Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop
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Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Just For One Day takes you on Louise Wener's musical odyssey from awkward 80s suburban pop geek to 90s jet-set Britpop goddess. Of course, once she's living the dream at the height of Britpop's glory, things aren't quite how they appeared from the other side.

With her band Sleeper, Louise goes from doing gigs in toilets to gigs in stadiums, and on to the big interviews, con...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Ebury Press (first published June 10th 2010)
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Patrick Neylan
I have a confession to make: I don't really remember Sleeper, so I read this book with a song by Echobelly running through my head. Sorry Lou.

But I'm actually paying her a compliment here, if not as a rock star then as a writer. You don't need to be a fan of Sleeper or even of Brit-pop in general to enjoy Wener's honest and humorous account of the way to the top for a gawky suburban girl. And while it deals with the struggles, the boredom and the dislocated insanity of the rock'n'roll lifestyle...more
[3.5] Louise from Sleeper: plenty to like and also plenty to dislike, she wasn't easy or straightforward and that was part of her awkward-squad appeal. In the first, pre-fame, half of the book I was reminded mostly of the dislike; I was annoyed and frustrated as I had been nearly twenty years ago when reading her interviews, full of disappointment that someone I thought was cool had said that. And wished, then and now, that I was reading Justine Frischmann instead because she wasn't like this.

A likeable and caustic gallop through the 90's from the Britpop chanteuse.

Louise Wener fronted self confessed indie lightweights 'Sleeper' and this book is her tale of early adulthood and 2nd division indie excess. It's a very honest portrayal. She is frank about her limited talents and open about the bands hedonistic adventures, drug taking et al. She manages to name names too, Blur coming in for particular abuse but then, we always secretly knew they were cunts, didn't we?

You get the impressi...more
Louise Wener is a much more interesting as a commentator on the Britpop era than she ever was as an actual pop star. Sure, Sleeper had a few good singles ('What Do I Do Now', 'Vegas'), but they were always a third-teir band - not nearly as popular as Oasis or Blur, nor as interesting as Pulp or Suede. And to be fair, Wener acknowledges this, and refers to her band (along with Shed Seven, Echolbelly et al) as "steerage class bands". Still, "Different for Girls" (also, strangely, published as "Jus...more
Gareth Evans
Sleeper were very much 2nd division Britpop. However Smart is one of my favourite albums of the era. Strong melodies, great lyrics and fronted by the gauche, girl next door Louise Wener. The book explains how the Jackie-loving, pop-obsessed teenager became a minor pop celebrity. Wener seems to acknowledge that there are few dedicated Sleeper fans out there seeking a blow-by-blow account of the band's rise and fall and wisely sticks to answering the question of how rock fame is achieved and what...more
Apparently, Britpop musicians took a lot of cocaine. Who. Knew.
Louise Wener is funny - who knew?!
This was a semi reluctant purchase. I knew Sleeper and was in my 20's in their heyday. Though I initially liked them, I kind of bought into Louise's "mouthy" persona and she gave me the irits so much it put me off listening to them. I think we have the two first CDs somewhere in the house, I would be hard pressed to remember too many of the songs. The one that stands out for me is Alice in vain. Haven't heard it in a long time, think that might be changing shor...more
Hot on the heels of Caitlin Moran's feminist manifesto-slash-1990's memoir, I scooped this up from my shelf. Ah, I remember Sleeper, I thought. Yeah, they did that cool little song for the Trainspotting soundtrack. "That cool little song", of course, turned out to be '2:1' by Elastica; Sleeper's contribution was a (largely unimaginative) Blondie cover. No matter. 'What Do I Do Now' is a lovely wee gem I rediscovered on an old compilation CD.

I kind of assumed that, like Moran, Louise Wener was ab...more
ElleKitten Reads
I have just read Different for Girls : My True Life Adventures in Pop by Louise Wener, former lead singer of Britpop band Sleeper. I was never especially into Britpop preferring American music like the Pixies, Sonic Youth and Pavement. In terms of UK music I was always a big Cure fan and dabbled with goth until I grew breasts and no longer felt the need to wear oversized black tshirts and jeans. I was 16 in 1994 and kinda looked old enough to get into Indie clubs, usually Stomp or Bash Street in...more
I had heard that Louise Wener had become a novelist after her life as a pop star ended. All I can say is Thank Heaven! I have not read her novels but this account of fame and fortune in the Britpop years is excellent. That girl can write. Her tight, short chapters are not unlike her songs...bouncy, catchy, full of hooks.

I was very into Britpop in the 90s, although did not know much about Sleeper. Much later I did pick up The It Girl for $1 at a Rhino parking-lot sale. Maybe the best bang-for-buc...more
I spotted this and bought it for my collection of Britpop books. I dimly remembered Louise Wener from the heyday of Britpop in the 1990s as the singer of the band Sleeper. I expected some behind-the-scenes stories of Blur, Suede, cocaine and wild parties, and it's all in there, but the surprise was a) that it's all written in a brilliant style, very witty and lovable and honest, very British and interesting, and b) that she speaks as much of her youth in the 80s as of the Britpop days. And that...more
Nowhere near as good as the Luke Haines memoir I read before this but enjoyable non the less. There are some sleazy insights into life of the road and a couple of jaw droppers about established 'stars' but it never really grabbed me, possibly because Wener was never that into the music. A light breezy read that shouldn't take much longer than a day. Oh and word of warning it's exactly the same book as 'Different for Girls' just with a different title and a crapper cover, I prefer the title and c...more
Ok so it would be really interesting to read a 300 page book about gender, fame and Britpop. But the first hundred pages are devoted to her antics as an awkward, non-music loving teen in the early 80s and it is DULL. There are a few chapters about how awful the Britpop scene key players were, particularly Damon and Alex from blur. And one chapter about misogyny in the music world. But that's really it. I always thought her music was blah and it kind of seems like blah is where this girl hangs ou...more
Christine Blachford
This came highly recommended to me by my husband, an unusual occurrence as he's not a huge fan of book reading. However, the inside scoop of a 90s Britpop band is exactly the kind of thing he likes and he reckoned I would enjoy it too. He's not wrong!

