When Supergrass made their merry way up and down the pop charts in the 90’s their power pop guitar anthems, each release caught them flying first past the winning post with every release. The bands gigantic new box set The Strange Ones 1994-2008 empathically brings together just about all of the bands recordings with many unreleased gems from their glittering career.
Gaz Coombes, Danny Goffey, Mick Quinn and Rob Coombes with their mix of Madness, The Jam and The Buzzcocks inspired high energy numbers were the perfect fit in an era that spawned many new bands, however Supergrass had that little sprinkling of magic that all the great bands are able to pull from an unknown source. Maybe it’s because looked like a gang, the sort everyone wants to be friends with, they looked as if they were always having fun, on and off stage. Plus they had the unique ability to draw in large crowds due to the natural song writing abilities which saw Alright, Pumping On Your Stereo and Richard iii richly embraced into bedrooms that crossed continents.
Of the box set first off it’s huge. With all the albums remastered with added extras there are treat after treat for your listening pleasure. Of the unreleased material there’s a bunch of scorching live gigs including Glastonbury 1997, Reading Festival 1998 and an intimate gig at Ronnie Scotts from 2005. In my personal opinion in a live setting the bands raucous energy is best captured, with images of flailing arms and legs all over the stage, is it any wonder The Muppets creator Jim Hensons Creature Shop were attracted to bring their creations to be captured in one of the bands videos.
Again on a personal note it is slightly disappointing that the bands 1998 gig from Nottingham’s Rock City that was broadcast live on Radio 1 isn’t included as it featured a wonderful version of Time with the rest of the set up close and personal, almost punk like at times, the band were simply like no other at the time.
Now with the band firmly back on everyone’s radar playing reunion gigs all over the place this release is a vital piece of historical significance that isn’t to be shunned, even though the price tag might be slightly steeped don’t let that put you off the extensive catalogue available here which makes the buying price value for money. An enigmatic four piece with plenty of legs in their music marathon to come.
The Strange Ones 1994 – 2008 can be purchased from the following link