This piece will start with some of my views on musical genres. When I was in my mid-teens, I was really into pop music, although that’s probably no surprise as that’s the age when most people really into it. Now I don’t know much about how genres are determined, but around this time I was really into UK Garage. Melody Maker seemed to think that all this was the enemy compared to their rock music that they championed, but they closed down soon after.
But I remember someone saying that when you looked at the statistics of where people in the country were buying these songs, this genre could’ve been called “London Garage”, as that’s where it was all happening. Living in London, this scene seemed to be really exciting, as more singles were released and entered the chart, and being there as it all happened really was great.
It could be said, like with most dance genres, that all of the songs sounded the same, but I just really liked the sound. And there were also people who were unsatisfied with the commercialisation of the genre, trying to sort out who were the pioneers, and who simply jumped on the bandwagon for a quick cash-in. But seeing such songs making the Top Ten, whoever they were by, was fine by me.
One of the songs that was among my favourites was “Flowers”, which was by Sweet Female Attitude, a female duo consisting of Leanne Brown and Catherine Cassidy, and released in April 2000. This reached no. 2, narrowly missing out on being a chart-topper, and although it is something of a cliché, this really is the soundtrack to that time of my life, and I was always pleased when this came on the radio (which was rather frequently).
So of course, I was eager to discover what SFA (not Super Furry Animals or Scottish Football Association) would do next, but it turned out that there wasn’t much more. In October 2000 “8 Days A Week” (not the song by The Beatles) was released, which reached only no. 43. It probably wouldn’t surprise you to discover that this sounded almost exactly the same as “Flowers”, but I can’t find a video of this, and UK Garage had just about fizzled out by this point as everyone moved on to the next big thing.
There were no further hits, and no album, and I don’t know much about what SFA did after this, except that curiously “Flowers” spent one more week on the chart in April 2008. In more recent years, “Flowers” has been covered by several acts including Sugababes (or what passes for them nowadays) in an attempt to combine UK Garage with classical music, to try and prove that such songs can be played on more traditional instruments. I was a little disappointed as this moved the song from one of my favourite genres into one of my least favourites, but at least that proves its stature with fans.