[caption id="attachment_26280" align="alignright" width="300"] Ian Brown with Bruce Lee toys on stage in Singapore[/caption]
The Stone Roses smash Singapore- our man was there to see the band go global.
With one in six households having a disposable income of at least $1m and average daily temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, there is no confusing Singapore with North Manchester. After the mud, beer and Adidas-fest that were the triumphant Heaton Park gigs, The Singapore Indoor Stadium would prove to be a very different Stone Roses gig experience for this traveling Mancunian.
Singapore is first gig of a four-date Asian Tour that will see The Roses take in the much-revered Fuji Rock Festival. On arrival at the 8,000 capacity venue, it soon became apparent the assembling crowds were largely expat with a smattering of locals. There seemed to be more high heels on display than Adidas Samba.
A group of lads turn up, all wearing identical Ian Brown style ”ËMoney T-Shirts'. I get chatting to one of them and he tells me his name is Aca and has traveled from Jakarta in Indonesia to catch his heros. “There are hundreds of Indonesians here for this, we've been waiting for years”Â, he tells me. The huge Morrissey tattoo on his arm is a further clue to Manchester's global appeal. “For 2012, my wish list is to see The Stone Roses and Morrissey play live and I'm going to do it”Â, he enthuses, while telling of the 2 day journey to Singapore. Aca and his mates are all teetotal and generally there appears to be degree of sobriety to the gig goers.
Another group tell me of their drive down from Malaysia, “We just love all things English, The Stone Roses, Middlesbrough FC and Baby Shambles”Â. It's an unusual combination, but their excitement at seeing The Roses for the first time is clear to see.
Inside the rather sanitized venue, it's about three-quarters full, with the majority of people standing. Unlike the European dates, there are no support acts, and The Roses walk out to an enthusiastic if not rowdy welcome.
The set list is similar to previous gigs; 17 songs of serious swagger. The sound however, is much better than at the open air and windy Heaton Park gigs. The band is tighter than ever, delivering a flawless performance with Brown's vocal chords on top form. The crowd sings along with Brown, word for word. The atmosphere is taken to a new level when Fools Gold is played half-way through the gig. From then on in, the crowd seems to wake up and revel in the euphoria of the occasion. The grin on Mani's face and even Reni breaking into a smile, indicates the band is buzzing off the occasion.
Brown pulls out one lucky young fan on to stage. She can't believe her luck as he parades her around stage introducing her to each band member with whom she exchanges a peck on the cheek.
It's a special night, and a privilege to see the band play 9500 miles from Higher Blackley. The truth is, it felt like a million miles; an altogether very different Roses experience.