The People’s History of Pop continues with Closer Than Close – 1997-2010 airing at 9.00pm on Friday 10 Mar on BBC-4. Sara Cox looks at the time when the internet opened up new worlds for music fans and brought them closer to their musical heroes than ever before. The show is part of the BBC Music: My Generation season.
The show starts in the years leading up to the year 2000 – a time when information overload and uncertainty about new technologies was creating an anxiety about the future. The programme hears from fans who loved a band that were tackling this millennial angst head on with a new album – Radiohead with their 1997 album OK Computer.
Sara meets people who had begun to change the relationship between fans and bands: a fan who saved his favourite band Travis from the bad press reviews of their second album with a letter written to Melody Maker in 1999, and a chart pop fan who managed to meet his favourite pop heroes with an ingenious, homemade piece of memorabilia.
Along the way Sara hears the stories behind photos and signed set lists from Amy Winehouse, the one-off fan club magazine from The Libertines and footage of a gig in Pete Doherty’s flat, and footage of the moment when Adele gave her stage over to two very surprised fans. With the arrival of file sharing in the early 2000s, a fan recounts how the unconventional rise of the Arctic Monkeys was all thanks to fans sharing music on online forums and MySpace. And as technology developed, we see how a fan’s canny use of YouTube opened up the Grime scene of East London to the world.
Viewers will also get an insight into the new clubbing trends – from the outfits, photos and magazine articles saved by a pioneer of a new, fan-powered tribe on the dancefloor – the Crasher Kids – who became the identity of Sheffield club Gatecrasher, to a fan whose flyers chart the rise of UK Garage, which went from the airwaves of pirate radio and Sunday night club scene in London to the top of the charts. In the 2000s, fans could decide who their pop stars were going to be and we meet a mother and daughter whose lives were changed by Will Young, who in return changed his life by voting for him in Pop Idol.
People’s History Of Pop is made by Seven Wonders Productions and executive produced by Steve Condie.
People’s History Of Pop: Closer Than Close – 1997-2010 airs on Friday 10 March 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Four.