If you asked me to sum up the spirit of Britpop in one half-second, I would point you towards Justine Frischmann’s eyebrow as she says ‘oh’ right after the first chorus of ‘Connection’. It’s moody, naturally, but not surly; there’s a touch of knowing humour in there. Taking it all too seriously was never going to go down well; Cool Britannia was built around a widespread sense of bonhomie, a sense feeling good about ourselves.
It was easier back then, of course. Alongside the music, politics felt vaguely positive, while cinema enjoyed a notable peak in the nineties. Even the England team was half-decent back then. And what does the youth of today have? Brexit, Ed Sheeran and a return to defeats in semi-finals. I pity them, really I do.
This track was an early marker for what was to follow, justification for the rapidly brewing Britpop buzz. And it’s a classic of the genre: short, at under three minutes; punchy and guitar-driven; and, of course, excellent – never underestimate the foundation of quality upon which the hype was built. Oh, and they’re all wearing black in the video, which is what I remember most people wearing in the Nineties.
Elastica burned briefly and brightly, but, for reasons well documented, and didn’t have the sustained career of some of their contemporaries. But does it matter when you’ve written a debut as good as theirs? Sometimes, one album is all you need to make an indelible mark on Britain’s musical culture.
Top 3 Elastica songs (not especially radical choices, but then there’s not hundreds to choose from):