Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's amazing

how such seemingly innocuous things can wind up being so important in the grand scheme of things.

C86, the unassuming mail-order cassette compiled by NME, through which the indie sound and scene first coalesced, will have its 20th anniversary celebrated tonight with the first of two gigs at London's ICA, the venue where many of the tape's bands performed.

A double-CD released this week, CD86, sets out the wider scene these bands were part of, and a documentary, Hungry Beat, will be released next year. It is a remarkable upsurge of interest in a scene that self-consciously kept itself on the fringe of the mainstream, but nevertheless became hugely influential.


After punk's Year Zero attitude, and early 1980s' synth-pop, this return to the past is one of C86's defining legacies. Primal Scream's "Velocity Girl" began the tape, and inspired The Stone Roses, in turn sparking Oasis, who would be signed alongside Primal Scream by McGee, shortly before conquering the world with their fuzzed Beatles riffs. From The Living Room to Knebworth was not such a long trip.

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