1 Dec 2014

2014's best reunions... our Top Five

Bands break up every year, and every year bands get back together. Well, I'm not certain, but I think 2014 might just be the best year for these reunions. Last year was pretty great, with Mazzy Star and Slint and Neutral Milk Hotel, but I reckon. for me, this year trumps it. It's hard to say, but despite an S Club 7 reunion, here are our top 5 of this year's reunions to show that perhaps it has been a great year for bands getting back together...

5. American Football
American Football practically invented emo as a genre. Formed in Illinois, 1997, they only actually put out one album, 1999's self-titled. This year, they put out a deluxe version of that album, and then teased with a bit of writing on their webpage, AND BAM! They've now played their first dates of the twenty-first century, and you've got to hope they're going to play more, because they've not played any UK dates since their split... I can only hope.

4. Babes In Toyland
People go on about Hole as being the angriest, grimmest (a good kind of grim) sounding all-girl grunge group of the nineties, but gosh, they're wrong. Babes In Toyland are one of the most amazing groups spawned from that era. They sound absolutely furious, and fronted by the venomous Kat Bjellend, they released 3 angry angry albums in the early nineties - the best probably being Fontanelle. At the end of July this year, they announced in an interview that they'd get back together to write new material and play some shows. Although at the moment, they're only playing one date, in California, this band's reunion is something to take note of. Because just how amazing would it be to see them live?

3. Slowdive
God, now we're into the incredibly exciting reunions - one of my all time favourites, Slowdive. Before the start of the year, not many people I know were into Slowdive at all, and now, now that their beautiful music has found a new audience, it's hard to find someone that isn't a fan of the legendary shoegazers. It's fantastic to see so many people getting into music that would have otherwise been ignored and brushed under the carpet, and since Slowdive got back together at the beginning of the year they've been viewed somewhat as a band of lost treasures emerging to lots of new fans. To a lot of acclaim, Slowdive have embarked on a large scale tour of the US, played a handful of festivals all over Europe, and in December they're set to hit London for a couple of dates at The Forum. Their reunion has thrust their beautiful music to a large amount of new fans, and what's more is that they've said new material might just be on the way. Eek.

2. The Libertines
Earlier this year, on hearing that The Libertines were getting back together I was very cynical. 'Again?!?' I thought, recalling an NME interview about them never getting back together in about 2011. It seemed that The Libertines were back together for the money, because I can recall Doherty saying so in an interview. But as time wore on, with the Hyde Park show being destructive, the Benicassim show being legendary and the truly amazing Ally Pally shows, it looks like the band are in it for more than the money. It's great to see that Pete Doherty's cleaning up his act a bit, and it's even cooler to know that they're now writing for a new Libertines album. The Libertines first proper attempt at a reunion is looking promising already, but judgement day isn't until LP3 hits the shelves.

1. Ride
Ride is a special one for me personally. For a good couple of years, this Oxford quartet have been my favourite band in the world. The music they released in the nineties; the wispy shoegaze and Byrds-y alt-rock alike; has been the soundtrack to the last 30 months of my life, so it's only natural that a Ride reunion is the most exciting thing that's happened to me all year. Ride announced, earlier this month, that they'd be back for good and that they'd be playing London's Field Day with Patti Smith and DIIV, which is so cool. As expected they announced a Manc, Barras and LDN date to supplement the reunion, but unexpectedly, everything sold out in like two seconds. It almost confirms that my favourite are as well loved by other people as they are by me, and it makes the prospect of Vapour Trail, Leave Them All Behind and Chelsea Girl live really amazing... Ride's reformation has made me really excited for what 2014 holds and I hope it's the same for other people...

(written by calum cashin)