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Aziz turns 50

Submitted by on March 21, 2014 – 4:25 pmNo Comment


The Daily Mirror AFL contributor Simon Keegan reports from the 50th birthday party of friend of FCUM’s CYCM Aziz Ibrahim:

Rock icon Ian Brown and former Oasis member Bonehead were among the music legends in Manchester last night to celebrate the 50th birthday of Stone Roses guitarist Aziz Ibrahim.

Former Inspiral Carpets frontman Clint Boon was DJ for the night in between sets as Aziz took to the stage along with Steve Hogarth from Marillion, Denise Johnson from Primal Scream and Oasis rhythm guitarist Bonehead.

Members of XTC, Japan and The Smiths also came down to celebrate their pal’s party and we caught up with the birthday boy backstage.

Aziz who also played for Simply Red and Paul Weller said: “I’ve never really had a birthday party so I thought I’d invite a few mates along.”

And the few mates were queuing around the block to get in the sold-out Roadhouse.

Reflecting on his career Aziz said: “I knew I wanted to play guitar at the age of seven when my music teacher played Streets of London and before you knew it I was the world’s first Pakistani Rockabilly.”

Growing up in Longsight, he was influenced by Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and Bill Hayley but it was the local raggae scene where he first found success and in 1987 was recruited by Mick Hucknall to join Simply Red for the Men and Women tour.

Playing with Heat of the Moment rockers Asia, Aziz continued to hone his craft until the Stone Roses recruited him to replace guitarist John Squire.

“They were looking at people like Slash,” recalled Aziz, “but Ian wouldn’t have him because he wore leather trousers.

“I fitted in because I was from Longsight. We were just a bunch of mates playing music together, no leaders, no egos.”

Since the final breakup of the Roses he has written for and played with Jam legend Paul Weller and been Brown’s lead guitarist for his solo work one and off since 1997.

Now however he wants to give something back to music and help young people develop “because I haven’t got any kids… or pets for that matter.”

Ian Brown told the NME: “Aziz is a great talent. I’m lucky that I met him. He’s an unsung hero. Everybody says they’ve never met a better guitar player – you ask anybody who’s collaborated with him. By rights, he should be swimming in a guitar-shaped pool, but he doesn’t want that. For him, it’s about the music. He’s not in it for the dough, unlike 99.9 per cent of musicians.”

When asked the question he probably gets asked at least once a day “so who did you like playing with best, the Roses, Simply Red or Weller?” he replies with a thankful sincerity, “they all helped me… and opened my eyes.”

The night began with Aziz and Dal Singh performing Xen And Now, from his 2012 album Rusholme Rock.

The party turned into a charity event for disaster victims of floods and earthquakes in Pakistan, a cause he has raised over £250,000 for.

The night featured up and coming artists like R&B singer Natasha Sky who wowed the crowd along with her trans-Atlantic band.

Another unlikely new singer being mentored by Ibrahim is Deepak “Sanjay from EastEnders” Verma.

Deepak said: “I’m new to singing but to me it’s just another form of story telling.

Deepak played his own song Broken Man while Aziz provided guitars that recalled Tomorrow Never Knows.

“Broken Man is about being broken and learning from your own experiences like the Buddha did.

Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs played a stunning rendition of the Beatles Norwegian Wood with a more dominating sitar sound than George Harrison brought to the 1965 original.

“I wanted to play something with an Asian vibe,” said Arthurs, “as a tribute to Aziz.”

Arthurs, one year Ibrahim’s junior, is best known as Oasis’ rhythm guitar player from 1991-1999.

He started his first band in 1984, called Pleasure and Pain and left Burnage’s most famous group to spend more time with his family.

Arthurs now lives in Manchester where he has built a recording studio under his house and formed Moondog One (named after ‘Johnny and the Moondogs’, one of the Beatles’ former titles before they rose to fame), which also includes The Smiths’ Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke.

His latest project with Alex Lipinski is called Phoneys & the Freaks, he has however made cameo appearances with Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye and doesn’t seem to rule out an Oasis reunion.

“I love Beady Eye. I love Noel’s High Flying Birds too. But I can’t say anything about a reunion.

“I’m sworn to secrecy.”

“Besides,” he says with a cheeky glint in his eye, “I’d be the last person to know.”

“But I might offer to come back as band psychiatrist, wear a white coat and drive a bus!”

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