Back Page: Don’t Call It A Comeback

Derek Robertson is looking forward the return of music’s big hitters.

2013 is, even at this early stage, shaping up to be a great year for music. ‘Ones To Watch’ lists were chock full of talented and interesting acts. Commentators as diverse as Paul Weller, BBC Radio 1 boss George Ergatoudis, and Rough Trade co-founder Jeannette Lee have predicted big things for guitar music. The world of mainstream pop seems ready to shake off the stupor and spirit-crushing lack of originality that has plagued it for the last few years. Glastonbury returns too, providing a focal point for summer festivities.
But there’s something else to get excited about, something that brings joy and expectation for the twelve months ahead – news of which often gets lost in the cacophony. I’m talking, of course, about the anticipated return of great bands, artists who in many ways helped define the last decade and, for some of us, were the reason we fell in love with music in the first place. Already confirmed are new releases from Queens Of The Stone Age, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bowie and Arctic Monkeys. Even that most mythical of albums, My Bloody Valentine’s follow up to ‘Loveless’, is scheduled to see the light of day according to Kevin Shields’ latest communications.
That Josh Homme, Karen O, and Alex Turner will be bothering our speakers is undoubtedly exciting, but it’s interesting to consider why. Psychologists would argue that in times of trouble or strife, familiar faces – and sounds – are reassuring; a sonic comfort blanket if you will, helping to ease the passage through grey days and stormy waters. Others might claim they represent a chance to recall, and relive, former glories, a rose-tinted past. All valid points, I’m sure, but there’s a far simpler explanation as to why their return is a Very Good Thing indeed.

Basically, they’re just great bands, with great back catalogues, and there’s no reason to think they’re not about to add to them. These are artists who transcend genres and eras, who inspire, delight, and connect; the thought of once again witnessing Homme attack his guitar with menace, or Karen O coyly prowling the stage has me grinning from ear to ear with unfettered glee. And those three bands are just the beginning; The Knife, Nick Cave, Beck, Daft Punk… Suffice to say, there’s something for everybody. Of course, it’s not all good news; Beady Eye are also slated to return with something “majestic” and “out there”, but nothing’s ever perfect, right?

Taken from the February 2013 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.