After the cryptic messages.
After the teasing.
After the seven year itch from his defenestration.
After the yearning, the longing and the praying.
He will return.
Today Martin Rossiter, with a little (maybe more than a little) help from his friends at Star Shaped, has announced that he will return for one final time to the music that made him a central part of our minds landscapes.
A one off celebration of the songs that shaped the lives of the sick, the broken, the damaged, the fragile and the heart-broken during the nineties…and beyond. A chance to hear them sung by the man who wrote them, a chance to sing-along one last time, a chance to bathe in the warmth of the music that soothed our restless souls again.
That’s all any of us really want isn’t it?
When the flirting began on Twitter a few weeks ago I was adamant that a Gene reunion wouldn’t, couldn’t and, privately, shouldn’t take place. Martin had made it clear, more than once, that he had no time for reunions…there were artistic reasons for that which, of course, could change over time but, crucially, he had principled and political reasons for his position and those are much more difficult to bend or break. Some artists could, would, sell their principles and their grandmothers for the right cheque but Martin Rossiter isn’t really that sort of artist. His principles were in place before Gene, they were front and centre throughout Gene and they have remained long after Gene were gone. It would, I think, have been distasteful for a Gene reunion to have taken place…no matter how desperately so many people wanted it. This, I believe, is better than a reunion.
I happen to disagree with his position on a reunion.
I think that people change, circumstances change, times change…people grow, relationships shift, the muse visits and so there are no barriers to bands reforming and returning Why shouldn’t bands and artists play the old songs, write some new songs and bring joy to their fans?
But that’s me.
I am, as I am sure you will have noticed, not Martin Rossiter.
So now we have a chance…one final chance.
From “Olympian” to “The Defenestration of…” it will all be revisited, excavated, resurrected.
You can start dreaming of your own fantasy set-list now.
An epic night lies ahead.
It would be quicker to think of songs you don’t want to hear one last time.
Quicker because you couldn’t find one.
The quality of what Rossiter, and the band, created in their time together was so good that he could simply play a selection of b-sides and everyone, and I mean everyone, would go home happy.
Think about this little lot for starters; “Child’s Body”, “I Can’t Help Myself”, “Sick, Sober & Sorry”, “Do You Want to Hear it From Me?”, “To See the Lights”, “Drawn to the Deep End”, “Cast Out in the Seventies”, “As the Bruises Fade”, “Man on Earth”, “Touched by the Hand of Havoc”, “Who Said This was the End?” and “With Love in Mind”.
He could play a simple set of the singles in chronological order and it would sound like the only set you ever want to hear again.
How about a set of album tracks only?
“Your Love it Lies”, “London Can you Wait?”, “Still Can’t Find the Phone”, “Why I Was Born”, “Long Sleeves for the Summer”, “Save Me, I’m Yours”, “Sub Rosa”, “Love Won’t Work”, “Something in the Water”, “Angel”, “Little Child”, “You’ll Never Walk Again”, “Does He Have a Name”, “O Lover”, “We’ll Get What We Deserve”, “Walking in the Shallows”, “You”, “Somewhere in the World”.
Or what if he just appeared on stage, a stage, any stage and started playing “The Defenestration of…” in its entirety?
Is the penny dropping?
No matter what is played this is going to be an evening never to be forgotten.
If he is saying it is the last time…you know he really means it will be the last time.
Principles innit mate.
This isn’t like when Morrissey says he is playing only one UK date, which then sells out in fifteen minutes and when people have paid for flights, booked hotels and organised child care he then announces a 78 date nationwide tour.
It won’t be like that because, again and unlike Morrissey, principles.
This will be it.
One last chance.
Will I be there?
I really don’t know how I couldn’t be.
I followed Gene around and across the UK.
I fell in love.
At my lowest point, at my most fearful, at my most vulnerable it was one of their songs that I turned to. When I thought that my wife and I might be about to lose the baby that was growing inside of her, when we had what is inaccurately described as “a scare” it was the words that Martin had written that acted as the soothing balm of Gilead.
There is no way of repaying that debt.
You will have your own story of how the words and the music of Gene healed you.
Remember those moments now.
Then celebrate the fact that now, again and at last, we will all be together to hear and heal one final time.