This morning I was reading the ABC Review Supplement that came with the Independent yesterday and my eye was drawn to the advertisements for concerts. Top of the list was UB40, Who you Fighting For and I have to admit I had a nostalgic moment. My friend Clare and I went to see UB40 at Wembley Arena on their Rat in Mi Kitchen tour in 1986 or 87. However, I was somewhat disturbed by the subtitle to the tour "25 years of hits".
I love UB40 and I especially love their oldies, but somehow that heading just turns me off. It seems like everyone is on the hits tour bandwaggon at the moment (even Crosby, Stills and Nash). Not that there is anything wrong with acknowledging the hits that made you famous in the first place, even David Bowie caved in to fan pressure and did it in the end, it's just that to call it a Greatest Hits Tour somehow suggests that the artist(s) has nothing new to offer or worse still are just trying to boost flaaging album sales.(of course at the other end of the spectrum are aged bands who have no album sales and make their living on the old favourites circuit - anyone fancy an aged Mud or Showaddywaddy?)
Don't get me wrong I am all up for a bit of nostalgia and have to confess that for me Pink Floyd was the absolute highlight of Saturday's Live8 concert. It's just those greatest hits tours really get my goat!
I am also galled by the current trend for tribute bands. Bands have always done covers, but to make a career purely by playing one bands hits - come off it - isn't that cheating? It was funny when Bjorn Again did it, and we all knew that Abba would never reform. but now a band has to be famous for 5 seconds and there are a host of so-called tribute bands trying to cash in on their fame and steal their thunder. Why go and see the real thing if you can see Slobby Willies for 5p at the local pub? Click on this link to book a tribute band for your next event!
And as for The Smiths musical, well I am absolutely gobsmacked. Abba was plausible, Boy George and Madness were pushing it as far as I am concerned, so to make a musical out of the Smiths is absolutely ludicrous. Why can't we let these gods of the past lie in quiet slumber, occasionally reliving their glory through our cd collections? Don't desecrate their memories with pap and glitz - what next? Janis Joplin the Opera, ballet Blur or maybe The Sex Pistols on Ice?