The Scene That Celebrates Itself
The Scene That Celebrates Itself was the social and musical scene in the early 1990s within London and the Thames Valley area. The term was coined by Melody Maker's Steve Sutherland in 1990 in a near-contemptuous gesture, focusing on how bands involved, rather than engaging in traditional rivalries, were often seen at each other's gigs, sometimes playing in each other's bands, and drinking together.
Bands lumped into the 'scene' by the press included several of the bands that were branded with the shoegazing label, such as Chapterhouse, Lush, Moose and other (mainly indie) bands such as Blur (prior to the release of their single "Popscene"), Thousand Yard Stare, See See Rider and Stereolab.
A prime example were Moose, who often swapped members with other bands on a given night. Moose's Russell Yates and Stereolab guitarist Tim Gane would often trade places, while "Moose" McKillop often played with See See Rider. Gane and his Stereolab colleague Lætitia Sadier even played on the 1991 session by Moose for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show.
The most famous club and focal point was Syndrome which was located on Oxford Street and ran weekly on Thursday nights. The NME in particular, embraced the scene and the unity of the bands was probably advantageous to their careers because when one band had a successful record, the other bands could share the publicity. The scene was extremely small and revolved around fewer than 20 regular individuals.