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Bands we'd love to see reform

Eight bands we’d love to see reform rated against the likelihood of it actually happening.

With Blur and Pulp selling out big headline shows over summer ‘23 and reigniting interest in the Britpop era, never has there been a better time for older bands to reform. Those two are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past year we’ve seen indie sleaze era bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives and Kasabian come back swinging better than ever following lull periods where the thought of new music appeared doomed.


Unfortunately, not everyone has got the memo. Bandmate feuds still remain and many a solo project is here to stay despite public pleas to get the old band back together (I’m looking at you, Mr Noel Gallagher…).


The Smiths


There is a light that never goes out… and that light is the prospect of The Smiths reuniting, am I right? I know, I know. I write this one more in hope than expectation. Morrissey and Johnny Marr’s radically opposing political viewpoints ensure the thought of them in a room together to discuss a reunion is slimmer than a slim thing from slimland. Add to that the lingering bitterness from 1989’s court case where drummer Mike Joyce sued his bandmates for a greater share of the band’s profits. Of course, any reunion wouldn’t be the same following the death of bassist Andy Rourke in May 2023. But, as the remaining bandmates near retirement age, can we, at least, be a little optimistic on this one? The prospect of Johnny Marr and Morrissey side by side, belting out classics like ‘This Charming Man’, ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ and ‘How Soon Is Now?’ is still too mouth-watering to ignore.


Likeliness rating – 2/10


The Verve


At first glance, the chances of The Verve reuniting are very, very unlikely. When the Wigan band reformed in the late 00’s for a headline Glastonbury set and fourth album Forth (2008), it was all over in a flash. Pre-existing inter-band tensions arose again, while accusations were flung at Richard Ashcroft and how he was merely using the band as a vehicle to re-launch his solo career. Then again, they’ve already split up three times which means they’ve reformed twice… and they do say three is the magic number. While the 30th anniversary of psychedelic debut A Storm In Heaven (1993) has passed, the next few years will see milestones for their iconic second and third records: A Northern Soul (1995) and Urban Hymns (1997). By then the members will be older, wiser and more forgiving of past disputes (at least, you’d hope so…). The Verve have reformed before, so surely there’s always the chance they could again… WATCH THIS SPACE.


Likeliness rating – 6/10


Oasis


As this is the most rumoured reunion out there, it would been a crime not to include Oasis here. After Noel Gallagher’s 2017 record Who Built The Moon? pushed him to experimental places we’d never have imagined from Oasis, you’d have been forgiven for parking the bus on the reunion chat there and then. But recently its become apparent just how much the brothers need each other. After another lacklustre Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds album - the June 2023 released Council Skies - the time couldn’t be better for the Oasis guitarist and songwriter to accept Liam’s reunion call. Of course, you’d need to keep the pair of them apart off-stage as much as possible – maybe Bonehead would hold a new role as bodyguard between the two. Debut album Definitely Maybe approaches its 30th anniversary next summer, the stage now set for the Gallagher brothers to swallow their pride and reunite. As for an extra incentive, Blur’s successful 2023 Wembley shows could act as motivation for Oasis to do things bigger and better than their Britpop rivals. Knebworth 2024, anyone?


Likeliness rating – 6/10


Elastica


Forget Oasis and Blur for a minute. There’s another band who’ve gone under the Britpop radar of late: Elastica were one of the biggest players of that world. Lead singer Justine Frischmann is quite the ‘90s indie icon, pivotal to the creation of Suede before forming a power couple with Blur’s Damon Albarn (their split influenced the writing of ‘Tender’ and ‘No Distance Left To Run’). Her own band weren’t half bad either! Elastica’s self-titled debut record races through 15 punky songs in 38 minutes: one of the most fun guitar records of that era. Upon the album’s release in March 1995, Elastica then became the UK’s fastest selling debut record of all time. Frischmann now lives and works in the United States as an artist and has seemingly turned her back on the music world. Which is a shame. But with Britpop nostalgia in peak overdive, could her band be lured back for one final hurrah? Somehow the vital connection should be made…


Likeliness rating – 4/10


The Maccabees


After 14 years as a band we have decided to call it a day” opens a statement by The Maccabees in August 2016, words which marked an outstanding band bowing out at their peak. Because four excellent records have already secured their legacy. Early singles ‘First Love’ and ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ from debut Colour It In (2007) are hopeless romantic indie tunes which, to this day, have aged like a fine wine. By 2012’s Given To the Wild, the palette had darkened, yet the quality increased further. Songs like ‘Went Away’ and ‘Feel To Follow’ carry a mountainous emotional punch, whilst 2015’s Marks To Prove It followed in similar vein – both albums stood The Maccabees as one of the most appreciated British bands of the 2010s. Now, here’s why I’m hopeful for a reunion. Firstly, the South London art-rock band’s split appeared amicable and secondly many of the members are still active in the music industry (for example, singer Orlando Weeks released his third studio album Hop Up last year). There’s still light at the end of the tunnel for this reunion I reckon!


Likeliness rating – 8/10


The xx


Don’t panic, The xx haven’t split up (yet)! I’m simply cheating with this one as six and a half long years have passed since the release of their last album I See You (2017). Which, I guess, more than qualifies us to get itchy feet for new music. Of course, the trio haven’t exactly been twiddling their thumbs in the years since… Jamie xx has established himself as an acclaimed DJ and producer (he produced bandmate Oliver Sim’s brilliant debut album Hideous Bastard last year), while Romy is about to drop her debut album Mid Air (of which the singles have been banging to date). But surely these are all just distractions from main event! The xx’s first two albums (The xx and Coexist) are timeless classics: records which stop you in your tracks for their intense beauty. When the unique talents of each member unite, they produce absolute gold. And dare I say it, The xx are better together than apart.


Likeliness rating – 9/10


Augustines


Augustines are a band whose legend will live on for some time, regardless of whether they reform or not. Though, that’s not to say a reunion wouldn’t be very much welcomed! The Brooklyn trio’s debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships (2011) is an indie cult classic full of heart pounding rock anthems: emotionally powerful songs only bettered when performed in front of an impassioned live audience. The tunes on their curtain raiser were heavily inspired by the untimely death of frontman Billy McCarthy’s mother and brother. Yet what stands the record out - and indeed Augustines themselves - is the theme of hope and overcoming the setbacks life can throw at you. Financial constraints meant 2016’s This Is Your Life would be their final output, with frontman Billy McCarthy soon embarking on a solo career. Admittedly, Augustines are an unlikely band to reform for the above reason, its just they still mean so much to so many people. Each gig was a joyous celebration of music and life itself - you’d have to imagine Billy, Eric and Rob miss being part of that.


Likeliness rating – 6/10


Eagulls


Eagulls are one of those bands who simply exploded at the wrong time. Despite gathering acclaim from all the major music publications, the Leeds band’s brand of post punk simply stood at odds to what was popular within the indie rock world at the time. However, for a moment, it looked like world domination was upon them. They performed ‘Possessed’ on the Late Show with David Letterman, supported Franz Ferdinand on their 2014 UK tour and even had a couple of tunes on the soundtrack for Netflix smash series 13 Reasons Why. Eagulls (2014) and Ullages (2016) are fantastic

records – the guitars loud, the choruses big and the vocals beautifully smothered underneath layers of distorted noise. With the current UK indie scene dominated by bands not too dissimilar (Fontaines D.C., Shame and IDLES), today Eagulls would, finally, find themselves a scene to call home. A fantastic reason to lure them back for album number three.


Likeliness rating – 5/10

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