With the prospect of a Spielberg television series and a new album, Supergrass seem to have a touch of the superheroes about them. Fiona Shepherd meets the band as they prepare to storm Irvine Beach. Photographs by Ashley Walker.

az Coombes is having a self- confessed ‘bad hair day’. To begin with the Supergrass vocalist keeps it under his wide-brimmcd sun hat, but photographic and ice cream- demolishing duties call and displaying his gravity-defying thatch in all its dishevelled glory can surely be no more distasteful than sinking his teeth into a Mr Whippy soufflé of synthetic ice cream.

Meanwhile, bassist Micky Quinn runs his fingers through his mop for maximum haven’t- scen-a-salon-in-years effect and gums compliantly on cue. The word from absent third member Danny Coffey is ‘l’m on holiday in Turkey’. The next postcard from the Oxford trio will come from Irvine Beach, where the band are headlining the first day of a weekend festival Bjork fronts the second.

Their only other recent British gigs were part of the V96 all-dayers with Pulp, and with some European festivals in the offing, talk turns to the ‘festival vibe’ and their celebratory appearance at last year’s T in the Park, their favourite festival experience to date (Aw, shucks, you guys, etc).

‘We hit T in the Park at a point that was just right,’ recalls Gaz. ‘We were right at the high point of that summer.‘

From that midsummer plateau, it was all onwards and upwards. In the past year Supergrass have had a Number One album with their debut [Should Coco, toured Japan, played in front of 40,000 people a night on a culture shock tour of Brazil (not all there exclusively to see Supergrass, but still . . .), caused a trafficjam on the Internet with the over-subscribed broadcast of one of their gigs, and generally remained one of the most hopeful arguments in favour of a British guitar pop renaissance. Separately, they’ve experienced fatherhood and entertained the prospect of marriage. Oh, and they’ve had meetings with Steven Spielberg with a view to some top-secret televisual project. So . . . any highlights, guys?

‘The Back To The Future ride at Universal Studios,‘ enthuses Oaz. ‘lt’s the best thing I’ve ever been on. Any age you are or whatever you do the Back To The Future ride is the most amazing thing.’ As Micky nods his assent, Gaz goes into semi-articulate descriptive overdrive concerning the myriad marvels of this simulated sensory overload, and for a few seconds, increasing international recognition and the

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70 The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996