'It was like we'd gatecrashed someone else's party': how Britpop stars Menswear came apart at the seams

General Info on Blur

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Back in 1994, the sharp-suited quintet might do no incorrect as report labels fought to sign them. However in-fighting, drug abuse – and knocking a Coke can over on Peter Gabriel’s mixing desk – led to a speedy demise

Menswear are regaling me with tales from once they have been the most well liked new band in Britain. It was autumn 1994. Blur and Oasis had gone supernova and the music business needed the subsequent massive Britpop thing. Dozens of document corporations attended the sharp-suited quintet’s first gig at London’s Smashing club, the four-song performance starting a bidding warfare. One label even mounted what singer Johnny Dean describes as a “kidnap attempt” to stop them signing to a rival.

“They have been making an attempt to bundle me and our supervisor into a black cab to get us out of London,” explains guitarist Chris Gentry, who was 17. “On the final second we thought: ‘No, let’s not do this.’”

At T within the Park, they printed “Have a drink on Menswear” on banknotes and threw them to the gang to make use of to buy booze

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