October 4, 2009
I’m all for nostalgia – most of the this blog is a misty-eyed remembrance of things past. Music is timeless. The music of Mozart is as beautiful to modern ears as it must have been to those lucky enough to hear it in the 18th century. Kind of Blue is probably still the best album ever recorded.
But gigs are different. Gigs are about the moment, the zeitgeist, the thrill of catching a band or a singer on the rise or at their apotheosis.
Fresh from railing against John Lydon reforming PiL for another comeback tour I opened Saturday’s Guardian guide to be taunted by adverts for gigs by The Comsat Angels; Hugh Cornwall; The Slits ; Gary Numan; “Peter Murphy -ex Bauhaus lead singer” – I’m sure they had to put that because most people have forgotten who the fuck he is; and Dot Allison.
Look. I liked the Comsat Angels. They were from Sheffield. They made one great single and a good album. But they were boring live even in the early 80’s. Why on earth would anyone want to see them today. I’ll even admit that I liked Bauhaus, saw them once, didn’t need to see them again – especially not 30 years later. And Dot Allison? One Dove were good for about 5 minutes. Give it up.
What the fuck is going on. Glastonbury was as bad. I don’t want to see a fat Chaz Smash trying to dance, or Terry Hall looking 110 years old. I’m not being ageist here. It’s the reunions that annoy me. The blatent cash-ins on the sudden rediscovery that the 80’s weren’t all Wham and Duran Duran. How long until the goth revival – God save us when Sex Gang Children and Southern Death Cult decide to put on the make-up again.
All credit to Paul Weller and the Ian Brown for resisting any temptation to reform The Jam and the Stone Roses and for continuing to make original and interesting music.
I can forgive the Velvets for their reunion, given extra poignancy with Sterling Morrison’s death just three years later.
The people who I’d still drag my 40 something arse off the sofa to see are the ones who never went away. Who have continued to make interesting and challenging music. Nick Cave; The Fall; Sonic Youth; New Order, The Bunnymen. OK – the last two did break up and reform but still came back with great new music like Waiting for the Siren’s Call and Siberia. Except that it does upset me seeing the now bloated Barney rather then the beautiful boy that he was. Mac hasn’t aged much better either. I want to remember my icons as they were.
I’ve read the Great Gatsby – I know you can’t recreate the past. So would everybody please stop trying.