It was, technically, the second time that The Faces had reunited in one fashion or other since the band broke up in 1975. The first reunion and last unofficial time all five original Faces performed together onstage was in 1986 as the encore of a Rod Stewart concert at Wembley Stadium in London.
By then bassist/songwriter/singer Ronnie Lane was confined to a wheelchair by the effects of multiple sclerosis. Bill Wyman took his place on bass.
The reunion on this day was at the Brit Awards, where Stewart was receiving a lifetime achievement award. Lane was unable to make it; Wyman again proved himself a most fitting substitute bassist.
Watch them perform a Faces favorite…
Lane died in 1997. The question since then for some is: how can there be any kind of Faces reunion without Lane? Lane was the heart and soul of The Faces to many fans, and fellow band members Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and Ronnie Wood and likely Stewart as well would agree. Although the band did carry on after he left in 1973 with Tetsu Yamauch on bass, it was never the same without him.
But both fans and band members wanted more from The Faces. Then the question became: is it The Faces without Stewart? He said in 2008 he was talking reunion with Jones, McLagan and Wood. But when the three played a charity show Royal Albert Hall in 2009 as The Faces (again with Wyman), Stewart didn’t join them and guests Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), Paul Carrack, Andy Fairweather Low, Kiki Dee, Chris Difford, Georgie Fame and others sang.
In 2010 and 2011, Wood, McLagan and Jones played shows as The Faces in the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan with Hucknall on vocals and ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock on bass. Stewart was set to join the three other members in 2012 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of The Small Faces/Faces, but bowed out due to flu. Hucknall again took his place.
In 2014 word was that Stewart, McLagan, Jones and Wood would finally reunite. Then McLagan died of a stroke in December 2014.
Related: Our McLagan tribute
Stewart joined Wood and Jones for a short set as The Faces in September 2015 at a benefit show in the U.K. that was well received (see our review here).
Don’t miss a post! Sign up for Best Classic Bands‘ Newsletter; form is on every page.