It must have been brilliant to have been in Supergrass. No, not for the teeth ‘n’ smiles of their classic single “Alright”, but rather for the sheer bloody quality of their music between 1993 and 2010, as heard in performance, and over 26 singles and 6 superb studio albums. There was an energy and infectious joy about guitarist and lead singer, Gaz Coombes (who looked like he might be Jack Black’s handsome, younger brother); Mick Quinn, bass and vocals; and Danny Goffey, drums and vocals; and Rob Coombes, keyboards.
Like everyone else, I first heard Supergrass through John Peel, who played their opener “Caught by the Fuzz” with zealous dedication. He went on to list it at number 5 in his Festive Fifty for 1994. The song told the semi-autobiographical tale of Gaz being nicked for possession of marijuana, when he was 15. It happened when he driving home one night, and was pulled over by the police:
“I stuck the hash down my pants,but I had it in a little metal tin. I was standing on the pavement, and the tin just went all the way down my trousers and landed on the pavement with a ting. The copper went, ‘What’s that, son?’”
It was perfectly pitched, capturing teenage angst and its bravado brilliantly, and was “exactly what being a teenager sounds like.”
With a musical introduction like that, I knew Supergrass would never disappoint - and they never did. Well, until they split up, that is. (Though I still await the release of their Krautrock inspired 7th album…)
In 1999, Supergrass played a short gig on Spanish television’s Radio 3, introducing material from their third album, as well as previous hits.