This week Menswe@r have released the single “Wait for the sun” from their un-released in the UK second album (it was released in Japan). This was a surprise, but is part of a 25 year celebration, with a box set to be released covering the debut Nuisance, the second album Hay Tiempo! and various singles and demos.
I was the right age for Britpop, and so remember Menswear starting out. I read NME every week, and pored over each article and advert.
I recall hearing about this band, and then heard their debut single “I’ll manage somehow”. It had a squall of guitar at the start, and a great shout along chorus. It was brilliant. I managed to track down a copy, I have a feeling I had to mail order (no internet kiddies!) as only a shop in London had it.
The debut album arrived in late 1995. I was on a year out from Uni, living in Scunthorpe in north Lincs, not exactly a hot bed of music, but this helped keep me going. Tracks like Daydreamer, Being Brave and The One. Yes it was derivative, with elements of Blur, Wire, and most Britpop staples, but it was fun, shouty, and just great pop.
They were a little derided in the press. They had formed following an article in Select magazine about Mods, where two members interviewed mentioned their nonexistent band. They hung about in Camden, drank at the Good Mixer, and were typical of the mid 90s Britpop era. And they exploded pretty quickly, the band falling apart around 1997, when the second album didn’t get a release.
By that stage I didn’t miss them, I was onto other music – my tastes were less poppy and more long form, matching the Britpop hangover in the music scene. However, revisiting their music is great, and they stand up much better than some of the bandwagon jumpers who were signed in that time.
Go ahead and buy the box set. They played great poppy guitar music, had amazing confidence, and dressed superbly. All things I lacked!