After a split that spanned nearly seven years, Irish rock heroes The Cranberries are officially regrouping. The Celtic-tinged alternative rockers will mark their triumphant return with a U.S. tour beginning as soon as this November, eventually making their way back to Europe for a stretch of early 2010 performances.
An official tour itinerary is forthcoming. News of The Cranberries’ regrouping came just a couple weeks after frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan cancelled her plans for a solo tour of North America, which would have launched at the end of this month.
“I’ve decided to reunite with my former band members in The Cranberries,” O’Riordan said in a statement on the band’s official Web site, adding, “and we will be writing new songs and performing tracks off my new album as well as our greatest hits during the shows.”
Earlier in the year, O’Riordan had hinted at the possibility of a reunion with her Cranberries bandmates, but only as a follow-up to her present solo endeavors.
“I think creatively we would have to write some amazing music and go where we haven’t gone before and make an album that is totally different to what we have done before,” the singer had told the Limerick Leader in June.
It came as a surprise, then, when the distinctive-voiced singer announced her 13-date solo tour itinerary in mid-July only to cancel the venture a month later with little explanation. “The winds of change are blowing strongly, and as a result the 2009 Dolores O’Riordan tour has been cancelled,” explained a brief statement about the artist’s sudden change of plans.
Brothers Noel and Mike Hogan formed The Cranberries in 1990 with drummer Fergal Lawler, and were later joined by O’Riordan, who became the principal lyricist and songwriter for the group. By 1993, the quartet’s debut “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” helped catapult The Cranberries to international stardom.
Over the course of the next decade, the band became a staple on the U.S. rock charts with early hits such as “Linger,” “Dreams,” and “Zombie.” But the band’s momentum slowed significantly by the release of their fifth album, 2001’s “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee,” and an official hiatus was announced in 2003.
It wasn’t until this past January when the band members finally reunited in Dublin for a special performance at the city’s Trinity College. While the group initially brushed off talk of an official reunion, the one-off sparked a realization of “how much they had missed each other,” according to a group statement.
News of the reunion was coupled with the release of O’Riordan’s second solo album, “No Baggage,” released on August 25. The singer-songwriter’s 2007 solo debut “Are You Listening?” had a modest showing in the U.S., where it entered the Billboard 200 at No. 77 before falling off the chart altogether.