I thought they split up years ago...
That Westlife have called it a day came as a shock to their fans – and to everyone who thought they already had. Will Dean reveals the other rockers rolling on under the radar
Friday 21 October 2011
The Beach Boys
One remaining original member of the Californian rock greats – Mike Love – continues to tour The Beach Boys franchise. Two surviving others, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, have reappeared on a number of occasions, including to sing backing vocals on Status Quo's cover of "Fun, Fun, Fun". A "proper" reunion to celebrate 50 years of the band has been mooted.
Another group with a die-hard fanbase, Weezer – who made two of the Nineties' best albums, Weezer and Pinkerton – continue to infuriate casual listeners by getting progressively worse. One fan, James Burns, even took to online fundraising to try and offer the band $10m to stop making music. He didn't have much success – they're still going strong and, in January, are hosting the Weezer Cruise – a four-day Caribbean boat trip featuring multiple sets by singer Rivers Cuomo and co.
Little known in the UK, but big enough in the States to both organise their own festivals and for Ben and Jerry's to honour them with an ice-cream flavour (Phish Food), the Vermont four-piece continue to rack up career miles. Having briefly split up, they continue to thrive beneath the radar due to quirks such as their devoted fans' trading of gig tapes – which, thanks to their improvisational style, differ every night.
As the world was distracted by the Millennium Bug, Fred Durst's outfit managed to become one of the biggest bands on the planet. They didn't last long in the public eye, but still do a good trade entertaining the world's sports metal-loving youths.
Despite long periods of absence and personnel changes, the Eighties pop superstars never actually called it quits at any point. 2004's Astronaut LP and a 2006 reunion of the group's "classic" line-up (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and the three Taylors) and appearances at Live Earth and the Concert for Diana propelled them back into the spotlight, but the relative commercial failure of the subsequent albums, the departure of guitarist Andy Taylor and a cancelled 2011 tour have all contributed to a case of the "I thought they'd split ups".
Another Eighties pop group that has made it through the subsequent decades without being kissed goodbye. Now a duo, vocalists Karen Woodward and Sara Dallin combine Eighties nostalgia tours with ventures into new material including a 2010 Christmas single and a guest slot on ITV comedy Benidorm.
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