Is it coincidence that I am writing this reflection of Emily Andersen’s ‘Love in the Key of Britpop’ while Blur’s ‘Girls and Boys’ shuffles randomly on my ipod?
‘Love in the Key of Britpop’ is a one woman spoken word performance by Melbourne/London writer, Emily Andersen. I had decided to buy tickets for the show (playing as part of the Adelaide Fringe) because of the Patsy Kensit/Liam Gallagher referencing publicity image (hello, Union Jack bed cover) and because nothing gets me to a venue sooner than the still tantalising to me word, ‘Britpop’. I was 16 in 1995; I remember buying Oasis’s very first single, I remember the release of ‘Girls and Boys’, my love for Elastica still remains as strong as ever, Jarvis Cocker asking if we remembered the first time, seeing Suede perform on the Brit Awards on television and then listening to the CD over and over. Back then, I was Justine Frischmann and my boyfriend, a Damon Albarn look-a-like.
Aww, Justine & Damon back in the heyday
The thing is I thought I was the only one who still yearned to dance to the early hours on a Britpop dance floor somewhere and still cared about the cultural and historical importance of this, now historical, musical genre.
In ‘Love in the Key of Britpop’ Andersen artfully merges the importance of music, as cultural taste marker with the heady ruse of a newly formed relationship. Her words have the tempo and rhythm of poetry and beautifully detail the heady rush of love for music and sharing that love with someone special. I also admired the way Andersen used location as a theme in her story; both the real and the imagined space of song. I was able to situate myself on the 96 tram and the London locations that only really exist for me through the lyrics of Blur and Morrissey. Music has the ability to take us somewhere else and I guess, what this show and my love of Britpop has reminded me of, is my daydream desire to at times return to my youth. To relive those wild youthful nights and return to a place when I had time to care about the nuances and intricacies of lyrics and debate how much better Elastica are compared to Sleeper.
Since seeing the show on Friday night I have had The Smiths ‘Rubber Ring’ going around in my head:
“Don’t forget the songs that made you cry
And the songs that saved your life
Yes you’re older now and a clever swine
But they’re the only ones who ever stood by you”
** Love in the Key of Britpop is now playing at Tuxedo Cat during the Adelaide Fringe Festival until the 26th February. Tickets available at the door or book online http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/Love-in-the-Key-of-Britpop/8822762b-6594-451e-9672-6dafd4ba01e5