The Battle of Britpop

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Blur or Oasis? This was the question we were asking ourselves on August 14th 1995 when one of the most famous battles of the bands took place. The two groups went head to head with their two singles - Blur's Country House and Oasis's Roll with it.

The battle of Britpop was dubbed by the media as the heavy weight championship of the music industry. It was likened to that of the battle between sixties bands The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The battle was important to the fans as it symbolised class within 90's society. Oasis was formed in Manchester with the bandmates coming from a working class background. The Gallagher brothers were brought up within a family of plumbers and a mother who worked as a lunch lady in the school cafeteria.

Even though Blur's frontman Damon Albarn was born and bred in east London, the group was seen to be from a more middle class background. Blur was dismissed by Northern Oasis fans as "preening, public schoolboys." However both bands spoke to the same generation and made what was an underground genre into a mainstream phenomenon.

As the battle came to a close the final number of copies sold stood at - Blur: 274,000 and Oasis: 216,000. Blur outsold Oasis by 58,000 copies yet in the end Oasis became the more commercially successful band when they cracked America with their hit singles Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova.

Blur became eclipsed by Oasis's fame and were left behind as we entered the millennium. Oasis further solidified their greater prowess by playing to 250,000 people over two nights at Knebworth. Allegedly around 2.5million people had tried to get tickets to the event. It confirmed that Oasis had become the biggest band in the world. One publication even quipped, "They may have lost the battle, but they definitely won the war."

The raw, edgy sound of Blur and Oasis's music epitomised the Britpop decade but it wouldn't have been Britpop without the mod hair do's, baggy clothes and sports inspired fashion. Rokit takes a look at the two bands most notable styles.


From music to mannerisms, haircuts to fashion, the look was decidedly retro and was hugely influenced by 60's mod rockers.

Liam Gallagher favoured a shaggy haired, roughed-up look with the iconic union jack print at the forefront of his style. His rock-star behaviour was just as much a fashion accessory as his parka. In a copy of NME he famously called his brother "one of the biggest cocks in the universe." He's even been banned from his local pub.

Noel preferred a baggy, laid-back style. His Harrington jacket was a style staple as well as aviator sunnies and a Beatle-esque hair-do. The other brother also decided that a big-ego and a big-gob would work well with his look. On winning the award for Best British Video at the Brit Awards in 1996, Noel grabbed the microphone and advised, "Has-beens shouldn't present awards to gonna-bee's" as Michael Hutchence of INXS handed him the prize.


Graham Coxon, Blur's lead guitarist, also looked to sixties Mods for inspiration. His style became a mix-up of the Beatles, Teddy boy fashion and 1920's and 30's suited gentlemen. Coxon explained that he was hugely inspired by old films, "In the film Harry Palmer, Palmer cared about his appearance and wore good suits, shirts and a nice Aquascutum raincoat. And those glasses. That's where my style came from."

Blur's front man, Damon Albarn, preferred a more typical Britpop look. Much like Liam and Noel Gallagher, Damon rocked Harrington jackets, Fred Perry polo shirts and a cheeky grin. The bad boy attitude also became part and parcel to the look. When a fan came clean about stealing copies of both Country House and Roll with it - Albarn told them that both songs were 'shit' and not to 'worry about it'.

Whether or not you're a die-hard Britpop fan, we can't deny that the music genre has made a huge impact on the fashion that we wear today. With this in mind, Rokit has put together a selection of Britpop styles that hark back to the mod inspired fashion of the 90's. Just follow the links below!