What You Missed: Reunited and it feels so … 80’s

Bono and The Edge surprise audience for Mencap event in London
photo by Kendel Ratley

If it ever seems to you like there are very few good new bands out there, maybe that’s because all of your favorite 80’s and 90’s bands are still kicking around — reconciling, reforming and recording. In this roundup of weekend headlines, we couldn’t help notice the frequency of bands from our youth continuing to make waves:

After U2 officially denied that they would take up residency for two weeks at the O2 Arena in London next June, a rumor begun by a ticket retailer, Bono and The Edge surprised an audience of about 200 at a Mencap charity event in London. During Friday night’s session of the Little Noise series, Bono and The Edge performed three songs, including “Wave of Sorrow,” a song begun during the Joshua Tree sessions but finished just the day before their appearance. Read more here and check out the stealthy video shot from the crowd:

We’ve already announced (here) that the influential shoegazers My Bloody Valentine have decided to reunite, perform and record new material, and now Billboard is reporting that the band plans to “do a Radiohead” with the album. The band’s manager reports that MBV “will release the album themselves via the Internet” along with some sort of vinyl release for fans. Find the rest of the story is here.
[edit: the band’s manager, Vinita Joshi, claims that she was misquoted and that they would never consider a digital-only release, as it’s “an inferior format” — read the rest of the denial at Pitchfork here.]

In another Billboard exclusive, the long feuding but now reunited Jim and William Reid, founding brothers of The Jesus & Mary Chain, MBV’s Creation Records contemporaries, have apparently completed “dozens” of songs for their upcoming release. As the manager for the feedback drenched band reveals that they yet to commit to any label, major or indie, fans may wonder if they too will pull a Radiohead. Read the story here. If you missed it, here’s the new song they played on Letterman in May, entitled “All Things Must Pass”:

The Verve have been busy with their ongoing reunion as they continue to perform sold-out shows in the UK (six more shows have been added for December). Although their free download of a 14-minute jam session of new material is no longer available, according to NME, fans will be able to pick up a rerelease of their 90’s singles collection, This Is Music, next week. The newly pressed album, courtesy of EMI, comes packaged with their also previously released DVD video collection of the same name. Interestingly, though, on their MySpace page, the band still claims to be “unsigned.” Should we expect a “Radiohead” from them as well?

Check out The Verve performing one of those singles, “Sonnet,” at the Roundhouse in London on November 9:

Unfortunately, not all reunions come to fruition, as happened with Babyshambles last Thursday. No, it wasn’t the oft-addled Pete Doherty who hit the brakes, but rather a planned appearance by former guitarist Patrick Walden fell through on the first show of the tour. Says current guitarist Mick Whitnall to NME, “He came up to Manchester on the tour bus with us, he was going to come out and play on a couple of songs, but there were complications and he had to go home,” adding, “Personally, I just found it all a bit strange.” The full story is here.

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