Don't look back in anger

Checking in with 14 former stars of Britpop to see if modern life is truly rubbish in 2011
By KAYLEY KRAVITZ  |  August 17, 2011

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FIGHTING FIT Martin Rossiter of Gene now plays the keys in Call Me Jolene and teaches school children for a living.  


Someone once told me, "Britpop is dead. Get over it." But even when the impact, effect, and urgency of a subculture slowly fades away, its principal players remain in the trenches, left to make sense of a world without pop stardom. It's been more than 15 years since Britpop's heyday, and with the exception of one man – the Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards, who disappeared suddenly in 1995 – the rest of the cast is still trying to get by, just like the rest of us. Here's what they're up to these days...

Johnny Dean, vocalist, Menswear: Now leading a quiet life in London, the well-dressed Camden ringleader has zero desire to reunite his old band, and recently squelched the online rumor that he is managing a mobile phone shop. He did reveal in 2008, however, that he is suffering from Asperger's.

Jaime Harding, vocalist, Marion: Roughly a decade ago was busted for stealing lawn ornaments to support a drug habit, reunited Marion in 2006, currently fronts Exile Phoenixx... and last rumored to be working in a garden center (hide yo kids, hide yo gnomes).

Jarvis Cocker, vocalist, Pulp: Since the famed Sheffield Britpop act's farewell in the early 2000s, Cocker has released two well-received solo albums, took part in more than a handful of collaborations (Relaxed Muscle, anyone?!), and played a wizard rock star in 2005's Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. Pulp reunited earlier this year.

Justine Frischmann, vocalist/guitarist, Elastica: Co-wrote M.I.A.'s first album (M.I.A also supplied the cover art for Elastica's sophomore record, the Menace), appeared as a presenter on BBC architecture documentary series "Dreamspaces," narrated an Adam Ant biography for England's Channel 4, and is now married to a professor/climate scientist and working as an artist in California.

Brett Anderson, vocalist, Suede: After Suede fans longed for return of the famed songwriting tandem of Anderson and founding Suede guitarist Bernard Butler (Suede, Dog Man Star), the duo in 2004 formed the Tears with mixed results. Anderson reunited Suede in 2010, performed Coachella in March for their first American appearance on US soil in 14 years, and is releasing a third solo album this fall.

Alex James, bassist, Blur: Lives in a house, a very big house, in the country. But also wrote a book to tell us all about it in his 2007 autobiography, "Bit of a Blur."

Lauren Laverne, vocalist/guitarist, Kenickie: TV and radio presenter with the BBC, aspiring novelist, and played a zombie in 2004 Brit flick "Shaun of the Dead."

Louise Wener, vocalist, Sleeper: Left behind the Sleeperblokes in 1998 to pursue a writing career and motherhood. She's written four novels, and in 2010, switched gears and published her autobiography, "Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop."

Donna Matthews, guitarist, Elastica: Split from a brief romance with Menswe@r's Chris Gentry and a slightly longer one with Elastica, then proceeded to go bat shit crazy and reinvent herself as a born-again Christian and music therapist.

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