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December 22, 2014

Design inspired by the Brit Pop era

The Brit Pop artists of the 1990s produced music that was inspired by their illustrious precursors of the 60s, 70s and 80s. It was ‘Brit’ and it made a statement, not least of which was that it rejected the Grunge music that had originated in Seattle in the US in favour of homegrown music. It was inspired by the guitar pop music of the 1960s – bands such as The Beatles – the glam rock of the 1970s – for example David Bowie, Iggy Pop – punk rock – such as the Sex Pistols – and Indie Rock of the 1980s – which included bands such as The Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets. Mix these genres together, add tons of working class attitude, and an even larger amount of British culture, and you have a flavour of what Brit Pop is all about. Brit Pop influenced a generation and it continues to inspire design today and influence our everyday lives, both back then and now.  

The greatest of the Brit Pop bands included Suede and Blur from London, and Oasis from Manchester. In the case of Oasis and the infamous Gallagher brothers, not only was the Mancunian dialect mimicked, but their style was also copied, and their attitude was affected. Think about press images and album covers of the 90s – long greasy fringes and scruffy hair; still, bored facial expressions staring into the camera and sometimes leaning towards it; arms folded, often looking apathetic-bordering-on-aggressive. Song lyrics were about all things British, with an emphasis on that cigarettes and alcohol, working-class culture; the music was a social commentary but it had a great, catchy, good-fun tune. Although the lyrics often made serious points, it was music you could dance to, sing along with and party to.

Interior design and pop culture

Music that makes you feel like cutting loose and partying has always shaped our lives. Take pop music of the 60s and 70s, for example. Home d├ęcor of this era featured bold, bright stripes, zigzags and swirls in yellow, orange and brown, as well as disco balls and geometric shapes to mimic the disco vibe that had taken the world by storm.

Brit Pop was first and foremost British, and its style was embodied by the Union Jack: a symbol of pride and nationalism. The British flag influenced design and continues to do so by appearing in different formats on walls, murals, and picture frames. Typography art, word-clouds or wordles (a collection of words associated with a certain subject made into a piece of art) from Brit Pop lyrics, scatter cushions, as well as phone cases and T-shirts can all be found with Brit Pop themes. The artist of the time was British modern artist Damien Hirst, whose work included preserved dead animals including a sheep, a cow and a tiger shark.

Brit Pop has inspired not just artists and designers, but also fashion: fashion of the Brit Pop era was influenced by the collared shirts and leather jackets worn by the likes of alternative rock band The Smiths and The Jam in the 1980s. Followers of Brit Pop in the 90s wore a mixture of student and sporty casual, such as Fred Perry polo shirts, zip-up tracksuit tops, and Adidas sports shoes, and baggy, scruffy parkas, teamed with sunglasses, messy hair and a sultry look. And happily for the generation of the 90s, the Brit Pop era continues to influence much of our culture even now.

October 30, 2014

Damon Albarn receives blue plaque at Leytonstone

Damon Albarn has received a new blue plaque at his former Leytonstone home.

According to The Guardian, the Blur singer visited his childhood home at 21 Fillebrook Road, Leytonstone, this week. The singerlived in the house until he was nine-years-old and attended George Tomlinson Primary School, in Harrington Road.

 He said: “Its multi-racial population had a very profound effect on me, and the borough has a very particular feel to it, given the proximity to Epping Forest and places like Hollow Ponds. “I remember cows coming down this road on a regular basis. You wouldn’t believe it now what with the A12 extension, but memories like that obviously stuck with me.”

Albarn’s recent Mercury-nominated album, Everyday Robots, recalls his early childhood living in Fillebrook Road and one of the songs is named Hollow Ponds.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest council, said: “This borough has produced talented people from all walks of life and given Damon is such a huge name in the world of music it was right that we should celebrate him as a son of Leytonstone too.

 “Having been privileged to have met him, it is obvious that he has a real affection for the borough, as anyone listening to Hollow Ponds on his new album can hear.

This marks a new place to visit for any Blur fans who is eager to visit Blur-related landmarks around London and the UK.

October 29, 2014

5 Reasons why Britpop won't die

1. Parklife still exists - everyone's jogging in the park these days

2. We all know someone who is the girl who are boys who like boys to be girls 

3. Damon Albarn's still a Britpop man- just look at the way he dresses

4. Milky's a UK icon

5. Gorillaz sounds a bit like Blur - seriously, just listen to Tomorrow comes Today

October 23, 2014

New Damon Albarn song- Sister Rust

The cinematic song features on the soundtrack to the action film starring Scarlett Johansson.

The majority of the music in the film was provided by composer Eric Serra. Lucy is released in the UK on August 22 but is already out in America.


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