What Happened to Louise Wener?

Posted on November 15, 2012

I found an old CD the other week called something like ‘The Best of the 90’s’ an album that believe it or not, laid claim to containing some of the best songs of the 1990’s; these marketing guys must stay up all night thinking of trendy names for compilation albums. Anyway, I uploaded the CD (actually both CD’s) to my iPod for a bit of Britpop nostalgia from bands such as Kula Shaker, Dodgy, Shed Seven and the Divine Comedy.

I have to say that the odd track apart, the album was a disappointment and I found myself perpetually forwarding on to the next song. You know you are getting old when 90’s music is sounding dated, time goes so fast I have to keep reminding myself that the 1990’s wasn’t just  a couple weeks ago, in fact many of the tracks on this album were near on twenty years old.

Then, just as I was about to give up and put some Dizzy Rascal on (I’m joking) I came across a song called Inbetweener by Sleeper: What a great Indie pop song that is, it still sounds as good as when I first heard it, proving  the point that you can fuck about with synthesisers and wanky saxophone breaks as much as you want, but the only instruments that stand the true test of time are guitars and drums…Oh, and a sultry voice as well of course.

Inbetweener by Sleeper (when Bruno Brookes eventually stops talking shite)

Not only is it a great song, it also reminded me that Louise Wener is, to this day, the sexiest pop star I have ever witnessed. The first time I saw her on TOTP I felt like driving up to the BBC studios to ask her if she would like to marry me. Apparently men prefer blondes but I have always been a perpetual sucker for a brunette, particularly one with doe eyes and an impeccably cool dress sense. Louise Wener had all that and I will always remember a friend of mine claiming, quite succinctly, that he would crawl ten miles over broken glass just to wank on her shadow. Just a little cuddle would have done me nicely but I fully understood his point.

For a short time during the mid-90’s, Sleeper were more popular than I thought, collecting a total of 8 top 40 singles and 3 top ten albums before they eventually split in 1998. Until last week I had totally erased Sleeper and indeed Louise Wener, from my memory, despite my disturbing crush on her nearly 20 years ago. However, with the help of Google and Wikipedia I have managed find out how her life has turned out since being regularly voted as one of Britain’s sexiest pop stars in her mid-90’s prime.

Well, rather than drifting in to a life of obscurity, dreaming of the heady days of her prime, Louise (I can’t bring myself to call her by her surname, it seems rude) has done rather well for herself, writing five novels including Goodnight Steve McQueenThe Big BlindThe Half Life of Stars, Worldwide Adventures In Love as well as her latest epic, Bob Lethaby: The Man I never Found.  She has also published an autobiography called Different for Girls: My True Life Adventures in Pop a book I may well purchase but not lend to my above mentioned friend through fear of it coming back with the pages stuck together.

As well as publishing her own material, Louise also teaches novel writing and has formed a new band called Huge Advance, with her long term partner Andy (who I hate) playing small gigs in around where they live in Crouch End, North London.

So here’s to Louise Wener, one of the few women who ever made my heart skip a beat!

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