Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall – Luke Haines


First, you fail. After four years of gigs no one attends, songs no one hears, perfect haircuts no one sees …London in the late eighties – where the pubs still close in the afternoon and dance music rules – is no place for an avant-garde songwriter like Luke Haines to be. Luke Haines, after all, has never been to a rave. One near-death experience later and there’s nothing left to lose. With just a ruined piano and a couple of cardboard boxes, you record a demo in your flat, form a new band and give it a pretentious name. Forget Blur/Oasis and Cool Britannia, none of that actually happened. This is the real story of English Rock in the nineties. Luke Haines has the inside line: from the teenage rampage of the early tours with Suede, mainstream success in France and failure in America, to the break-up of The Auteurs, the death of Britpop (the idiot runt-child of all music genres) and the birth of strange and frightening new projects Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder. In scathing and worryingly funny prose, Haines presents the evidence: Pulp, Elastica, Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain (and his hatred of mushrooms), and the dark studio magic of Steve Albini. Plus the sackings, the surreal self-medicating procedures, how to be a bad loser at the 1993 Mercury Music Prize, and what it’s like to be attacked on stage by a vicious, drunken dwarf. Bad Vibes is a pitch-black comic memoir from a legendary figure in the music world, variously described as pioneer, godfather or forgotten man of Britpop.