From the intimacy of the honeymoon period to the heartbroken shatters and tatters, bands never seem to go the distance anymore, until the inevitable happens. Once a fate has been sealed, there is no turning back. So artists seem to dismiss this idea, however. After a messy divorce, is a reunion the right thing to do?
After millions waited, and waited, and then waited some more. After a disheartening ten year absence, the world of music has had an old spar head removed from it’s chest, and the piercing mark left behind has been clotted and plugged with what we can only imagine is money. Steps, the five piece pop and dance group from London, have revealed that they are back together, and touring again.
Where have they been all of these years? Unlike most disbandments, in the refreshing time they have been apart, they’ve managed to remain fairly anonymous and idle. Take Lee Latchford-Evans, for example. Has he been locked away in an Alaskan cabin for the past decade reading Earnest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises while he remains an unshaven and mentally questionable ghost of his former self? The short answer is, no. Earlier this year, and thats excluding the other nine years he’s been out of the spotlight, he earned himself a black belt in Kickboxing. Impressively, he’s also a fully qualified fitness instructor.
Well, you’re probably thinking that it’s easy criticising the already woven patches on the British musical quilt sat behind the monitor of a computer. And you’d be right, it is. My problem comes not the group themselves, but their reformation. Whenever a band reunites, I’m always a very skeptical soul over the matter. Subsequently, the cogs, gears and pistons that runs the musical culture of this country is run on the most atrocious and venomous fuel that powers nearly every industry in the world. Money. Alas, this is the very linen actuality that reunions of the has-beens, and even the never-has-beens, originates from. Typically, the story portrays it’s self quite dexterously in the mind. Penniless pop star of the late nighties turns to old friends, and stabs old promises in the back, all because their reoccurring dreams of dollar signs wont go away.
I’m not just talking about the unendurable line-dancing renditions of Steps, sadly. Just shy of two hundred miles north of London, in the mellifluously celebrated city of Manchester, the other big band reunion of the Autumn has taken place. Nineteen eighties indie psych-pop foursome The Stone Roses, one of the most critically acclaimed northern bands of recent time have put aside their differences, and have embarked on the ‘unfinished’ business. In the prime, their funk influence bass lines and sixties style guitar riffs, and not to mention the unequivocal genius of Ian Browns lyrics and melodically sound vocals, was something to be desired for most band. What do I think of the reunion of one of the greatest indie rock bands of modern music? I feel the same way I feel over the Steps reformation.
John Squire himself said “when it’s just getting together for a big payday and everyone their old clothes out, that just seems tragic to me, after being quizzed over the band reuniting earlier this year. A few solitary months down the line, and it’s difficult to see exactly why they’ve now reformed. Sources has noted that Ian Brown sent a text to a close personal friend saying that “we’re going to rule the world again”. That’s what I’m finding more and more tragic everyone time it crops up out of the grass in my head. Lightening never strikes twice, and the same twisted and complicated algebraic equation applies with success. If a band wants to get together for the love and adoration of what they are known for doing, then please, do what you must do. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Maybe someone should tell Mr Brown that the world isn’t yours to rule anymore. Your time has been, and your time has gone. Bands rule, and then they fall. Just like the English monarchy has done time and time again. Amongst the excitement of the reformation of The Stone Roses, I have a distinct conjecture verging on the cynical. Very rarely does a band break up, reform, and take the world by the original storm and pounding shockwaves that they had done in their previous years before their reincarnation. In recent years, Blur managed to send tingles down thousands of MDMA riddled hippies in a field in Glastonbury, and Death From Above 1979 gave a the good people of Reading and Leeds a bass muffled orgasm headache with their reformation sets earlier this summer. But I fear these were the lunar eclipse music moments.
Maybe I am just being cynical, and we’re in for something special. The Stone Roses could cast a tour and even a new album out the same mould they were carved from in the late eighties. Or maybe I’m right, and their killer musical instinct and love for their forte has gone, like all of their money, long hair and class A narcotics. The steps reunion wont cause any fireworks or drive by shootings, but I hope to God a feather or two is ruffled by the Madchester foursome. We’ve been in dire need for a new band to fuck the system in a way many artists seem to be scared to do nowadays. Lets hope a band from the past can deliver instead.
Their bitter disbandment in nineteen nighty six left their fans in an abyss of hormonal emotion and in a bottomless pit of total inadequacy. After divorcing for an eternal fifteen years, the Mancunians have brushed the broken glass under the rug, and have made up. It remains to be seen whether The Stone Roses getting back together will be a rick worth taking. Let’s hope so, for the sake of the fans.