One ‘o them innit? Things that make you go grrrrr….
“I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses…” – John Squire in 2009
The Stone Roses were the first band that were life changing for me. I was 13 in 1989 and had been brought up listening to my older sister’s Smiths and New Order tapes and a neighbour’s L L Cool J and Public Enemy.
Hip Hop was very much my thing and I spent my spare time in a jacket with Public Enemy patches on whilst listening to recordings of Stu Allan’s Bus Diss on 103 and Leaky Fresh on Sunset.
However the arrival of the Roses at about the time I had paper round money meant the hair and the width of the jeans grew and wages and pocket money were spent in Afflecks rather than Spin Inn. This grew and grew over the years and I remember the excitement being tangible when The Second Coming was released in 1994.
I was fortunate enough to see The Stone Roses in concert twice in 1995. The first time was in Paris in May when two coachloads of us from The Old Monkey on Portland Street went over on the ferry and they (and the whole trip) were brilliant.
I hadn’t been abroad before this and Arsenal were in Paris on the same week as us playing the night before the Roses in the Cup Winner’s Cup Final. The coach picked us up at kicking out time in The Monkey on a Monday and being young (19) and daft we carried on the cans through the night with Roses cassettes blaring out.
As we boarded the ferry at Dover looking somewhat dishevelled we saw the Arsenal fans, all fresh as daisies, drinking coffee and reading papers and generally acting like anything but football fans on a ferry.
More ballooning on arrival in Paris when more coachloads from Manchester arrived and palled up with the legions of Zaragoza fans for what turned out to be a brilliant night. The next evening The Roses were brilliant in what was a fairly small venue. Reni had left by this stage which was a shame as at that time he, Mani and Squire were truly masters of their chosen instruments and although Brown’s imperfect voice was well documented his swagger, charisma and presence as a front man were truly great and aped by many.
I also went to see them in December that same year at the Apollo which was another enjoyable evening albeit an almost karaoke like sing-along full of United who had been drinking all day.
The band split soon after this and whilst I went to see Ian Brown on a few occasions in the following years I feel the split was inevitable and should have been the end of it.
Over the last decade I can count the amount of times I have put a Roses CD on on one hand, not a conscious decision, I just don’t really want to listen to them anymore.
I often still play my old Public Enemy albums and even more so The Smiths, The Kinks and The Jam but whilst the Roses output was a perfect soundtrack to those times that is where it should be left.
It was disappointing yet inevitable then that they announced their reunion last year, and I will be avoiding the concerts at Heaton Park like the plague.
Alarm bells started ringing immediately with tickets going for daft money despite it being obvious to anyone with half a brain that if they are selling out like this (check face value for tickets) then they will be playing far more dates than at Heaton Park.
Of course more dates all over Europe were announced. An acoustic version of Waterfall soon appeared on an optician’s advert and I was half expecting some sort of tribute on The Brits (Blur’s didn’t let us down on the toe curling stakes) or even a Roses-themed X Factor episode.
What happened to the band who granted their most saleable interview ever gratis to The Big Issue? That ensured those at College and out of work could afford Spike Island?
The Roses were never about the money and that was part of the appeal, that has been ruined now. Plus the concerts will be full of horrible-haircutted forty something fatties and young rats lashing lag-filled plassy pint pots. In short the sort of crowd you would expect at (shudder) an Oasis gig.
Talking of Oasis, it was of no surprise at all to see a bad-leathered Noel Gallagher performing with Coldplay a week after his Daily Mail interview praising Thatcher and saying he would be sending his daughter to a private school so she doesn’t ‘end up talking like Ali G’ which I presume means talking like she is black. His destiny on the Gary Barlow royal arselick circuit with the new Ken Dodd (John Bishop) is ever closer.
Yer Mam shops at Jacamo