If you, like me, are of a Certain Age then you might find it frightening to realise that it’s been 20 years since the blur v oasis battle that marked the height of Britpop. Yes, 20 years since Jarvis was forced to ban that sick stunt, 20 years since a group of Irish upstarts sang about teenage love, 20 years since the last time John Power sold a record. Supergrass are no longer young and the jury’s out on whether they still run green. Kenicke took some criticism from Nathan to heart and went their separate ways, with Lauren Laverne becoming a DJ and Emmy-Kate still fuming over being told her band were “really, really average”. So, how to mark the anniversary? Well, we’re not young any more either and so a Sunday morning toddler disco in Peckham seemed just the ticket.
But first we had to get there. If there’s one thing older than Noel Gallagher’s Brit Award it’s the trains that are now running on the Chingford Line. Yes, TfL, Abellio ran away with all the good ones…My heart is breaking for you. Now, could I please get to Peckham on a Sunday morning? No? Why then, I will defy you and get there anyway…a mere hop on a bus to Leytonstone, followed by the Central Line, the Jubilee Line and the Overground. Look at Eva enjoying the South London views:
Of course, she noticed me taking pictures of her and started to pose:
This was one of many. Still, it made the journey pass quickly.
Against all the odds, we got there not just on time but early. I’d promised Nathan a coffee, so we sat in the not-quite-open cafe and had a couple of not-quite-white flat whites.
They take card by the way…it’s the kind of place you assume wouldn’t. But they do. Hooray! Let’s add some chocolate cake to that order:
Fuelled on caffeine and sugar, it was time to dance. The kids were particularly excited by the “disco fingers”- little lights you could wear on your finger for portable discoing. I was excited to hear some tunes I hadn’t danced to for a long time (“Sandstorm”, anyone?) as well as some timeless Britpop classics. All hands were in the air for “Parklife”. And also for “Design for Life” but in a different kind of way. It’s hard to punch the air and shout about getting drunk when it’s 11:15 on a Sunday morning and you’re dancing with your 3 year old. Still, all the children appreciated a bit of a bounce to Supergrass. We used to play “I Should Coco” to Reuben when he was a baby and I’d like to think he remembers that. But really, I think he was just taken by the rhythm.
I was taken with the way that Becky had matched The NimbleTot’s dress to her bird puppet. Eva, meanwhile, had taken all the inflatable microphones:
As ever, I failed to get any non-blurry photos of them dancing as..yknow…they move quickly. But here’s Roo pausing to fix the elastic band on his disco finger:
After half an hour or so, we were all a little sweaty so it was good to sit down at the craft table and have a rest. Becky had been busily making Britpop-themed stick men to inspire the kids:
Can ya tell who they are? Nathan went with the theme and made the cover of blur’s “Magic Whip”:
While Eva was mainly crafting herself:
All this was to a soundtrack of Marion, Pulp and The Charlatans. I had to go back in and dance when they played “Sale of the Century” by Sleeper and “King of the Kerb” by Echobelly as I’d requested those bands (my first two gigs! 20 years ago next year!). It all went very quickly and I missed the Longpigs because I was faffing around taking children to the toilet. As a matter of fact, toilets like to be scented cause they don’t like the smell of themselves…. Like last time, I wanted to dance more than the kids did and they wanted to sit down more than I did (this is a recent development…I swear Roo never used to like sitting down). I wish there was a way to combine the two a bit more and I definitely wish it was a bit more local. But we had a fab time, reliving our misspent youth dancing to Britpop in darkened rooms. And the kids who weren’t even born in the Year 2000? They liked the bubbles and the disco fingers…as something for the weekend goes it was supersonic. I certainly won’t be burning this disco down…