1996 was the year when Britain was in the midst of the Britpop revolution and for a time, the epicentre of music was firmly established within the suburbs of northern England.

Being right at the bottom of the country, away from the cultural hotbed of London and Manchester, it would be easy to assume that the Isle of Wight was devoid of any involvement in the Britpop sound.

However, you may be surprised to learn of how many Island connections there are to both the development and legacy of this potent music movement.

In August 1996 the Island hailed the opening of the first HMV store on Newport high street and to mark such an occasion, Bromsgrove’s finest, Dodgy, performed outside the store to an unprecedented audience.

This was the start of the band’s enduring association with the Island which has seen them playing at the Isle of Wight Festival, Cowes Yacht Haven, Medina Theatre and Strings in Newport.

Drummer Matthew Priest maintains that the Isle of Wight has been a great supporter over the years and remains integral to the band reclaiming their stadium calibre status.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Priest at Medina Theatre back in 2017 where I was shocked to learn of the band’s struggles in accessing substantial venues to play their timeless indie repertoire.

Medina was one of the first theatres to offer the band such an opportunity which then helped to re-establish them as a live act.

Since this interview, I’ve remained in touch with Matthew Priest and have been able to chart this second half of Dodgy’s musical journey and he is always very quick to cite the Island’s contribution to their musical renaissance.

On Friday, May 10, the Isle of Wight Britpop mantel is set to be passed on to the melodic soft rock band The Bluetones as they make their long awaited return to Strings.

Following a successful performance there in April of last year, Frontman Mark Morriss said the guys are back to delight the Island crowd with indie anthems including Bluetonic and Slight Return interspersed with new material.

With a reluctance to be defined by the media constructed concept of Britpop, The Bluetones continue to make new music and add to their ever-growing back catalogue of hits and therefore like to cater for different audiences irrespective of their musical heritage.

Their original fans may have grown up alongside them but The Bluetones still like to think that no matter the nature of how you came to appreciate their music, there’s something identifiable and relatable in the music they create.

So, make sure you purchase your tickets and let’s keep maintaining that significant connection between the Island and the stars of the Britpop generation.

After all, you’ve got to “Roll With It!”