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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 12:26 GMT
Britpop lives forever
Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher is as forthright as ever

Named after the Oasis anthem, Live Forever is the story of British music during the 1990s, when Britpop and the Cool Britannia phenomenon attracted worldwide attention.

Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker and the Gallagher brothers became household names and all are interviewed during this documentary.

It is fascinating to hear that many musicians are now disillusioned with the events of the time.

Albarn reveals that his appearances on TV news bulletins to promote the chart battle pitching his band Blur against Oasis left him feeling "stupid" and "very confused".

Jarvis Cocker
Pulp were at their peak during the Britpop period

"I didn't realise my flippancy was going to have such profound resonance in my life and I changed quite dramatically after that period."

Noel Gallagher - the undoubted star of the film with his droll, forthright remarks - describes the showdown as Blur's "last chance to drag themselves back up on the coat-tails of my band".

He also says Oasis were "slightly offended" by the campaign, which he claims was orchestrated by the NME music paper just to help Blur to number one.

Politics also features in Live Forever, especially the drinks reception for celebrities hosted by Tony Blair in 1997.

The former lead singer of Sleeper, Louise Wener, describes Oasis as "their own nation state" but adds: "It was so depressing when Noel went to Downing Street. In that very instant he was neutered."

Anecdotes

One of the funniest moments of the documentary occurs when Liam Gallagher is asked to comment on his "androgynous appeal".

After several attempts to explain what this means, the swaggering singer agrees that he has feminine qualities.

"I take care of me hair. You've gotta have a decent haircut if you're the frontman of a band."

Rapper 3D from Bristol's Massive Attack admits "it became a little more difficult to make your presence felt" for those not in a guitar band at that time.

However, his group's albums Blue Lines and Mezzanine are acknowledged as being among the decade's key releases.

There are also amusing tales from James Brown, party animal and launch editor of the first so-called "lads mag".

"We used to row at Loaded about whose turn it was to run the hundred yards to get the champagne," he remembers.

Live Forever offers fresh insight into the Britpop era for even the most obsessed fan and should appeal to anyone interested in the British music scene.

It received its world premiere at the London Film Festival and is due to open in the UK in January.


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