The Press Article
Tour Of The Month

At long last it's time to ask, Wembley, are you ready to rock?

Since their inception nearly a decade ago, Supergrass have half-threatened to break into the stadium-busting big league. They've certainly outlived most of their Britpop contemporaries, while the Top 10 albums and singles, and festival headline slots, along the way have doubtless made it easier for the band to sleep at night. However, that next big career step has somehow always eluded them.
This month Supergrass take their first tentative steps into the world of plastic seats and foto-long chilli dogs as they headline Wembley Arena. They've played there before - supporting Oasis back in 1997 - but now the burden of main draw responsibility rests firmly on their youthful(ish) shoulders.
"It's just incredibly flattering that the promoters think we can fill Wembley Arena," says bassist Mickey Quinn. "It's not something we planned for at all. But we've had plenty of experience of playing those huge gigs so it doesn't feel that unnatural."
It was the success of Supergrass's Life On Other Planets autumn tour - three nights at London Shepherd's Bush Empire, plus another 11 oversubscribed dates nationwide - that lit up bulbs above the heads of Supergrass's agents.
"This sort of gig was intimidating when we started out, but we're pretty confident now," says Quinn. "I don't think well ever become bloated stadium rockers, but there's definitely a way of playing to make sure you get across to everyone who's paid to see you."
Their gameplan is to ignore the wide expanses of stage and bunch themselves up in the middle, an idea singer Gaz Coombes and Quinn gleaned from an old live Doors video.
"It looked amazing," recalls Quinn. "It was a massive gig but they made sure they could still see each other. Even in the studio we've always made sure we can see each other when we play. It's one of the most important things we do."
Whether this represents a permanent career shift in the history of Supergrass remains to be seen. But as a celebration of one of British pop's greatest musical assets, catch them now, before they head out to America and Japan. Tickets cost 17.50 (London 18.50).

Q - February 2003