Thursday, 30 August 2018

The trouble with anniversary tours

I've nothing against anniversary tours in general. You know the sort of thing: "It's 25 years since Album X was released and Band Y are reuniting to play the whole album, in full - don't miss it!" Later this year, I will be going to see From The Jam on their All Mod Cons 40th anniversary tour - I've got no problem with that, not even the fact that only one third of the actual Jam is now involved. And in recent years I've seen The Wedding Present run through George Best too, which was blissful. So I hope it's pretty clear that I have no problem with the concept - it's rose-tinted nostalgia for the fans and a few quid in the pension pot for the band. Everyone wins.

Except... (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) Except I do have a problem when the anniversary excuse is tenuous and/or the act of celebration is unjustified. You might think something has triggered this mini-rant and you'd be right, for this morning I had an email from a local gig venue advertising this:

In celebration of the twelfth anniversary of celebrated million-selling album 'Twelve Stops and Home', The Feeling will be performing the album in full this October.

Where shall I start?

First off, who celebrates a twelve year anniversary? Even when there's a tenuous (and desperate) numeric tie-in with the album title? Secondly, who feels this album needs celebrating? So much so, in fact, that they feel the need to have a "celebration of ... [a] celebrated million-selling album"? (Really, who edits this copy?) And thirdly, are The Feeling suddenly so skint or in need of a career boost that this seems like a good idea to them?

Christ, if you really must celebrate a twelfth anniversary, why not look at a decent album, maybe Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Except no-one feels the need to celebrate that because, you know, Arctic Monkeys are still active and producing new material. Still relevant. Still going forwards. Still all the things that maybe The Feeling are not so much, any more. And don't think I've just got it in for The Feeling - after all, last year The View were touting a tenth anniversary tour of Hats Off To The Buskers, unbelievably. My beef really is just anniversary tours that purport to celebrate something that really isn't worth celebrating, rather than just admit career stagnation and financial imperative. Gah!

Anyway, enough of me being a misery-guts. I leave you with selections from albums actually deserving of celebration, for 12, 20, 30 and 40-year anniversaries respectively. Which would you pay to see performed in full?

12 years

20 years

30 years

40 years


  1. Hmm, I feel similarly that's it all just so tenuous that it seems very contrived. On the other hand perhaps they're just into the duodecimal system....
    And 40 years since Kate Bush...? How can this possibly be?!