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Reach for the Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s Final Party: A Times Summer Read 2023

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There was a relentless onslaught from Leigh Francis, which I could never quite understand. The impact it had on me was I was trying to save face and be like the music is the thing.

Reach for the Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s… Reach for the Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s…

I didn’t have a great relationship with them because I said Nadine was the best singer. So, obviously the other four hated me. Using the arrival of the Spice Girls as a jumping-off point, this fascinating new narrative will explore, celebrate and contextualise the thus-far-uncharted period of British pop that flourished between 1996 and 2006. A double-denim-loving time before the glare of social media and the accession of streaming. Nobody buys books. No one's going to read this. No one's going to read these sorts of things. They just don't.' -- Louis Walsh

The Guardian review is here . Here’s a nice one from The Observer. Another from The Times , and one from its weekend sister, The Sunday Times . Classic Pop gave it 5/5, which was lovely. I wrote something about it for the Daily Express , while The Mirror ran this extract . Heat did one too . As did The Guardian . I also wrote this piece for The Guardian about how bonkers some of the pop was. Rather than accept that two competing ideas can both offer up positives and negatives, the pop vs indie debate became a war. Frankly, in book-form at least, it feels like the indie side has had its say. Part of why I wanted to do this book…was to add some extra weight to a hugely important period of UK music that often felt ignored in the stream of chin-stroking think pieces on Britpop, the post-Strokes UK indie resurgence or the post-MySpace Arctic Monkeys chatter.

Reach for the Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s Final Reach for the Stars: 1996–2006: Fame, Fallout and Pop’s Final

But it wasn’t like I didn’t feel it every time someone was shouting my name in a northern accent. I had to ride the storm and I’m so thankful the second wave of my music happened. You won't find a more comprehensive and entertaining pop book than this.' -- Jordan Paramor, journalist and authorOn 11 February, the Brit awards will break new ground, taking place on a Saturday for the first time in its 46-year history. With performances from acts including Lizzo and Harry Styles, the hope is to “breathe new life into the ceremony, while also introducing a new and more engaged audience”, according to this year’s Brits chairman, Damian Christian, who is managing director and president of promotions at Atlantic Records.

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