Is Britpop a #metoo moment? Jo Whiley reveals that she often felt ‘vulnerable’ as a woman interviewing ’90s bands, as Lauren Laverne puts it, there are ‘a lot of horror stories’ from that era.

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Speaking to Steve Lamacq, with whom Whiley hosted The Evening Sessions in the 1990s, the Radio 2 DJ said she had felt quite vulnerable as a woman interviewing Britpop stars, admitting that

Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley says she often felt ‘vulnerable’ as a woman working in the music industry during the Britpop era, when bands like Blur, Oasis, Suede and Pulp dominated the charts. hits in the 1990s.

Speaking on the BBC Sounds podcast The Rise and Fall of Britpop, Whiley, 58, who hosted The Evening Sessions on Radio 1 and frequently hosted Top of the Pops throughout the ’90s, said she wasn’t always comfortable interviewing Britpop. the biggest stars of the decade: because the industry was ruled by a ‘traditional masculinity’ that focused on ‘beer, sex, football and fast cars’.

During the series’ fourth episode, titled Connection: The Rise of Lad Culture, Whiley tells Steve Lamacq, who co-hosted her on The Evening Sessions, that women in the music scene were often “on guard” and “protecting themselves ourselves.” saying, ‘We never discussed anything that was going on.

His candid comments on the 17-minute podcast episode drew praise from many, including Radio 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne, once lead singer of indie band Kenickie, who said: “Well said… so many horror stories. of that time”.

Speaking to Steve Lamacq, with whom Whiley hosted The Evening Sessions in the ’90s, the Radio 2 DJ said she had felt quite vulnerable as a woman interviewing Britpop stars, admitting she “wished to God” she had asked more about the well-being of female independent acts during that era

Lauren Laverne, who once fronted indie band Kenickie, praised her BBC colleague for speaking out about what it was like to be a woman in the music industry in the '90s. The Desert Island Discs host said: 'there were 'so many horror stories' from that period

Lauren Laverne, who once fronted indie band Kenickie, praised her BBC colleague for speaking out about what it was like to be a woman in the music industry in the ’90s, saying there were “a lot of horror stories”.

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She added: “Thank goodness the culture has changed and we look forward to supporting the people who followed us (as best we could) along the way.”

Skunk Anansie lead singer Skin also responded to the Instagram post, saying, “Well said.”

Bands from the Britpop era are currently enjoying a renaissance, with Blur and Pulp playing major gigs this summer.

During the podcast, Whiley and Lamacq discussed ‘boy culture’, saying the ’90s saw a return to traditional ’60s masculinity, where men were seen as only interested in football, fast cars, beer and sex, albeit with an ‘added’ ironic and self-aware twist,” he added.

The duo compared Blur’s 1995 video for Country House, directed by artist Damien Hurst and featuring glamorous models, as “something almost Benny Hill”, where the women appeared as “little dolly birds”.

Britpop is enjoying a renaissance with bands like Blur, pictured at the Brit Awards in 1995, and Pulp performing to sellout crowds again this summer.

Britpop is enjoying a renaissance with bands like Blur, pictured at the Brit Awards in 1995, and Pulp performing to sellout crowds again this summer.

The latest episode of the BBC Sounds podcast The Rise and Fall of Britpop criticized the video for Blur’s Country House 1995, saying it was “like something almost Benny Hill”.

Whiley described the power play in the industry at the time, telling Lamacq that music journalists often had the upper hand, which meant artists were being asked to do things that might have made them feel “compromised.” “.

Whiley said that she was uncomfortable with the sexualisation of the music industry by magazines such as Loaded and Select, saying: “I think a lot of the girls who were part of the music scene and Britpop were uncomfortable with that as well.” .

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The episode looked at double standards in the industry, with Sleeper’s Louise Wener saying she was painted as a “crazy sex obsessed pop tart” because she wrote about sex in the song Delicious.

While with colleague Steve Lamacq pictured hosting The Evening Sessions in 1994, he said music journalists at the time often had 'the power', meaning artists would be asked to do things that could have made them feel committed

While with colleague Steve Lamacq pictured hosting The Evening Sessions in 1994, he said music journalists at the time often had ‘the power’, meaning artists would be asked to do things that could have made them feel committed

She told the podcast: “I must have done 100 hundred interviews over the course of two and a half years and there would only be two or three women.” [interviewing].

“Particularly in this country, the dominance of male journalists was extraordinary.”

Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage, told The Face magazine in December that the music industry in the ’90s was “incredibly misogynistic and sexist,” saying that “the music press in particular was really pushy and nasty, And it hurt me deeply.”

Whiley said the 'ladette culture' of the time made women 'protective and cautious', saying 'nobody wanted to fall apart'

Whiley said the ‘ladette culture’ of the time made women ‘protective and cautious’, saying ‘nobody wanted to fall apart’

Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson, pictured in 1996, told The Face magazine in December about the sexism that existed during that period for female artists, saying that “the music press in particular was really aggressive and nasty, and It hurt me deeply.”

Skunk Anasie lead singer Skin pictured in 1996

Skunk Anasie lead singer Skin, pictured in 1996 and, right, at Glastonbury in 2022, responded to Whiley’s podcast, calling her comments “well said.”

Music fans who commented on the Instagram post also praised the Radio 2 DJ for speaking up.

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One wrote: ‘A friend and I (both in our early 40s) started talking about surviving the 90s as teenagers.

“At first glance, the ladette thing seemed progressive, since you didn’t have to present yourself as super feminine as a girl. But deep down it was all misogynistic and you were expected to shut up and put up with it, otherwise you wouldn’t be being cool.

In 2021, Mark Morriss, frontman for The Bluetones, denied allegations of manipulation and abuse made by his ex-wife Anna Wharton.

In 2021, Mark Morriss, frontman for The Bluetones, denied allegations of manipulation and abuse made by his ex-wife Anna Wharton. Pictured on stage at Kew in 2017

Another added: ‘Glad @jowhiley brought this up. British pop is always seen through rose-tinted men’s glasses.

In 2021, the ex-wife of indie band The Bluetones frontman Mark Morris wrote an explosive essay about his behaviour, accusing him of cheating on her and saying he told her: “You knew what my job was when you met me” when she discovered him doing it. trap. with britpop fans.

She said of his infidelity: ‘They were always fans. Women she met at concerts. She told them that we were done. She told them this whole ‘she cheated on me’ line to get sympathy. Six weeks after we got married, he was in bed with another fan. ‘

In a statement to The Guardian, Morriss denied cheating on his ex-wife, saying at the time: “I may have been thoughtless and selfish in some of my dealings in my personal life lately, but these allegations of abuse and cheating are totally untrue. “. and I completely refute them.’

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