“Why is there a cabbage listing to headphones on the cover?
“Luke Haines is insane,” noted Son1 on seeing Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall.
And perhaps that’s as apt a review as the book should get, though I would add that Haines’ ’90s memoir is also extremely, and bad temperedly, funny.
Haines was the singer, song writer and guitarist with minor indie band The Auteurs. But they were indie as the genre crossed over from existing in the pages of the NME and on a separate chart, to storming the regular, Radio 1 sanctioned official chart and the public consciousness.
Consequently, Haines gets to be bad tempered, and funny, about Suede, Blur and a host of lessor Britpop also-rans that I may or may not have seen live during the 1990s.
Granted the bands I did see included Suede, Blur, Pulp, the Boo Radleys, Echobelly, Elastica, Gene, Sleeper and even, inexplicably, Northern Uproar during that decade.
What can I say, it was a time when the semi-obscure music I liked in 1991, 92, 93 suddenly burst into the mainstream.
At no time was this more evident than after my first term at university. Returning home for Christmas in December 1994 I was shocked to hear my Meat Loaf/Bon Jovi/Eagles loving friend proclaim that Pulp “were alright”.
But back to Haines and his book. It’s well written, despite the occasional typo that persists in the second edition I read, entertaining and very funny.
It also firmly lodged the Auteurs’ Showgirl in my brain as I read the first part and then, though I’m sure this was not the intention, spurred me on to create an iPod Britpop playlist as the book drew to a close.