Katy Guest: Nostalgia is the coming thing

The one thing that will symbolise our retro-fest era is band reunions

Share
Related Topics

They say nostalgia ain't what it used to be, but try telling that to anyone who has been to a gig, a bar, or out of the house at all during this long hot summer of looking back. 2009 is the year of re-living lost youth, it turns out.

I am in a position to say this confidently since I now have a GP who is younger than me and am suddenly seeing the fashions of my youth recycled by the young.

I went to a party in the area known as London's Trendy Hoxton last weekend and thought I had accidentally walked into an Eighties theme night, but I was kindly informed that it is now very witty to dress like The Kids From Fame's less imaginative younger siblings and that I should rip my jeans and get with the programme.

Those who set the bill for last weekend's Grandads' Glastonbury were maybe responsible for kicking off the latest wave of nostalgia chic, holding up Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Blur before Somerset's baffled youth. But they weren't the first festival veterans to look back.

Next month sees the long-planned publication of two books on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock – one of them is a limited edition called Woodstock Experience and is signed by none other than Arlo Guthrie (ask your dad).

The weather, too, is provoking déjà vu all over southern England. Yesterday, my neighbours asked me to water their plants while they were on holiday, in a spirit of solidarity that hasn't been witnessed in London since 1976 when it was last this hot, I was just born and everyone else was saving water by bathing with a friend.

And then Michael Jackson's death sparked a wave of nostalgia that sent all of his songs hurtling back up the charts, and was also reminiscent of the passing of that other patron saint of the eating disorder, Princess Diana.

Where were you when you heard that Jacko died? I happened to be on a petrol station forecourt when a weeping man wound down his car window to shout out the news. How suburban. How Seventies.

When we come to look back fondly on the great retro-fest of the late Noughties, however, the one thing that will symbolise the era is band reunions. The Police, Crowded House, Duran Duran, Boyzone, Spandau Ballet, The Spice Girls... I must have been pretty on trend on Wednesday night when I caught the slow train to Wembley to see Take That in concert.

The last gig I saw at (the old) Wembley stadium was, as it happens, Michael Jackson. Going back there is a reminder of how incomparably depressing is the modern 02 arena, which charges £4.30 for a pint of lager and won't let you keep the cap on a bottle of pop "in case you use it as a missile".

Seeing 160,000 hands waving in unison as 80,000 thirtysomething women sweat with excitement is quite something at Wembley. Watching the old dance routines redesigned for a band of grown up men is weirdly moving. Noting that little Mark Owen is still hot at 37 is quite cheering. But finding a Wembley security guard, a burger chef and a refuse collector dancing outside the toilets to "Re-light My Fire", that is pure nostalgia. Long may it come back again – and again.

k.guest@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices