Thursday, 15 May 2014

She dreams of a fast getaway.... Sleeper

Just another female fronted band?

No actually! In fact the band I’m writing about today would go on to be the epitome of Britpop and would show that it wasn’t just blokes that could front successful indie bands.

I would like to introduce …… Sleeper

Many people remember the bands that first got them into music and whilst some of us dabbled into certain music genres at an younger age that we would like to forget (Hip Hop and Metal were mine!) there are bands and musicians that picked up your ears and lead you away from the school of sheep that told you was cool at the time.  For me bands Like Whiteout, Elastica, Menswe@r and echobelly were bands that I found on my own but without Sleeper I don’t think I would have the excitement to peruse other acts. Once again I found myself tuning into the Radio 1’s Evening Session and upon hearing the single Swallow i found myself being knocked back by the spunkiness of it all and had whilst having visions of what the lead singer looked like! Then they released my favourite sleeper single Delicious with its sordid lyrics and its spangled guitar all played at a furious pace and as a teenager I always thought Louise Wener was singing about me.
So we find ourselves in 1995 and we find the British public opening its arms to bands coming out of each and every corner of the land and Sleeper would be top of the cue and to seal the deal they would release the song that would push them into the limelight, they went and released Inbertweener. From the early singles reaching the heady heights of the mid 70’s in the UK single charts the single would be sitting pretty at number sixteen and would be a fitting introduction to the forthcoming album Smart. The single would set the tone for their debut album and their sound that would continue through all their albums with its witty lyrics and punchy choruses. Like some other bands of the time Sleeper would have the knack of writing songs that were so very British with themes including  Fashion, sordid sex games, staying out all night and just getting pissed. With the release of their debut album Smart we find the band all over the music press and also splattered over the chests of teens with the explosion of band t-shirts that were being sold at every gig by EVERY band that toured around England. Even though my Sleeper T-shirt didn’t fit me too well I wore it with pride and would be found wearing it at the front row when they played the Phoenix festival in mid-1996.

Things went better and better for the band when they released the single What do I do now and would give them their highest chart position sitting nicely at number 14. It would also be forever found on Britpop compilation albums till the end of time and quite rightly so as it’s a bloody classic. With its infectious chorus and lyrics that would resonate in every teenagers mind at the time we find a song about heartbreak, longing and wanting to be loved. It would also be of the many songs that the band would be remembered fondly for and would even go on to be covered by Elvis Costello.  So with the forthcoming 2nd album on the horizon the band would release one of their highest charting singles and like the single What I Do Know before it would become a sleeper anthem. Sale of the century would be the 2nd single of the new album The It Girl and would chart at number ten and would also feature a cover of the Blondie song Atomic that the band had recorded for the Trainspotting sound track that would further more seal Louise Wener as the queen of Britpop.

So yes it’s about that time that I start writing about the dreaded year of 1997 and the demise of one of my favourite bands of the era. The band would go on to release two more singles and their last studio album Pleased To Meet You and would disband in 1998 although the band would go on release a greatest hits album in 2007.

So there you go, we have another casualty of the Britpop implosion of 1997 and a band that would be sorely missed. But we should take the rough with the smooth and rejoice if that fact that for a small time they would enjoy the success that they deserved and would leave 3 fantastic albums.  And they are one of the sole reasons i am writing this blog and why i am telling their story so they will never be forgotten.

Wow 797 words and not even a mention of the Sleeperbloke   Doh!

Check out the single Inbertweener for a hidden gem of a song called Disco Duncan. You just might find it to be the greatest ever B-side ever released!

No comments:

Post a Comment