The Beatles and Blur make the cut but there’s no room for Oasis and the Rolling Stones. A 12-minute medley of British rock’s greatest achievements will be performed at Buckingham Palace after the Queen requested a potted history of Britpop.
A four-day festival, with a “Best of British” theme, opens to the public on Friday in Buckingham Palace's gardens, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
The event will showcase British fashion, food, technological innovation and the arts. For the musical contribution, the Palace has chosen the chart-topping band The Feeling, to play a tightly-constructed medley featuring the most essential music of the Queen’s reign, which neatly encompasses the popular music era.
The Feeling, whose set list was approved “at the very heighest levels” by the Palace, have boiled down 60 years of artistic innovation and cultural reinvention into just seven songs.
The medley begins with The Beatles and revives the sonic crunch of The Kinks. It singles out the 70s rock operatics of The Who, the flamboyant showmanship of Queen with David Bowie and the artful state-of-the-nation addresses delivered by Pink Floyd and Blur.
There are unavoidable omissions, said Dan Gillespie Sells, frontman of The Feeling. “We had to leave out the Rolling Stones and we chose Blur over Oasis because they were the band who most influenced us,” he said. “We could have chosen from a million songs but we went for artists we liked and tried to cover all the bases inside 12 minutes. We didn’t want the medley to be too quickfire either, we restricted it to seven songs.”
The Queen was spared some controversial choices. “We couldn’t have the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen. I’d have liked to do an Elvis Costello song but it would have been too political,” said the singer.
“We had to send the set-list to the Palace for approval but that’s fair enough – the event is in her house.”
However some may wish to send The Feeling to the Tower for including their own hit, Love It When You Call as the climax of their Britpop history. “The palace asked us to include one of ours. It was the most played song on the radio so I think it’s fair enough,” explained Gillespie Sells.
The band debated whether Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education” lyric was appropriate for the Palace. “We wanted some Floyd but they don’t really do pop songs,” said Gillespie Sells. “This one clips along and helps with the pace of the medley.”
At least The Feeling, soon to release a new album called Boy Cried Wolf, did not use their valuable minutes to try out some new material. “We could have included a noughties song from Coldplay,” Gillespie Sells said. “But it’s a bit weird to cover a song by your contemporaries who are your friends.”
The Feeling will perform their medley each day during the festival and hope the Queen will attend one of the performances.
Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Katie Melua and Laura Wright will also perform at the festival of “innovation, excellence and industry”. Each day more than 6,000 ticket holders will attend the palace gardens which will be filled with more than 200 display stands exhibiting products and services.
Tickets for the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace at: https://www.coronationfestival.com/
The Best of Britpop?
Day Tripper – The Beatles (1965 UK chart peak - No 1)
You Really Got Me – The Kinks (1964 No 1)
Pinball Wizard – The Who/Elton John (1969 No 4)
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie (1981 No1)
Another Brick In the Wall (Part 2) – Pink Floyd (1979 No 1)
Parklife – Blur (2004 No 10)
Love It When You Call – The Feeling (2006 No 18)