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The girls who beat Britpop

The girls who beat Britpop

By Anna Trevelyan

As four-piece girl group All Saints prepare for their first headline UK tour in 15 years it’s exciting to see how their music has evolved since they shot to fame back in 1997. With their comeback single, One Strike, released earlier this year their album of the same name has since received rave reviews by music critics. Surveys showed the group’s comeback sat extremely well with fans too, who are keen to pay to see them perform live later on this year.

All Saints recently gave an insightful interview to the BBC, detailing their struggle with the music scene at the time of their debut. The late 90s was all about Britpop, ‘ladettes’ and the Spice Girls. Barbie Girl had been number 1, and Oasis were currently number 1 in the chart with Be Here Now, so it was both refreshing and inspiring when the four-piece appeared on Top Of The Pops with their dressed-down image, lack of choreographed routines and their ‘don’t care’ attitude. The music was fantastic, too – Pure Shores is still one of my favourite songs – and if you listen to their 90s music now it still sounds current, catchy and well written. Not only did member Shaznay Lewis write their lyrics, the girls were not a manufactured group and clearly refused to wear revealing skimpy outfits every time they performed (unlike many of their musical counterparts at the time).

Members Melanie Blatt, Natalie Appleton, Shaznay Lewis and Nicole Appleton have since spoken about the sexism they encountered in the Britpop age. Producers allegedly demanded them to dress provocatively, and they often received comments about their appearance which male band members didn’t have to deal with. They have said it was a difficult time to be a female in the music industry then. Yet after huge chart success, followed by a couple of difficult years (and two splits), the group are back together and seemingly stronger than ever.

With current statistics of females earning less in music than males, it’s no wonder women are put off of entering the industry. Surveys show that the gender divide across all music industry related jobs is 67.8% male to 32.2% female, so to see a girl band who write their own music, sing live and dress the way they want to dress offers an interesting and inspirational role model for young women. And with successful single One Strike apparently inspired by Nicole Appleton’s split with Liam Gallagher, it’s clearly the ladies who shunned Britpop who have had the last laugh.

What do you think about the return of All Saints? Do you love their new music, or is their old stuff the best? At Opinion Outpost we love hearing what you have to say, so why not join the discussion on our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts! (And, don’t forget to share your opinion in our latest paid survey. We have all sorts of paid surveys available, so you can earn money in your spare time. Check out our latest surveys today!)


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