The Stone Roses reform

They are regarded as one of the most influential British bands of all time.  It seems apparent The Stone Roses…the pioneers of the fabled Manchester music scene and “Baggy Music” of the late 1980s…are to re-form.

According to a number of sources, the band will play two concerts in the band’s home city of Manchester next summer. Major music promoter SJM are said to be putting the concerts on.

It will be the first time the original line-up, singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary Mounfield (Mani) and Alan Wren (Reni), have played together live in 17 years.

A press conference has been lined-up and according to a number of sources, the band will announce the decision to reform.

Murray Chalmers PR, whose client roster includes Noel Gallagher, Kylie Minogue and Yoko Ono, have called the press conference to make a ‘very important announcement.’

The firm did not state which band or musician it relates to and declined to confirm or deny the artist in question when asked.

The band’s first eponymously named debut album is regarded as one of the greatest British albums of all time. That LP, featuring songs like I Wanna Be Adored, She Bangs The Drums and I Am The Resurrection, was released in May 1989 when the band had already built a huge following in the North West.

I remember telling my friend to buy the album and in his ‘protest on modern music’, he went and brought the Kitchens Of Distinction album instead…what a wanker.

Their fame soon widened as they released Fool’s Gold in November 1989, regarded as the ultimate indie dance crossover track.

The same month they played Alexandra Palace in London, the first time a gig had been played there in 16 years, before turning a bird sanctuary in the Wirral peninsula into a massive concert venue and their gig, in front of 30,000 fans at Spike Island near Widnes, Cheshire, at the end of May 1990 is regarded as one of the seminal moments in British rock.

They quit their record company Silvertone following an acrimonious and lengthy legal dispute and signed a multi-million pound deal with Geffen.

But there were stories of the band smashing up the recording studios and…of course…drugs. Brown was heavily into heroin and becoming  better at being into smack than a singer. 

As a result, their second album Second Coming was not released until December 1994. Although there are some great tracks on the album, the Roses had lost momentum and left it too late with the follow up. The band split up soon after.

First Reni, now 47, left and songwriter Squire, now 48, quit before going on to develop a career as an artist.

The remaining members soldiered on before finally calling it a day in August 1996 following a disastrous performance at Reading Festival. This was due to the fact that singer Ian Brown isn’t a great singer. In the early days it didn’t really matter if he was out of tune but…honestly, I’ve seen them a few times, and friends who saw them ALL commented on the terribly out of tune singing. It didn’t natter then, but it’ll matter now. The hype of the Stone Roses reforming to play gigs is massive, and Brown had better get it right.

Mani, now 48, then went on to join another rock band Primal Scream, who in fact were going through a hard time themselves. It seemed that Mani’s introduction to the band sort of brought them all back together. Since then, Primal Scream have recorded some monumetally good albums and are…in my mind…way better than the Roses.

But it’s not all about who’s best…is it? The fact is the Roses created more than an album. 1989 was the ‘summer of love’. Yes, I know there was one of those summers in the 60’s, but this was music that made your average soccer thug…want to give someone a hug…especially with all of that REAL ecstacy floating around…not like the pretend shit that sold nowadays.

The reports come six months after Brown, now 48, and Squire had ‘buried the hatchet’ after meeting at Mani’s mother’s funeral.

It was the first time the pair, who had famously feuded after they split, were believed to have met since 1996. Mani subsequently dismissed reports that the meeting had paved the way for the band to reform labelling it ‘total fantasy island gear’.  He added that he was ‘disgusted that my personal grief has been invaded and hijacked by these nonsensical stories.

‘It isn’t true and isn’t happening.’

In June, Squire also dismissed rumours of a reformation, commenting that the idea of bands reforming for a cash windfall was ‘tragic.’

It’s funny but I was just saying in a recent article ( Noel Gallagher’s lost without his little brother, Aug 28) that guitarists in successful bands hardly ever go on to be anywhere near as successful. They might be artistically happier but they must miss something about the success.

So the fact that John Squire is calling all bands who reform are tragic, is in itself a tragedy. Because along with the reform…comes the cash…he knows that, surely.

It won’t be as good, but it’ll be great to hear those cassic songs…and they are classic…be played by the original line-up.

Don’t want to put a downer on the reformation of the Stone Roses but I do hope Ian Brown performs OK. I don’t want to be reviewing the gigs with comments about Ian Brown being ‘out-of-tune’.

But there you have it…they are what they are…the Stone Roses. I hope it’s not long before they get themselves over here.

Oh, sod the hype…they made musical history. They made a point in an industry that’s as fickle as it can get. If you get the chance, go and see them.

by Wallace McTavish

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