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Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009
Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit plan on recording a new album as well as tour

Strange that in these times of financial insecurity the most advisable move you can make as an established music artist is to lock yourself away and draw the curtains for a while.

Splitting up isn't now the end of the line but the first half of a business opportunity - and a wise one at that.

The last few years have been strewn with bands burying the hatchet and reuniting, some more successful than others.

However, what is so striking about bands returning from an extended absence is often how they'll play bigger shows than they ever did originally.

Limp Bizkit

Take for example Limp Bizkit, whom today [12 February] announced that this year they'll return with their original line up - Fred Durst, Wes Borland, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and DJ Lethal.

A statement from the band reads: "Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognize there is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else."

Read into that what you will. Globally as Limp Bizkit they sold 33 million albums. Not as Limp Bizkit, the individual members didn't do so well.

Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against The Machine at Reading Festival 2008

Now, we're no betting folks, but we'll almost guarantee that Limp Bizkit will play bigger venues now than they would have had Lethal, Durst et al continued ploughing on together as the scene they spearheaded [nu metal] melted around them.

Nostalgia fix

Curiosity and nostalgia it appears are key to having us part with our cash.

Disappearing really does wonders for your career.

Last year saw rap-metal titans Rage Against The Machine headline some of the world's biggest festivals [Big Day Out, T In The Park and Reading And Leeds] and rake in some substantial cash in the process.

Compare that to the last time Rage played that very same Reading festival - a mid-afternoon slot on a baking Sunday in 2000 sandwiched between Blink 182 and Slipknot.

2008 saw them return as heroes - a huge band. Eight years of Killing In The Name being spun in dingy rock clubs obviously stoked fans' nostalgic hunger.

Other prime examples of this include The Verve. Richard Ashcroft was sailing close to public indifference [see Brett Anderson]. They reunited, despite their previously strained relations, and headlined Glastonbury.

There is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else
Limp Bizkit's statement

The Police, Smashing Pumpkins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Van Halen, The Lemonheads, The Stooges, Happy Mondays and A-Ha have all come back and played huge gigs and profitable tours.

Of course there are exceptions. There is genuine excitement surrounding this summer's Blur reunion, resulting in shows of a justifiable size.

Likewise when the Pixies returned in 2004. And last year, My Bloody Valentine hadn't played together for 16 years, so when they returned excitement was understandably heightened.

It seems absence does make the heart grow fonder - so at the very least have us hankering after a little piece of the past.

Perhaps the best advice to be given to British guitar bands currently caught in a lull in sales: Go home, take up knitting, put your feet up and come back bigger, older and richer.



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