My friend and I have been arguing over his views below. Interested to hear what DiS thinks:
"Banter with Liam today about music. Music chat with no reference to breaks or pingers, excellent. Anyway it started with assertion that "Take me out" by Franz Ferdinand was the pivotal record of the 21 st century so far, in so much as it showed the UK that the UK can make great music again, and then an outpouring of bands happened, some good, mostly shit, but a lot better than what occurred in the previous 5/6 years. Why was there this barren period? The answer is the albums released in 1997 by the biggest bands in Britain at the time, and what they told of their ambition and direction. The end result was a fragmented scene.
The following albums were released,
Be Here Now - Oasis
Blur - Blur
Ok Computer - Radiohead
Urban Hymns - The Verve
The previous 5 years had seen the first three of these bands smash the scene both critically and commerically (the great escape aside). These albums told of where the bands were going. Oasis were going to make the same record every two-three years, with varying degrees of coke involved. Blur didn't care if anyone liked there stuff, they just wanted to try new things and Radiohead were not a moaning bunch of students, they actually thought about what they put out, and again weren't afraid to fail. Urban Hymns was the album Oasis should have made. It was massive and better than people give it credit for. But its ascendance above Be Here Now, essentially ended Britpop and the homogeney that had presided since 1993/4. Bands like the Bluetones couldnt get a deal, and Shine albums ceased to be produced.
These four albums essentially killed off a lot of bands by uncreating the scene that the bands had created, whether purposefully or not. As a result there was no angle for guitar start ups to get signed easily, record companies did not see these type of bands as commercially interesting, and good music stopped being distributed widely.
The new proliferation of guitar bands , which started late 2003, early 2004, was made possible by an equally small number of bands, and arguably by just one album (The Strokes - Is this it) and one song (Franz Ferdinand - Take me out).