Britpop bands put a new twist on comebacks

Rather than be nostalgia acts, Dodgy, Cast and Garbage are recording new music for their reunions, says Elisa Bray
All's rosy: The Cranberries have released a new album

When it's about the music and not the money

Bands like The Cranberries must beware of cashing in on nostalgia, says Elisa Bray

The Doll Princess, By Tom Benn

Imoved to Manchester in 1998, two years after The Doll Princess is set. While I recognise the areas – and accents – in Tom Benn's debut novel, the immediate aftermath of the 1996 IRA bomb is something I never saw; nor the grimy Northern gangland he portrays in this swaggering book. Whether Stockport lad Benn (born in 1987) has seen much of the latter, given his tender years, really doesn't matter. He gives such an adrenalin-soaked expedition to the seedier side of suburbs such as Wythenshawe, Hulme and Rusholme, and to the nightclubs and penthouses of Deansgate and central Manchester, that I was just pleased to be along for the ride.

Album: The Smiths, Complete (Rhino)

The first line of the first song on the first Smiths album contains, like some fractal, the essence of their entire oeuvre.

Melanie C, Scala, London (3/5)

Four years after she got back together with the Spice Girls, Melanie Chisholm is stalking much smaller venues.

Kasabian, Roundhouse, London

Kasabian are one of those bands who divide opinion. They are either touted as the slick saviours of Brit rock or snootily derided as Oasis-lite. I'll be honest and admit that I used to sit squarely in the latter camp.

The Dears, The Borderline, London

The annals of music are littered with next-big-things, bands who promised much but who never managed to turn critical appraisal into commercial success. Most of them tend to sublimate away after their first album when it's clear that they aren't going to make it without eating.

Suede, 02 Dome, London

Britpop stars still strutting their stuff

Do you remember the last time? Pulp reform for summer shows

In a move likely to be greeted with the dusting off of drainpipe trousers nationwide, Pulp have announced they are the latest Britpop band to reform.

Supergrass, Brixton Academy, London

The funny thing about Supergrass is that if they had followed the example of fellow Britpoppers such as Blur and Suede, and split up closer to the height of their fame, the time would have been just about right for a comeback tour.

Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in its Downfall, By Luke Haines

Luke Haines was the lead singer of the 1990s band the Auteurs. One might be tempted to call them a Britpop band, but don't do so in Haines' hearing as he loathes and despises Britpop and all the other bands associated with it. But then, he loathes and despises pretty much everything: all bands more successful than his own; anyone who doesn't think his music was better than everyone else's; small people; small dogs; Northerners... Haines' arrogance is breathtaking: he meets Paul McCartney at Abbey Road studios but declines to play him any of his new songs as "they're too good for him".

No Distance Left To Run: A Film About Blur (NC)

A rather indulgent documentary on the career-arc of Britpop's favourites, following their reformation last year and the triumphant headlining gigs at Glastonbury and Hyde Park.

Free Brett Anderson download compilation to be released by The Independent

On Saturday 31st, The Independent is offering readers the chance to download eight Brett Anderson tracks, including four brand new songs from the highly anticipated album, Slow Attack.

DVD: Telstar, For retail & rental, (Momentum)

Nick Moran's biopic of Joe Meek (Con O'Neill), the troubled British pop producer, is one of the most enjoyable directorial debuts in years.

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