It took me a while to get into it, and there were heaps of references and cultural things that I didn't get, but everything I did understand, I loved. It has a refreshing honesty, about everything - the early, days, relationships, rock and roll, dru...more
Kenny Taylor
2.5 - 3. A bit like sleeper. A few gems, and a fair bit of filler. Self aware and with a nice line in self depreciating humour, this is an entertaining run through by one of the better Britpop also rans.

Wener is engaging, honest, witty and - it turns out she's become a novelist since - can write. And the fluency this brings elevates her reminiscences above expectations (I have little comparison but Alex James was predictably if self admittedly smug). But while the skooldaze growing up in the ea...more
I'm the only person I know who liked Sleeper, and I was a massive fan, so it always surprised me that they kept going as long as they did. In my circle, it always felt like they were a minority interest band - that their second album went platinum I was never aware. Just one of the things I learnt from this funny, well-written, admirably frank memoir. It's no surprise that Wener's negotiated a second career as a novelist, given that her songs showed an eye for character and story, and those skil...more
Paul Smith
In common with much of Louise Wener's professional output, Different For Girls gives the impression that it's going to be awful, but unexpectedly turns out to be brilliant. Don't be put off by Fearne Cotton's probably fictitious endorsement on the cover either: this is a gem of a read.

To begin at the beginning. The first couple of chapters could've been replaced by the words 'Hello, I'm a girl' and saved the nostalgia tick box that gets us underway. Louise is taping the top forty onto cassettes...more
A fun speedy read - it's a while since I read a book in a day (and that's not a back-handed comment, it was really quite engrossing). It helped that I grew up down the road to Ilford at a similar time to the author, suffered the horror of rehearsing at Broken Lives and quite liked her band Sleeper, but she makes some good points about the inherent prejudices and contradictions at the heart of the music industry, and the strangeness of fame in general.
The Fearne Cotton quote on the front made me think twice about buying this book. I'm glad I ignored my instincts. This is a fine book, and one I'm sure to go back to, as with Ned's Atomic Eight Legged Groove Machine Will Eat Itself. Very funny, and insightful.
Wener had a very different experience of Britpop to me. For one thing her band was successful. This and many other things. I wish I could remember my experiences - then I could write a book too!
was a great story of her life up until she became famous in her group sleeper, brought back alot of memories about what the world was like when i was growing up too...
If you grew up during Britpop the this is a fun, diverting read. Some nice moments, especially towards the beginning. Never not interesting
As review above, I hadn't heard of Sleeper, but found this a fascinating read. Devoured it in a couple of sittings. Light, funny and honest.
Britpop nostalgia is all the rage these days and memoirs have been popping up at regular intervals.
Despite never being an A-lister Louise Wenner always had one of the biggest mouths on the scene. She was always typecast as the token gobby bird but she was happy to play along knowing it would bring attention to her band Sleeper.

Here she tells the story of her naked ambition to be a famous pop star. It's the same oft-told tale of a dreary suburban life taping the Top 40 off the radio dancing to To...more
Enjoyed this book as most girls who was a teenager in the 70s and 80s, it was yeah I did that.......
Mike Clarke
OMG they're writing histories of it now. I suppose it was inevitable, but it don't half make you feel old. Britpop. I WAS THERE. So was Louise Wener. Louise, for new readers, was frontperson of Sleeper. How to put this politely? Sleeper weren't the A listers of Britpop or BP as it's easier to type, the Oases and Blurs of this world. Nor were they in the second rank, with Elastica, or part of the eccentric crowd that seemed to run separate, like Pulp and Suede. Let's be frank here, they were more...more
Loved the first half about her childhood / adolescence - Louise is only a couple of years older than me so it was all frighteningly familiar! Sleeper weren't one of my favourite bands at the time, although they had some great singles, so I didn't know much of the band's back story - you know logically that fame probably isn't all it's cracked up to be but this confirms that very clearly.
An enjoyable read, will definitely consider her fiction work having read this.
Maybe it's all in the timing, but how did so many do it at once? Appear from nowhere, ride the Britpop wave for a couple of years then straight back into obscurity. It's amazing how this happened for so many bands at the same time, and all of them had *at least* 1 brilliant album before disappearing.

Very easy read, lots of humour.. but also lots of UK specific references that I had to constantly pull out my phone to find out what in blazes she was on about. Still a bit hazy on "Um Bongo" and "Mu...more
Ali Miremadi
Very enjoyable, especially if you are British, between 38-45 years old and love nostalgia. Funny too.
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