Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Take it easy chicken ...... Mansun

The opening track on any album is the opening door to what's lurking inside, within 20 seconds of the first play you can tell what the album will turn into. Albums like Going Blank Again by Ride, Urban Hyms by The Verve and The Stone Roses debut are just some of the albums throughout the 90's that had classic album openers.

Then along come a bunch of lads from Chester who would release one of the all time best debut albums to be released during the 90's even if it would signal the end of Britpop.

The album would be titled Attack Of The The Grey Lantern, the Opening track would be The Chad Who Loved Me and the band would be the very influential Mansun.

So on a technical note I must state that people have stated that Mansun were not a Britpop band, and to some point I agree but just because their debut album came out just as the Britpop bubble burst shouldn't mean they get dismissed as such. They released their debut single Take it Easy Chicken in 1995 just midway through scene and released in all seven singles before they released Lantern in 1997.  Now if you have taken a little peak at my blog at all then you would have read about what my defeniton of Britpop was and is. It's not about the sound as such or even the style that came from it. To me Britpop was about bands coming together for the first time since the sixties and forcing British bands into the public eye once again. All the bands have been influenced by other British artists from generations past and for once Great Britian had something to shout about and be proud of and also for kids like me it was the best time to be alive. 

Ok so back to the band. The first time I heard the band was from the legend Steve Lamacq from Radio 1's evening session.  From what I can recall they played Take it Easy Chicken even though the band had never played a gig but this resulted in the band securing their first record contract with Parlophone.  I personally fell in love with the band when they released their second single Skin up Pin up which I remember fondly with its distorted riffs and drum machine backed up beats all squeezed onto a single white coloured 7" vinyl record.  So even before their debut album the band had released seven singles which five of those were multi track E.p's.  That's some going for a band just getting started also considering that each song could easily be a single and not just an album filler.  The first time I saw them play live was around my birthday in 1995 and I saw them support Echobelly along with Heavy Stereo and it was quite a gig I can tell you.  Playing songs like Flourella, Take it Easy Chicken, Stripper Vicar, Ski Jump Nose and Skin up Pin up they were one of the best support acts that I have seen with such an energetic live presence but with all the charm and swagger of a established rock band. 

So with the massive singles Wide Open Space and She Makes my Nose Bleed being released to an enthusiastic audience the band released their debut album Attack Of The Grey Lantern, knocking Blur off the #1 spot in the album chart.  Fast forward to 1998 with Britpop fading in the memories of the British public and we see bands being dropped from their labels and disbanding and fading into the back of the nations minds. It was a tough time for new British bands to get noticed and established acts to find the strength to find new ways to carry on. We find Mansun releasing their last two albums to critical disappointment and not a commercial success as their debut and as a result the band split in 2003.

With a dedicated fan base always behind the band, the fans managed to get the band's record company to release the complication album titled Kleptomania which included songs from the bands unreleased fourth album mixed with a selection of B sides.

Although no longer around the band still have many fans around the world still playing their music and keeping the name alive.  Not bad for a band who have been banned from entering every Happy Eater and Holiday Inn around the UK. 


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