Re-banded – Indie greats reform for the visceral and the fiscal

The last couple of years has seen a monumental surge in bands from the 80’s and 90’s reforming to trade on past glories, culminating in many of them featuring high up on festival bills, some even headlining – like Blur at Glastonbury.   Cynics appear to be having a field day – barbed comments are casually appearing everywhere – large appearance fees, renewed royalties, digital profiteering, developing merchandise  are just some of the accusations aimed at the bands.  That may be the case for the smaller indie bands of the 80s and in particular the 90s, with bands like Shed Seven and The Wonder Stuff who never really maximized their profits at the time,  taking advantage of the current trend for live music of a nostalgic bent.    However these reasons for reformation seem a little too rudimentary when associated with seminal, record shifting bands, – such as Blur & Faith No More.  Other recent bands to reform, that were hugely influential back in the day – Dinosaur Jr and the Pixies – may argue that there only recouping what is rightfully theirs – monetising their talent now that the live market has exploded – who can blame them? 

Wherever or not many of these bands record any original material remains to be seen – Dinosaur Jr have just released an album, Blur are hinting that they may go back into the studio – if they all have time!  Interestingly they have all released remastered compilations to coincide with their reformations – Even though all of them have released a greatest hits album before!  Maybe the cynics do have a point – what proper money can be earned from these pointless albums anyway – surely most fans have access to these songs? 

Will the fires still burn inside – do they have the passion and vigour to reproduce their glory days?  Or do they just want to relive the visceral emotions of playing together on stage again and feeling the passion and adulation of a large crowd?  Probably a good enough reason to reform – to hell with the money!

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