So it’s come to pass, the most talked about ‘will they, won’t they?’ reformation in British rock (bar perhaps The Smiths) and with new material in the pipeline to boot. So the next questions are going to be, why now? and ‘will they/it be any good?’
Ian Brown has had a successful career of his own in the meantime, expanding his pop repertoire in various directions: much of it is a million miles away from the classic rock/Psychedelic sound of those early years: soulful, exploratory and arguably better. Despite modest success with The Seahorses, Squire couldn’t quite cut it in the songwriting department in spite of his obvious talents as a player and chose to bow out gracefully. Often it’s about the chemistry and the timing, more than the chops. Mani clearly understood this when he joined The Primal Scream organisation and participated in three of their era-defining albums. Only Reni has been out of the creative loop entirely: the promised solo material never came to fruition.
None of the band members are under any illusions about the impact this announcement will have. They have no doubt that the tickets will sell like, well, like tickets to a long-awaited rock band reunion. It’s the silly expectations that scuppered them the first time around. They must have something good.
As Mani said, regarding TSC ‘…people got the wrong end of the stick, they wanted nice pop songs. We were more like “Hey! Let’s show them what we can really do.’
That’s what we want to hear now – what they can really do.
For years, Brown has been less than enthusiastic about their first, Squire-led return. Whilst he’s right to observe that the songs weren’t quite strong enough to withstand the insane weight of expectation; time has been kind to TSC. Removed from the post-Nevermind, post-Definitely Maybe period when rock was suddenly hot again its strength is more apparent. It and their eponymous debut glower potently in their own time capsule, representing a peculiar period in the history of British rock. More importantly, the dramatic progression in style and musical confidence between the two albums were indicative of a band not content to rest on their laurels. With Brown’s and Mani’s vastly expanded CVs to draw on one has good cause to expect great things, so long as they a) get along, and b) don’t drag their feet – the two bugbears that turned the Second Coming project from an explosive return to a damp squib.
They’re not gonna bring down U2 this time, any more than they did 15 years ago; but whether you bought into the alleged ‘hype’ around the Roses, there’s no doubt they produced a clutch of genuinely classic rock and roll tunes that sound as good today as the day they were minted. All we can ask for is more of the same:
‘I Wanna Be Adored’
‘I Am The Resurrection’