Friday, 16 August 2019

Who likes news? Me ... I hope.

For the last four weeks or so, Martin Rossiter has been tweeting some fairly oblique references to his past as frontman of Gene. It started on the 24th of July, with this:

For absolute clarity, that's an extreme close-up of the first Gene album, Olympian, on vinyl, presented without comment or explanation. And five days later came a similar uncommented vinyl close-up of the third album, Drawn To The Deep End, thus:

Six days later, To See The Lights got similar treatment (close-up sleeve art this time) ... did Revelations (close-up vinyl again), four days after that:

Then, on August 13th, this:

Followed by this, the next day:

So fans of Gene and the Rozzer are in mild meltdown as to what all this might mean, and are counting down the days 'til the bank holiday Monday when we find out. Some are hoping it means those first four albums are getting a vinyl re-issue - something that didn't happen in the great remastering of 2014. Seems plausible, especially as Martin didn't tweet a close-up of a vinyl Libertine, the one album that did get a vinyl re-issue in 2014. Yes, very plausible indeed, and the most likely explanation.

Of course, plausibility and likelihood haven't stopped fans (including me) getting over-excited. Some hope for new solo Rossiter material, and an accompanying tour. Others (including me) hope for the holy grail... for yes, whilst Rossiter has made it very clear in the past that he would not countenance a Gene reunion ("... I would rather eat my own penis. Fried. With shallots."), there are plenty of people (including me) who wonder whether the recent successful comebacks of Rozzer-mates Sleeper and My Life Story might have swayed him somewhat. So imagine my reaction when I saw this yesterday:

"... some very special guests will be joining us ..." Because yes, if you were reconvening a band after a long, long lay-off, it would make sense to try out supporting one of your mates first, wouldn't it? And Rossiter is quite matey with MLS frontman Jake Shillingford, so...?

So, clearly I went into tenuous theory overdrive, and tweeted a response to all concerned along the lines of "Given @MartinRossiter's recent cryptic tweets, will your guests be Gene?" To which the only response, thus far, has been a "like" from the venue, the Islington Assembly Hall.

It's just a theory, and a biased theory at that - biased by years of desperation to see Gene live again. I have no proof that this is in any way right (a "like" from the venue is hardly grounds for a Q.E.D.), or that Gene are reconvening anywhere else, or even that Martin is doing something new solo. And of course I know that the vinyl re-issue explanation is by far the more likely (I'm biased, not stupid). But I also know what I hope, and that I will be keeping November 2nd free in my diary, just in case.

To close, here's one of hundreds of reasons why I love Gene so very much. Enjoy... and keep your fingers crossed.

EDIT: and tonight, this, plus a tweet denying that the news is reissue related... so is it really on? Watch this space...


  1. The Man Of Cheese16 August 2019 at 22:18

    Mr P,I too am vainly clinging to the hope that the Rozza will get his band back together. Ridiculously optimistic but I did read somewhere that they did reconvene for a few songs many moons ago so maybe a precedent set. Please let it happen.....

    1. Please indeed. A slender hope, I know, but even that is better than no hope. And if not that, then something new solo from the Rozzer, as compensation.

    2. And yes, they reconvened a few years back (in the late Noughties, I think) to play a few songs at their old manager's wedding, or some such.

    3. The Man of Cheese16 August 2019 at 22:40

      Hope springs eternal

    4. No doubt soon to be dashed, but never mind...