The Boomtown Rats and other bands from yesteryear who have reformed recently


Anthony Barnes
Monday 28 January 2013 17:15

The Boomtown Rats, the new wave band which brought Bob Geldof to fame, are to be united once more as they join the many acts of yesteryear who have bowed to the temptation to reform.

For many acts, they are simply responding to the fans' desire to see them once again, but for others it seems a chance to cash in on the riches they have missed first time around.

ITV2 will this week begin screening its Big Reunion series in which six pop acts - much-missed by some, barely remembered by many - prepare to stage a historic, or possibly hysterical, comeback.

But the reunion to crown all others must be the return of Take That who conquered charts and stadiums a decade after they split.

Here are some of the bands who have tried to recapture their glory days in recent years:

  • The Stone Roses - years of denials that the Mancunian quartet would ever share a stage were forgotten last year when they headlined a series of shows at Heaton Park, and played a string of festival shows. The hundreds of thousands of fans who saw them were also reminded that singer Ian Brown is at least a semi-tone below the rest the band.

  • Led Zeppelin - their reunion may only have been brief - a one-off charity show at the O2 Arena in 2007 - but the huge worldwide interest has ensured they have been more than able to cash in on the occasion. Last year saw a live DVD and album from the show, Celebration Day, which was launched with huge fanfare.

  • Take That - the reunion which all pop acts aspire to emulate. Since their 2006 return on a wave of nostalgia, the band have achieved three number one albums and singles, as well as selling out stadiums. The addition of Robbie Williams to the line-up brought further success, while Gary Barlow has now achieved a "national treasure" status after years in the wilderness.

  • Sex Pistols - the punk quartet left fans under no illusions when they got back together in 1996, calling their reunion the Filthy Lucre tour. Further cash-ins have followed and frontman John Lydon has in recent years rejuvenated his later act Public Image Limited, issuing their first new studio album for 20 years - This is PiL - last year.

  • Spice Girls - perhaps inspired by the success of Take That, the quintet embarked on a three-month tour of Europe and the US, to tie in with a greatest hits release and to acts as a final farewell to fans. they emerged once more to perform at the Olympic closing ceremony but a a West End musical featuring the group's music was given a fairly lacklustre response when it opened last month.

  • Pixies - cited as an influence by dozens of acts, including Nirvana's Kurt Cobain who had tried to emulate their soft-loud-soft approach to songwriting on Smells Like Teen Spirit, they could barely stand the sight of each other by their 1993 split. They reformed for gigs in 2004 and a new song Bam Thwok topped the download chart. Further gigs have followed but a new album has eluded fans.

  • The Police - another band barely able to disguise their hatred for each other by the time they split in 1984, to the extent that Stewart Copeland once broke one of Sting's ribs as they grappled. They managed to grin and bear it - cushioned by the box office millions - to share a stage for the best part of a year of touring to mark the band's 30th anniversary.

  • 5ive - they achieved a trio of number ones more than a decade ago, including Keep On Movin', but had a fractious relationship. A previous attempt to reform saw them split after just eight months before playing a show or attracting the big money record deal they wanted. They are now trying again, although despite the name there are only four of them, with J Brown failing to join. Their comeback is part of ITV2's Big Reunion along with acts such as Liberty X, 911 and Honeyz.

  • Mutya Keisha Siobhan - the original line-up of Sugababes, who no longer have the rights to the group's name, have been working on new material over the past year. They are still to release any material although clips have appeared online.

  • Blur - after years of hits the band just fizzled out after touring their 2003 album Think Tank, by which point they had already seen the departure of guitarist Graham Coxon. Blur returned to headline Glastonbury in 2009 as well as playing a few other shows. Last year they re-emerged with two new songs and performed a Hyde Park concert to coincide with the closing of the Olympics.


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