The 90s. An era dominated by Britpop and insanely bright clothing. An era much like any other, full of quirky fads and crazes long since abandoned in favour of those which have replaced them. But for anyone who was a child or teenager, or even a twenty-something in the 90s, the decade brings on an attack of nostalgia like no other.
A decade of fantastic television drama. Remember growing up with the Byker Grove kids? Children’s Ward? Saved by the Bell? Spending Saturday nights snuggled on the sofa with the family laughing out loud at the ridiculous antics of Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby on ‘House Party’? For children, there were daily doses of Edd the Duck (accompanied by the eternally cheerful Andi Peters.) They broadcast daily from the Children’s BBC Broom Cupboard, introducing all the kids’ favourite programmes. And for teenagers and adults, a plethora of brilliant telly to choose from: Friends? The X-Files? Roseanne? So many great tv shows. Ah, happy days…
A miraculous invention?
A decade of ‘new’ technology. BT phonecards, which removed the necessity of dealing with a ton of loose change when we called home. Renting a VHS evolved into renting a DVD and erased the need to rewind each tape before returning it to the shop. The dial up modem, which seemed at the time a miraculous invention. Looking back at the length of time it took to access the internet, we’re eternally grateful for Broadband. Still, the shrieking sound created by a modem trying to access the internet strikes a chord like no other with every 90s kid.
The 90s Nights
A decade of one-hit wonders and unforgettable indie-dance tunes. Blur versus Oasis battles in the charts. Many bands we have since forgotten, but step into a club having a ‘90s night’ (really – a ‘90s night’ is a thing already?) and hear a snatch of What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me) or I’ve got the Key, I’ve got the Secret and we would instantly be transported back to the misspent days of our youth. Bouncing away in dark, sweat-filled nightclubs drinking Reef, Moscow Mule or Bacardi Breezer, we were having the time of our lives. (Not so much the next morning, when we woke up with our clothes and hair reeking of smoke. There was no smoking ban in the 90s!)
A decade of daft toys which were never going to stand the test of time. The Skip-it: a game which seemed purposefully designed to break children’s ankles. The Tamogotchi. A virtual pet which was all the trouble of a real pet without any of the fun. Furbies and beany babies, which were cuddly but also fairly ugly. Those cockerel-shaped bicycle-wheel reflectors you got free in packets of Kelloggs’ cereal. Power Rangers: strange helmeted beings who could apparently save the planet once they donned their skintight lycra suits and accessed the correct weapon and shield combination. To be fair to the Mighty Morphin creators, they are still around today.
A decade of ‘cutting edge’ fashion. Like Global Hypercolour T-shirts. The t-shirt that told everyone how sweaty you really were. Slap wraps. The bracelet you could seriously injure someone with. Popper pants, whatever they were. Shirts worn tucked in but pulled out a little for that extra-baggy effect. Combat pants. Crop tops, worn by those with the figure to carry them off (and occasionally those without.) The 90s brands everyone loved to be seen wearing: NafNaf, Joe Bloggs, Mossimo, Pepe, Umbro. Very few of them still in existence today. Perhaps ‘cutting edge’ is a small exaggeration.
All in all, a decade of fun fads and photographs of ourselves which we’d rather forget. Or bury. Or burn. But still, the 90s was a decade which will hold a special place many people’s hearts forever.