Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Just about alright

Fifteen years ago today I arrived in the UK with a couple of suitcases, a little bit of money, and huge hopes for love, adventure, and prosperity - well, of a sort, anyway. The next morning, when my then wife-to-be left our tiny apartment in Vauxhall for work, I switched on the radio to survey the audio landscape of my new home before venturing out into the real world to try to shake off my jet lag. And out came this, the first song I heard on commercial radio in the UK. It's by no means my favorite from Supergrass, but still every time I hear it, I find myself right back in the feeling of that moment.

And the song is probably also emblematic of the general sense of optimism percolating through that era: the rise of "Britpop;" the promise of New Labour; "Cool Britannia;" the approaching Millennium; new technological and economic paradigms; previously unknown prosperity - much of which optimism, we now know, was underpinned by poor planning, poor regulation, and a lack of prudence and foresight which has led us to the nightmare, sorry, "significant challenges and opportunities," which now confront us. Still, on July 7, 1995, it was all there to play for, and I relish the memory.

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