Sleeper for the middle of the week/pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Sleeper was one of the more successful bands of the “Britpop” era. Begun when singer Louise Wener met guitarist Jon Stewart at a Political Philosophy class at Manchester University in 1987. Advertised for a bass player and drummer and initially called themselves Surrender Dorothy but changed their name to Sleeper, after the Woody Allen film of the same name. Their first records came out in 1993, via Indolent Records, an Indie label that had recently formed as primarily a marketing firm. They released three singles and ep’s before scoring a breakthrough with Inbetweener. Just before that, they were opening act for Blur during their tour to promote Parklife.
Their debut album, Smart, was issued in 1995 and has gone down as one of the very first Britpop albums to win a BPI Gold disc for selling over 100,000 copies. It was quickly followed by their follow up album, The It Girl which went platinum and scored hit for four singles, including their cover of the Blondie song, Atomic, which was featured in the hit film Trainspotting.
This session, done for Bernard Lenoir for his Black Sessions program over RFI in Paris. It was recorded on March 8, 1994, just as the band were grabbing attention. It’s a high energy performance, with the French audience going suitably crazy.
Sleeper had a good run, lasting from 1993-1998 when they split and went in different directions, either with new bands or new careers. They reunited for live performances in February this year joining in a tour that included The Bluetones, Dodgy and Space. The tour, known as The Star Shaped Festival did four dates, but there doesn’t appear to be any chance of another single or album coming from them.
If you missed them the first time around, get acquainted – Louise Wener has achieved icon-status, as one of Britpop’s biggest female stars and most enduring sex symbols.
Crank this one up.