, Stanshall-esque in the extreme. Brilliant.

But, in Liverpool, as in a Tesco Delicatessen counter, yesterday’s exotic is today’s common place and already, this feels like it is now part and parcel of the fabric of the musical landscape, a musical landscape all the better for it. And what, after all, is life without a touch of whimsy?

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