Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reunion Madness

How unfortunate that the Led Zeppelin reunion has directly coincided with the release of Robert Plant's rather excellent new record with Alison Krauss. Given that Page and Plant performed Led Zep material together, somewhat indifferently, as recently as the late 90s (the only difference now being the participation of John Paul Jones), I'm actually surprised that demand for the reunion show has been quite this massive. People seem perfectly prepared to pay the outrageous asking price (£150 + for one concert is simply obscene), whilst also paying the additional costs involved in travelling substantial distances.

At least with Led Zep, there still seems to be some kind of bond of friendship and mutual empathy between the main parties. The Police reunion hardly seems to have quashed the antipathy between Stewart Copeland and Sting, who seem to have set aside their considerable differences purely for the purpose of making some cold, hard lucre.

Now comes the most ridiculous of them all - the Sex Pistols reuniting yet again! Can there be any spirit of rebellion left in these craggy old rockers? Another trudge through 'God Save The Queen' and 'Anarchy in the UK' at half the original tempos? No thanks. The most galling aspect of this particularly reunion for this writer is its timing - neatly coinciding with yet another anniversary reissue of 'Nevermind The Bollocks...' I still view this as one of the most overrated records of all time - profoundly uninteresting both musically and lyrically, and nowhere near as significant as John Lydon's later work with PiL, which was far more creative, challenging and unexpected. To my ears, the Pistols' music remains stodgy, soulless and ugly. It's no wonder it inspired Noel Gallagher. The assumption that 1976 was the year of punk, and that the Sex Pistols were at its vanguard is a massive assumption that still remains unchallenged. The protest spirit that catalysed punk surely began in the US with Iggy and The Stooges and arguably even The MC5. On this small island we seem obsessed with our capacity for musical and cultural innovation - yet it's so often based substantially on myth-making and distortion. I want to hear something original, fresh and exciting from these shores, not another trip down a memory lane almost entirely devoid of cultural value.

1 comment:

Ollie Jones said...

It's shows that UK music is in a sorry state of affairs when some of the more financially successful groups from decades gone by are able to muster up the kind of interest that they could have only wished for when they were starting out.

It’s only a matter of time before Sir Cliff Richard dips his oar in the water again in time for a Christmas number one!