Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Going back on the reunion trail

Once upon a time, a band getting back together again was an event. Now, the reunion is part of the career plan. Look at the first list of acts announced fro this year’s Electric Picnic bill, for instance, which was …

Fri, Mar 2, 2012, 09:45

   

Once upon a time, a band getting back together again was an event. Now, the reunion is part of the career plan.

Look at the first list of acts announced fro this year’s Electric Picnic bill, for instance, which was announced yesterday and features several familiar faces which you thought you’d never see again.

Say hello (again) to The Cure. Welcome back (again) Orbital. And you’ll also be getting Nineties gothcore (again) from Cranes, whether you like it or not or even can remember them from the first time around.

But they’re not the only ones who have a longing on them to get back into action with their old muckers. This summer, you can’t move for bands of old getting doing the reunion shuffle. From the Stone Roses to the Cranberries, it’s time for hugs, smiles and collective bonhomie – at least in public.

For some acts, it’s an interesting u-turn. They may have called it a day while they were still just about on grunting terms with eachother but, fast-forward ten years, and the acrimony of old is forgotten when solo projects fail to ignite and bill payments are overdue. Nothing beats the lure of a big cheque to overcome any lingering doubts band members might have about doing one more for the road.

Sometimes, the reunion works wonders for act and audience. There are many who speak highly of recent reunion shows by Pulp and Blur as highlights of those particular years.

Sometimes, though, the reunion reminds you vividly that the band in question will never be able to relive their glory days whatever they think. Case in point? Pixies, who returned to great acclaim in 2004, but who quickly became part of the furniture by playing anywhere that would have them. Lethargy and disinterest soon followed from all but the hardcore fanbase. That should serve as a warning to those bands sizing up the reunion trail for the summer.