Wednesday 21 February 2018

John Meagher: Spare us the curse of the money-grabbing comeback tour

Kris Kross performing in 1993
Kris Kross performing in 1993

OH NO. Please say it ain’t so. Kris Kross – that annoying hip-hop duo who ruffled the charts briefly in the early 1990s – are back.

Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith are reuniting for a 20th anniversary concert and – you can be sure – a money-grabbing, globe-trotting tour.

I don’t have anything against the pair: many of their contemporaries were responsible for far greater crimes against music and their re-emergence will provide misty-eyed memories for some.

What I have a problem with is the very idea of The Band Reunion: a phenomenon that’s become depressingly commonplace in recent years and seems chiefly designed to extract hard-earned cash on the nostalgia circuit.

More often than not, bands who get back together are content to flog same old music as before. They rarely have new material on hand, save the odd song or two.

As a music reviewer with the Irish Independent, I’ve lost count of the amount of reunion shows I’ve seen that have fallen badly short of the mark. From Thin Lizzy to The Sex Pistols – and many, many others in between – I’ve been struck by what poor facsimiles of their old selves they’ve become. It doesn’t help, of course, when pivotal members of the bands have passed on to that great rock and roll stage in the sky.

Even Blur – one of my favourite bands – couldn’t quite recapture former glories when they reconvened and played Oxegen a few years back. They seemed to improve as their tour went on, but it always felt valedictory rather than an exciting new chapter. Frontman Damon Albarn has clearly moved on.

I don’t hold out much hope for Suede’s comeback album, either. Their first two albums – and half of the third – are marvellous, but they lost their way so badly after that that I fear they can’t possibly rekindle the spark that made them the best new band in Britain at the beginning of the 1990s.

I hope I’m wrong, but bitter experience suggests my worst fears will probably be realised.

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