Britpop band Pulp found fame on the world stage in the mid-1990s with anthems including "Common People" and "Disco 2000". Twenty five years and 10 million album sales later, they return to their hometown for their last UK concert.
If we had sat and calculated we were going to make history, I'd have certainly wore a better outfit in that and I would have gotten out of bed a little earlier, and I might have tried to keep Liam off the sauce.
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a subject worthy of documenting but not a worthy documentary
On the whole, I was disappointed with 'Live Forever'. Angered by some of it. It seemed to be crafted with a similar lack of creativity as the much of the actual music from the phenomenon itself ... I expected more than a 90 minute interview montage. But anyway, Britpop itself was an invention of the tabloid press and yet we only get one interviewee from a publication of the time (the editor of 'Loaded') which to my knowledge had little say in that tabloid invention, merely jumping on it's bandwagon as I recall. Also, to make matters worse this guy didn't really know what he was talking about. Maybe nobody else was available ... however .... that's no excuse for some of the distorted facts and angles portrayed in the film. For a start, they present to us that nothing in the UK culture happened or emerged in the 80's. Nonsense. That's simply the angle portrayed because nobody in the film liked what was done in the 80's. I could quite easily come along in 2010 and make a film about whatever the next cultural phenomenon may be and dismiss the 90's as dull and boring, simply because I didn't like it. Truth is, Britain has always had a music scene develop through every generation or decade ; most recently, late 70's punk - the 80's new romantics, the early 90's madchester scene. Britpop was just the next one in line and yet it is presented as some kind of saving grace that nobody ever expected or imagined. Now, I hated the 80's music scene, hated the new romantic phase, hate looking back on it I should say (I was born in the 80's afterall) and I was very much the standard 'Britpop kid'. But I'm not gonna say that it awoke a dreary, sleepy Britain like the documentary did, because Britain was not like that. They wish it was but there was great British music happening in-between all phenomenons and continues to be today. A positive side of the film is that it does present to us the one thing Britpop did do which was say to a lot of people, mainly 'the kids' as Oasis would call them, that they could all pick up a guitar, write a tune, get on top of the pops as they were. the bands in britpop made you feel that way (the songs were easy, anthemic, had mass appeal and the look was so easy to achieve) the music in retrospect wasn't great but the message was. it defined the era. but unfortunately the only sniff of this we get in the film are tedious interviews with a bunch of losers who still play in an Oasis tribute band. Basically, the only other truthful statement made by this film is that between 1994-1996, two or three good records by mediocre British bands were made (and were for a change, given some press). The rest of it is garbage. At the end you're meant to think 'what a wonderful thing that Britpop was' but whereas if you overlook the spin and representation of the thing - the only thing you're left thinking is 'was that really ALL britpop was?!' example : the political issues the film deals with. This documentary would have you believe that Britpop was all about the bands that made the music. Nope. The people that really made the scene (aside from the press who just invented it) were the people like myself who went out and bought the records. did we think we were making some political statement? no, we thought these were cracking good tunes with a great image to them. you can't add weight to this thing by coinciding Britpop with the fact that Britain elected a new political party into power around about the same time (a good 3 years AFTER the phase had started). Are we to think that Labour would not have been elected if it were not for Britpop? nonsense .. the man in the street with no musical interest was always gonna do whatever they could to get that tory government out. the makers of this documentary would love you to think otherwise. Also, they include the topic of Diana's death. Excuse me, but with the greatest amount of respect to Princess Di (think what you might of her) I never saw her with a guitar and I don't own any one of her albums. we mourned for Diana and so Britpop died?! B**locks. Britpop didn't die suddenly, it merely faded away due to a number of things, not least with the press who were bored of it and wanted to present something fresh (which just happened to be attractive solo artists and/or more subtly marketed and manufactured music) Not a bad thing either as we were all quite frankly tired of hearing the same tune re-written by 40 different bands. Like all cultural phenomenons, they do as much harm as they do good in the long run ... but this documentary wouldn't dare reveal that to us. the only down side of Britpop presented here are the drugs that went along with it (as if they didn't happen with most Rock n Roll bands all over the world for many a generation) There also really aren't many interviewees here worth anything. Liam Gallagher is a big name and yet as much as I admire his voice, he doesn't really know what he's talking about. Of the rest, Noel Gallagher and Jarvis Cocker give the film some depth .. Damon Albarn seems lost and as if he doesn't give a s**t anymore (fair enough but it doesn't make interesting viewing), the girl from Sleeper is cute but has nothing interesting to say apart from some rubbish about Noel apparently killing Britpop by visiting Downing Street ..... sour grapes most likely .... And yet if all the serious stuff above fails, well surely it rescues itself with the much promised humour and comedy tag that comes with the teaser poster or cover .... well it would have had it just been Noel and Liam sitting in a room talking and/or arguing for the duration (they are genuinely funny people together but here there are hardly any great, amusing anecdotes or opinions that I've heard from them over the years). And I really don't know why they didn't do this ... at least 65-75% of it is about Oasis. Maybe on a second viewing I'll lighten up. But I feel a bit cheated having just seen it. For me, 'Britpop' wasn't about any of this. And even if it was, this wouldn't fill me with pride. 5/10
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