SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Supergrass!

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Supergrass was a ferocious, witty, joyous band generally associated with the 1990s-era “Britpop” rock-with-actual-instruments phenomenon, but in fact orbiting somewhere on the fringe.

Rock? Pop? Alternative? How about cool as fuck, and leave it at that?

The video is a documentary released in conjunction with an early 2000s compilation; it stops short of the group’s final two albums. There was to have been a 2020 reunion tour, and perhaps the February portion went through before the planet shut down.

Supergrass tell us about their reunion and 2020 tour: “We’re going to bring joy into a slightly disturbed world”NME

Supergrass: “We’re always been about manic energy”The Guardian

So, where does Shane enter into it? Supergrass doesn’t fit the buttoned-down Gahanist culture of corruption.

Having been a Supergrass fan since 1999 or thereabouts, it never dawned on me even once to learn what “supergrass” means, if anything.

When (Gaz) Coombes began working at the local Harvester he befriended co-worker Mick Quinn. The two realised they had common music interests and Coombes invited Quinn to come and jam with himself and (Danny) Goffey. In February 1993 they formed Theodore Supergrass, “for about two months” Quinn explains, “then we realized that Theodore was a bit rubbish so we took that off.”

Goffey claims that the name was his idea and says; “Although the others will dispute it, it was me. We were Theodore Supergrass and the idea was the band would be a little black character, and we wouldn’t ever have to do interviews. We’d get the questions in advance, script the answers and then animate Theodore Supergrass answering them. But it cost too much money.”

In British English, “supergrass” is an informant.

supergrass
noun
US /ˈsuː.pɚ.ɡræs/ UK /ˈsuː.pə.ɡrɑːs/

a person, especially a criminal, who gives the police a lot of information about the activities of criminals, especially serious ones

Compare: fink, sneak, snitch, stool pigeon, telltale, tattletale

Gaz gets the coda.

“It was being in the studio that broke us. For me it was almost like post-traumatic stress – why would you want to revisit a place where one feels it was at its worst? Supergrass has always been about manic energy. The essence of playing live is where it really works.”

Glastonbury, 2004:

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