Friday, 22 June 2012

First Dance Friday: Still Loves You The Girl From Mars

If Britpop was an enormous continent filled with union jacks, corduroy trousers, red Lambrettas and Chris Evans getting a blowback (BACK I said BACK) from Tony Blair whilst Phil Daniels eats a saveloy and does that silly cockney dance, then Ash were an island off the coast of that continent filled with grunge-lovin' doe-eyed boys and girls mooning over each other to a soundtrack of three-chord punk rock radio hits. With added Star Wars.

There was an ocean between the two. It didn't seem like it at the time, but there really was.

Seriously, I remember Britpop. It was full of drugs and Bentleys and other things completely outside my teenage comprehension. I didn't even dare cut my hair as short as Justine Frischmann, let alone take up her lifestyle. At that age I still thought heroin was something secreted in smiley face stickers and left on school playing fields for unsuspecting toddlers to pick up, imbibe and consequently drop dead in order that their story could live on in public information ads and stern morning assemblies.

Ash were the first band who were a bit like us. They were roughly our age, they dressed like us, they played a modestly broad range of alternative music (yes they did - Trailer through 1977 to Nuclear Sounds are fair stylistic hops) that neatly spanned what we would be pretty much listening to anyway. It was like your older brother's mates who were in a band, and everyone fancied the lead singer a bit.

I still think Ash are an anomaly. Everybody of my age likes them, in that lovely nostalgic way you love the tatty old jumper you had your first snog in. I can't think of any other band that pushes all the same buttons for our generation. Put on this song on a night out now, and 95% of the room will dance. None of that toe-curling and arm-crossing you get when you hear Wonderwall or Charmless Man.



Did anyone actually ever smoke a Henry Winterman cigar after hearing this? I didn't. I did think about it though. Thought about cutting my hair short like Justine Frischmann too. Didn't do that either.

Ho hum.

12 comments:

  1. I LOVED Ash! And to this day I'm still genuinely afraid of those yellow smileys!

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    1. I seriously thought for the longest time that ANYTHING with that logo on was laced with Bad Things. Isn't it crazy what school propaganda can do? Im going to wear a smiley tshirt next time i see you Amy, just for fun!

      Px

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    2. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I will actually run away screaming. (Or force you to put a jumper on)

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  2. My mum used to smoke henri winterman cigars around this time, so I always used to imagine this song was about her. Still love the song and 1977.

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    1. I don't know anyone elses's mum who even smokes cigars! We couldn't have been friends at school Katie, you would have been way too cool.

      Px

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    2. heh, I think my 'coolness' is purely in retrospect.

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  4. Arrrgghhh Ash! Love love loved them. 1977 (as well as my actual year of birth) co-incided with moving to Manchester and finding friends who actually liked the same kind of music as me...good times.

    I saw them play live more times than I can count in my teens, almost a bit stalkery really.

    PS I did actually cut my hair short like Justine Frischmann when i was 17!

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    1. Zan, you are officially my hero.

      Px

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  5. My mum smoked Henry Winterman cigars too, I've never heard of anyone else's doing it! And I had my hair cut short when I was 18, because of a stupid boy - things went all messy and on/off became off so I had a mini rebellion and got all my hair cut off (it made sense at the time!). It wasn't the same style as Justine Frischmann, more of a pixie crop, but it was extremely short!

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    1. are we sisters?? I too thought my mum was the only one - were they slim panatellas?

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    2. YES!! Ooh, maybe we are! Did she ever get you to buy a cigar for her in the pub? I used to hate that. "It's not for ME you know!"

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