lost-alt-640Steve Lamacq – Lost Alternatives: 90’s Brit Indie/Guitar Boxed Set Preview.

Our Favourite Ten out of the Seventy One Tracks

Lost Alternatives is released tomorrow and represents according to the press release…

One version, of the evolution of guitar music through the nineties, as told, not by the big hits, but by the limited edition singles, The Evening Session cult favourites and the bands who maybe never made it, but in some cases never wanted to anyway.

Curated by acclaimed BBC 6 Music radio DJ and former NME journalist, Steve Lamacq it celebrates his 25 years of broadcasting at the BBC, A unique 4CD compilation. 71 tracks from the 1990’s chosen by the UK’s leading Indie tastemaker. This compilation includes music not found on any streaming service.

Louder Than Wars full review will follow in a couple of days, but for now, here is Ged Babey’s personal pick of Ten of The Best from the 71 tracks.

Hats off to Steve Lamacq .  The perennial teenage music-fanatic and by all accounts the exceedingly nice-bloke he appears to be on-air.  A really interesting 4 CD collection.

I saw seven of these ten bands at the Joiners in Southampton in the 1990’s and to me they personify the sound of that decades contenders.  Blur-and-Oasis became the big names.  Suede survived and are making better music than ever…  but as usual, there were some great under-the-radar bands who only got a few years in the NME limelight or shots at success, but made some great music.  Here are my ten picks.

Curve – Ten Little Girls

Sounds ahead of its time still.   Garbage stole their thunder.  One of many bands brought to us by Snub TV.


Blessed Ethel – Rat

Produced by none other than John Robb.   An example of Pixies influence on UK Indie.  A great live band.  Played Southampton the day Kurt Cobain died, supported by a very young Ash.


60Ft Dolls – Happy Shopper

Another great live band who paved the way for the vastly inferior Welsh countrymen Stereophonics.


S*M*A*S*H – Real Surreal

You had to see them live and spend just a few minutes with Ed to realise that they really did ‘Mean it maan’  and were much, much more than a ‘punk throwback’.  Real Surreal sounds like the Stone Roses and Hendrix on speed.

Drugstore – Solitary Party Groover

Drugstore should’ve been huge. Thom Yorke dueted with Isabel on a later single, but this was them at their best.

Catatonia – Sweet Catatonia
To me, they were almost like an all-new equivalent to The Only Ones, only fronted by another girl from another planet. (I know, Wales isn’t a planet. ) A brace of classic singles like this and now Cerys is arguably the BBC’s finest broadcaster since Peel. (Apart from Steve Lamacq obviously!)

Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend

Just a 24 carat, stone-cold classic. Original and evocative of a certain time period in many peoples lives.


Clinic – I.P.C. Subeditors Dictate Our Youth

…which should have been the title for this boxed set if we’re honest.  ( Bit catty –  says Lammo, probably)

Silverfish – Big Bad Baby Pig Squeal

Very pleased to see Silverfish make the boxed set.  HIPS, TITS, LIPS , POWER!

Linoleum – Dissent

Sleeper’s little-sister band -on drugs.  I really liked Linoleum, but On A Tuesday was a better single than this.

Buy Lost Alternatives from here.

Complete Tracklisting
Ride – Chelsea Girl
The Charlatans – Indian Rope
Northside – Shall We Take A Trip?
Flowered Up – It’s On
New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Big
Slowdive – Catch The Breeze
Curve – Ten Little Girls
Kitchens Of Distinction – Prize
Pale Saints – Throwing Back The Apple
Family Cat – Place With A Name
Senseless Things – Is It Too Late?
Mega City Four – Words That Say
Teenage Fanclub – Everything Flows
Silverfish – Big Bad Baby Pig Squeal
Daisy Chainsaw – Love Your Money
Voodoo Queens – Supermodel Superficial
Cornershop – Waterlogged
S*M*A*S*H – Real Surreal
These Animal Men – Speeed King
Blessed Ethel – Rat
Suede – The Drowners
The Auteurs – Showgirl
Elastica – Stutter
Sleeper – Alice In Vain
Tiny Monroe – VHF 855V
Whiteout – Starrclub
China Drum – Wuthering Heights
Snuff – Caught In Session
60Ft Dolls – Happy Shopper
Salad – Drink The Elixir
Drugstore – Solitary Party Groover
Ash – Uncle Pat
Northern Uproar – Rollercoaster
Perfume – Lover
Mansun – Take It Easy Chicken
The Bluetones – Are You Blue Or Are You Blind?
Bis – School Disco
Travis – All I Want To Do Is Rock
Catatonia – Sweet Catatonia
Marion – Violent Men
Audioweb – Sleeper
Rialto – Monday Morning 5:19
Tiger – Race
Strangelove – Greatest Show On Earth
Animals That Swim – Pink Carnations
Linoleum – Dissent
Scarfo – Alkaline
Kenickie – Come Out 2nite
Helen Love – Does Your Heart Go Boom
Jocasta – Go
Livingstone – Good Intentions
Geneva – No-One Speaks
Whipping Boy – When Were Young
Earl Brutus – Life’s Too Long
Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend
Mogwai – New Paths To Helicon Part 1
Idlewild – Satan Polaroid
Symposium – The Answer To Why I Hate You
3 Colours Red – This Is My Hollywood
The Delgados – Pull The Wires From The Wall
The Beta Band – Dry The Rain
The Hitchers – Strachan
Wubble U – Bit Like You
Ten Benson – The Claw
Clinic – I.P.C. Subeditors Dictate Our Youth
Cay – Better Than Myself
Cable – Freeze The Atlantic
Seafood – This Is Not An Exit
Llama Farmers – Paper Eyes
Ultrasound – Stay Young
Morgan – Miss Parker (The Dust Brothers Mix)


All words and choices Ged Babey 

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


  1. Hang on, why are Travis in there?!?! And at the expense of 18 Wheeler or Pusherman, both of which could have had numerous tracks featured in this list. Disappointing.

  2. And Suede, Catatonia, Idlewild…. not exactly ‘lost’ bands or ‘lost’ tracks are they. I think Steve’s gonna get knobbled by the trades description act for this.

  3. Largely average ‘Brit-Pop’ fair. Omits Stephen Duffy (Duffy) & Irish band Bawl, who were two of the more interesting artists of this vague ‘genre’ & period.

  4. Ged
    Thanks for the kind words.
    We had a great time at the Joiners Arms – once with The Wishplants and later with a very young and cool Ash the night Kurt died


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