Whether you prefer insufferable cheesiness or insufferable moodiness, you’re in for a treat with the reunions and recently announced comebacks of both Steps and The Stone Roses. Two more average bands trying to crawl their way back into the hearts and (tone deaf) ears of the nation in order to make a quick quid. We’re all aware of the current economic climate, and no doubt previously famous people are suffering too, after all, it must be awful to live in a grand house, drive an expensive car and shop at Waitrose, not to mention those costly divorces we’re always hearing about. But why should the economically suffering public have to come to the rescue of these forgotten has-beens? The music industry are placing an increasing amount of pressure on fans and their wallets, particularly for genuine fans who just can’t afford £55 for a gig ticket (not including any additional booking and administration fees) but risk the chance of never being able to see their idols again. Undoubtedly, there are people willing to foolishly pay these prices, even if it means having to forgo common necessities or sink deeper into debt.
It’s no secret that both bands experienced difficult and anything but amicable splits. Steps members Ian “H” Watkins and Claire Richards allegedly wrote a letter to their fellow band members a mere few hours before a scheduled show, explaining their reasons for wanting to quit the band and soon after creating their own (rather unsuccessful) duo, whilst The Stone Roses openly exclaimed, “Having spent the last 10 years in the filthiest business in the universe, it’s a pleasure to announce the end of the Stone Roses”, with band member John Squire’s famously branding his former best friend and co-band member “tuneless” and “a paranoid mess”. So after years of being away from the music industry and out of the limelight, what could possibly attract them back into this alleged filthy business and seemingly forget about their previous bitter quarrels?
Money, of course. But this is more than a case of fools gold. Those who have managed to buy The Stone Roses tickets this morning for their upcoming Manchester gigs next June may not be real fans. The eBay and ticket touting “industries” have created a generation of opportunists who secure income and profit based on the desperation of those unable to spend hours on a ticket hotline or constantly refreshing their internet browsers in hope of purchasing entry to their idols’ tours. Not only do the ridiculously high ticket prices benefit and nourish the bank accounts of the members of Steps and The Stone Roses, but they also help immoral criminals flourish by re-selling tickets for a much higher amount. But how can we solve these existing problems? The music industry is an entertainment industry which means that no matter how awful the singer or band are, they can still succeed and earn more money than the majority of the general public could earn in a lifetime slaving away at their 9 to 5’s. It’s no secret that many people disagree with the amount of money that entertainers earn, footballers, singers, and actors alike, but when the general public can justify spending money on entertainment and value, how can change ever be promoted?
One thing’s for sure, this is anything but value for money. Neither band have reached anywhere near the amount of success and fame as other British bands, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (to name a few) have, yet we’re expected to pay just as much, if not more, to witness their questionable musical talents. Like many other average British indie bands, The Stone Roses are too cocky for their own good with no actual reason to be so. Similarly, Steps may have appealed to a mass-market in the 1990s, but the cheesy pop days of easy-to-learn dance routines and brightly coloured matching costumes are over, and any success with their reunion will surely be short-lived as the public are reminded of just how annoying and repetitive songs like “Tragedy” and “5,6,7,8” are. Neither band or reunion tour will be getting any money out of my pockets or bank account, particularly when a mere two years ago, Ian Brown told NME magazine he would only reunite with his band if he was reduced to “begging on the streets”, claiming “we didn’t [become a band] because we wanted to be millionaires”. Clearly we can’t trust a word the money-grabbing man says.
Maybe both bands are just Better Best Forgotten.