Memory Lane

Dee Barnfield of revered 90's fanzine 'All About D' muses on the recent reformations of some of her former heroes...

Is there a band called Memory Lane? Tom is their only friend on Myspace, so maybe not…

Anyway, despite being very rooted in 2006 and already making my predictions for 2007 (Air Traffic will clean up), I've been thinking about this a bit recently, especially in the light of several recent gigs.

The evidence m'lud: the mighty Done Lying Down reforming for one glorious night only in May (actually the weather was shit, but the gig was amazing!) at The Bull & Gate after 9, count them, 9 years. And in support, Sonar Nation and The Zimmer Frames, of course.

Didn't manage to make it myself, but Midget got back together to play a festival in Stamford recently.

Then just last week, Silver Sun (pictured below), no less. The drummer is new, but the rest of the band are the originals. They were warming up en route to Japan, so we were treated to a mix of old and new songs; "Lava" was as orgasmic as it ever was. Fab. In support of them was the wonderful Wojtek Godzisz, who, if the name rings vague bells, was indeed the guitarist and main songwriter for those whippersnappers, Symposium. A rocking set of fantastic new songs; he could be on to something…

Name changes can revitalise (just look what happened to Parva, for example). Data Panik arose from the ashes of bis with added live drums and bass. Then there's Letters, who are the original four Llama Farmers, but doing completely new songs. Both bands have moved on from what they were doing before and travelled in very interesting directions.

So which is the best approach?

1. reform and play only old songs (e.g. Done Lying Down)
2. reform, change name (optional, but probably recommended) and only play brand new songs (e.g. Data Panik)
3. reform and play some new songs plus the hits (e.g. Silver Sun)

Well, ultimately, I guess it depends what you're doing it for? For a great night out, meeting up with old friends and just having fun, then it's got to be approach 1. For another stab at the big time, then it's got to be approach 2. But perhaps the most crowd-pleasing approach is number 3, whereby you can appeal to both old and new fans. Won't work for everyone though.

Now where's that wish list? Cable………..

Dee Barnfield