Comebacks and reunions have always been a ‘thing’ throughout the eras, with musical artists and bands dramatically splitting up, only for them to return with a bang a few years later. It seems most artists reform due to lack of money, and in most bands’ cases due to lack of solo career success. More often than not, bands’ reunions start with the iconic ‘reunion tour’. This tends to attract a bigger audience, for those who didn’t get the chance to see them during their childhood, or those who may not even have been fans but are intrigued to see how the reunion will go – a great money-making scheme for even the worst of reunions.
Artists such as Busted, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, MGMT, Britney Spears and Liam Gallagher have all returned recently to music, followed by a successive climb of fame, fortune, and even a new wave of fans. Artists that reform may have a tendency to stick to their original sound, however, substantial success could come in the shape of an artist trying something new and fans still sticking by them.
Blink-182 fan Jordan Newall (see image) was over the moon when he heard his favourite childhood band were reforming in 2016 for their first headlining tour since their 20th-anniversary tour in 2011. The ‘California’ Tour supported the bands’ seventh studio album and featured support acts Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls and The Front Bottoms.
Long-time fan Jordan saw the band at Liverpool Echo Arena back in 2017, and said that the concert was one of the best nights of his life “the atmosphere was incredible, everyone sang along to every song – the old and the new. The band were so good at getting everyone hyped, it was like surreal seeing my favourite childhood band on stage, I loved it.”
The bands most recent album ‘California’ named after their origins, still sounds like their old traditional pop-punk style music, much to the appreciation of fans, showing they haven’t changed their iconic original sound since they first formed in 1992.
Subsequently, fans still feel like it’s the same band only improved, Jordan stated “I was worried I would hate the new music. I had no idea if the sound would change or not, especially compared to the iconic ‘Enema Of The State’ album, but I was surprised I actually loved the album and liked every song on it as well, which made the tour even more exciting, ‘cos it was the classics as well as their new stuff. And it was good ‘cos people actually didn’t just sing to the old stuff which I thought they would.”.
It seems the bands’ reformation wasn’t a flop, with the tour selling out, making a staggering $2.8M from its first 28 shows, with 119 shows in total and an attendance of 745,395.
However, some bands only set out to reunite for a reunion tour – with the intention to simply excite fans, or earn some money before going off the radar again.
A prime example of this was with pop-punk band Busted, the ‘est.2002’ band (featuring members James Bourne, Matt Willis and Charlie Simpson) were teenage heartthrobs in their day, following a similar sound to bands like Green Day, Blink 182 and Sum 41 – but with a British twist. Despite the bands’ success during their 3 years active, they only had 4 number ones and only two of their three albums managed to make it into the top 10 – regardless of the fact they had 3 sell-out tours during this time.
It came with a huge outcry in 2005 when the band announced they were splitting up, due to Simpson wanting to focus his efforts on being part of heavy metal band Fightstar. Myself and thousands across the country were inevitably disappointed by this – seeing their favourite band breakup with no real promise of ever getting back together, simply saying they couldn’t go on without a member, saying they’re not going to retire, but haven’t thought about the future.
The members each did their own solo stuff, with Bourne firstly forming his own pop-punk band ‘Son Of Dork’ and then went on to have his own solo career under the identity ‘Future Boy’, although Bourne did have some success with a sell-out acoustic tour, it was short-lived and led to him writing his own musical ‘Loserville’ based on a single he released with Son Of Dork, this musical proved a success and led to Bourne working on two other musicals before the famous forming of the super-group ‘McBusted’.
Matt Willis also went on to do his own solo stuff, signing to label Mercury Records and releasing three original singles and one cover of The Primitives Song ‘Crash’ which was famously featured in ‘Mr. Beans Holiday’. Although Willis received some success it wasn’t enough for him to continue with his solo career, as before he released a full album he joined super-group ‘McBusted’ along with former Busted member James Bourne and pop group McFly.
The super-group McBusted provided Busted fans with an exciting opportunity to see Busted’s songs performed by two original members alongside McFly, nearly 10 years after the original bands split – they played over 42 sold-out shows across the UK, performing both Busted and McFly songs, whilst also releasing two songs in the process. However, much to Busted fans dismay, the third member Charlie Simpson refused to join the band, still working on his own solo stuff and was adamant he wouldn’t reform anytime soon with the other two members due to his solo career taking off.
Youngest member Charlie Simpson was the main reason the band broke up in 2005, due to him wanting to focus his efforts on heavy metal band Fightstar – which he did stay with up until 2010 (longer than Busted were together for). Although Fightstar were popular within their own genre, they only managed to have one top 10 single during their time together. Moreover, it was Charlie’s solo career that surprised fans the most – when in 2011 his album ‘Young Pilgrim’ was released, with a surprising folk sound to it, yet entering the UK albums charts at number 6 – a huge success for Simpson’s first solo album. His next album ‘Long Road Home’ released in 2014 also charted straight at number 10, followed by his final release ‘Little Hands’ in 2016. All three albums had a strong acoustic-folk sound, yet suited Simpsons character well and proved popular with Busted fans and new fans alike.
Thankfully 2015 saw the band announce a ‘comeback tour’, announcing 13 arena dates throughout the UK, selling 100,000 tickets within the first hour and more dates added due to high-demand. Fans still queried whether this return would be short-lived, however, the band announced they would be releasing a third studio album within the next year. When the ‘Night Driver’ album finally came in 2016, fans were shocked at the new innovative sound, with the album being described as a ‘synth-pop’ sound, adding electric guitars and a more classic electro sound. The sound still enticed old and new fans with their Night Driver tour still selling out for 49 dates across Europe, North America and Asia.
Since this, in 2018 the band announced new album ‘Half Way There’ as well as another tour to go along with this album. The band teased the album by releasing four songs over the months since the release, with first song ‘Nineties’, which excited fans due to it replicating Busted’s original sound, followed by All My Friends, Reunion and Radio, all which still replicate Busted’s original sound. The music videos for ‘Nineties’ and ‘Radio’ also follow suit in the vintage Busted style-video.
The album is officially released on February 1st, but you can pre-order now here: