After writing recently about how much I’d love for one of my favourite bands to get back together again, the impossible happened. Literally a few days after we published a piece on their final album A New Athens, the news came through that The Bluetones had reformed and would tour later this year to celebrate their 20th anniversary. We couldn’t have timed it better.
But, who are The Bluetones? For those of you who don’t know, here’s a bit of background info on the 4 piece from Hounslow, West London. Formed in 1993, their first single “Are You Blue Or Are You Blind?” was released in 1995. Their debut album Expecting To Fly followed in 1996 to massive success and famously knocked (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis off the number one album spot. The band went on to release a further five studio albums and had 13 top 40 singles to boot. However, it was time to say goodbye as the band split for good in 2011 by bidding us all a fond farewell with one final tour. Lead singer Mark Morriss has gone on to have solo success with his two albums Memory Muscle and A Flash Of Darkness while the other members of the band have joined him regularly on tour.
Eager to find out more about the reunion, I spoke to guitarist extraordinaire Adam Devlin who very kindly enlightened me on what the fans can expect on the upcoming tour and also what’s he’s been up to outside of the band since they parted company.
So, how does it feel to be back as The Bluetones?
No different at all at the moment. I suppose it won’t feel like being back as The Bluetones until September when we actually play again, so you’ll have to ask me then.
Are you permanently back together or is this just a one off to celebrate your 20 year anniversary?
I don’t know to be honest, we’ll see what happens. We certainly don’t have any immediate plans to record anything, this is just really about us hanging out together and playing a few gigs, that’s the thing we’ve missed the most. That and the free fridge magnets.
Has seeing other bands from around the same era reunite recently made it more apparent that it’s something you could do?
We’ve always been aware that it’s something we could do, but we’d only have done it if we’d really wanted to. I do have a new appreciation now of why so many bands do it though. They think they can move on and do other things , but they miss it too much. It’s the same reason so many footballers become managers, they just can’t let it go.
Have there been many offers to reform over the last few years?
Yes, we’ve been absolutely deluged with multi-million pound offers from all over the world on virtually a daily basis … I mean, no, not many, mainly weddings to be honest.
Do you think there was any unfinished business from when you split in 2011?
No. No unfinished business. There’s really no agenda other than we’ve got the perfect excuse to reform the band and feel like superstars again for a week. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Has there been any negative reaction to you reforming or has it all been positive?
I haven’t come across any negative reaction. I’m sure there probably is some, but we’re living in difficult and dangerous times right now so it’s hard to imagine anyone getting too worked up because The Bluetones have decided to reform. Maybe I’m being naive, maybe Kula Shaker are livid about it.
What can the fans expect on the tour?
They can expect us playing some of our songs and some very reasonably priced tea towels. This is what our audience demands, this is what they shall get.
Are there are songs in particular you are looking forward to playing again?
I haven’t really thought that far ahead. We won’t really know what we’re playing until we go into rehearsals. I’m at the stage now I’ve just hoping I can remember how to play them.
Any new material maybe and can we expect a new album per chance?
At the moment that is not on the agenda, it may happen at some point in the future, I really don’t know. I sound like George Osborne now, I can’t rule it out but I can’t rule it in. I can neither confirm nor deny any speculation.
You’ve supported Mark at his solo shows, so do you think it will be very natural for you all to spend time together in a touring environment again?
Yes, incredibly natural. I realise it doesn’t make for great rock “n” roll copy, but we actually all get on very well. I’d even go as far as to say we quite like each other. Chemistry will not be an issue.
Personally, what other projects have you been involved in recently?
Lots of largely unpaid labours of love, but that’s the way I prefer it. I mean the “love” bit not the “unpaid” bit. I won’t bore you with it all, but I will plug an album I made this year with some other washed up ex members of other bands. The album is called Solution Songs by Thee Cee Cees and is a revolutionary socialist concept album designed to bring down the government. You can download it from all good record shops.
I love reading your blog as I’m sure many other people do. Will we be treated to some posts on how the tour is going perhaps?
Maybe, we did that before a few years back. Each of us would do a tour diary every few days and put it up on our website. It was usually complete nonsense though. I remember doing an entire blog on “all day breakfasts” at motorway service stations.
What does the future hold for the Bluetones?
I can neither confirm nor deny anything. Ever.
Finally, the burning question that everyone wants to know – will there be a tea towel available on the merch stand??!
Does The Pope shit in the woods?
So, there you have it. You can rest easy as tea towels will definitely be available when The Bluetones tour later this year.
Catch The Bluetones this autumn at one the following venues:
16 September – Leeds O2 Academy
17 September – Glasgow O2 ABC
18 September – Newcastle O2 Academy
19 September – Manchester Ritz
23 September – Portsmouth Pyramids
24 September – London The Forum
26 September – Birmingham O2 Academy
27 September – Bristol O2 Academy