Opinion Blog: The Britpop Reunion Craze

by Mark Nicholls
The Stone Roses led the way for reunions in 2012 with three huge sell-out concerts at Heaton Park

The Stone Roses led the way for reunions in 2012 with three huge sell-out concerts at Heaton Park

With festival line-ups being announced for the coming summer it seems that the current trend for reunions means that many of the original Britpop bands are riding high on the revival wave (and laughing all the way to the bank). The cynics among us may cry that it is for money not love – with many bands choosing to reform briefly, play their classic anthems and then avoid recording new material at all costs. However, the fact still remains that Britpop part two may be around the corner.
With The Stone Roses scheduled to headline The Isle of Wight Festival in June it begs the question of who will be next to reform? The Roses almost didn’t get back together with John Squire calling it “tragic” when bands reform for money and that he’d rather live his life “than attempt to rehash it”. But then, shortly afterwards, in October 2011, the announcement of a reunion was made and they played their comeback gigs at Heaton Park in their native Manchester in 2012.
So, will Oasis be next? In December 2012 Noel stated in an interview that, “if The Stone Roses can do it, then anyone can do it,” contradicting his statement only two months earlier that he wouldn’t reunite with his brother Liam, “even if all the starving children in the world depended on it”. A harsh statement perhaps, though not so harsh as that of Martin Rossiter, former frontman of Britpop band Gene who, when interviewed by Drowned In Sound’s Marc Burrows claimed: “I’m sure now would be a very apt time to reform Gene, but I would rather eat my own penis. Fried. With shallots.”
Many bands seem unlikely to reform at all with band members moving on and forging new careers in new and often surprising directions. Tim Brown, the bassist with the Boo Radleys, is now an IT teacher at a school in Northern Ireland whilst Louise Wener, lead singer with Sleeper, is a successful novelist.
A second career however doesn’t necessarily make touring become impossible, and a number of former Britpop stars have managed to find time for both. Dave Rowntree, drummer with Blur, will be touring this summer even though he is working as a trainee solicitor at Kingsley Napley – a London-based law firm. Also on the festival circuit are Shed Seven who officially reformed in 2007. Drummer, Alan Leach has been busy in the intervening years developing a mobile pub quiz app called Speedquizzing but still finds time to bash out a few paradiddles at T in the Park.
Thankfully, the Spice Girls appear to have limited their reunion to a one-off appearance at the Olympics closing ceremony with a report appearing last month that although “Geri wants the girls to be back on the road as soon as they can” that this is unlikely to happen as “she and Victoria and not talking”. Perhaps a blessing in disguise.
Video: Shed Seven drummer Alan Leach has developed the new ‘Speedquizzing’ smartphone app. More information can be found at http://www.speedquizzing.com
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