the 6 classic Stone Roses gigs that defined the band
Counting down to the return of the Stone Roses and Heaton Park LTW looks back on 6 of their classic gigs from down the years, watch the groups journey as we go through some of their legendary moments with rare Ally Pally and International audio to full shows of both The Flower Show and Blackpool
The Warehouse Gigs, 85
In the mid 80’s, way before the Blackburn rave scene and all-night illegal parties The Stone Roses were already putting their own after-hour shows together, coming back from a riotous tour of Sweden the band were looking for something more exciting than playing the same old venues around town. It was band manager Steve Adge who came up with the idea of finding their own ‘private’ venue to play after recently attending similar all night shin-digs down south, hiring an old warehouse from British rail behind Piccadilly station they named it The Flower Show (to put police and the authorities off). Tickets included a telephone number to ring for directions and together with hand drawn maps and word of mouth punters made there way down a dark uninviting block to find Manchester’s ever first warehouse party.
Taking to the stage at about 1am with all members dressed in black the Roses fired straight into ‘Heart on the Staves’ and never looked back, putting in a sinister but energetic performance that went down a storm with the mish-mash crowd of skin’s,rockers, party goers and general music fans, such a success that the Flower Show part 2 was staged a few months later.
The Flower Show, full concert
The International, anti-clause-28, 88
The anti-clause gig at the international in 88 goes down in Roses history for a number of reasons, a benefit gig in demonstration to the Tory parties new oppressive policies against the homosexual community, it was the first of the break-through gigs that sent the band on their way but the knock on effects of the night were massive for both Gallagher’s who were in attendance that night.
Noel met The Inspiral Carpets guitarist Graham Lambert after enquiring about a copy of the gig he was trying to tape and the gig probably even bigger for Liam as he saw himself up there doing the same thing after witnessing Ian Brown’s stoned swagger working the stage. Bowled over he went out and started his own band showing the roots of Oasis coming straight from that night at the International.
The night also gets remembered for headline act James being stood-up. With both bands capable of headlining the event, it was James who took top billing- being the more established of the two. They were due on around ten o’clock, but when it came for the Roses to take the stage for their 9pm slot they couldn’t be found, which kept James waiting and eventually play to an emptying house. Through the years its been understood the band put off their slot til as late as possible so to finish in time for the last buses of the night and grab that headline spot, whether true or not that’s exactly what happened as the Roses made their late show to put in another memorable performance from start to finish.
Still retaining that punk edge they showed a more poppier and cooler side to their performance that night which neatly reflected the newly arrived Second Summer of Love and it was there, that for the first time, the the epic Roses set list was first played, with, already old song ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, and ending with the already outstanding ‘Resurrection’. It was the night Manchester looked up, took notice and hailed the Stone Roses.
International anti-clause 28 gig, ‘This is the One’
For 3 months, during the summer of ’89, the band played 30 dates or more across the UK- eventually climaxing at the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, on the 12 of August. A traditional venue that played host to early Stones and Beatles gigs for the screaming masses of 64, Ian Brown explained the bands reasons for playing the North’s favourite holiday destination saying;
“We wanted to play Blackpool to give people a day out, when you live in Manchester there’s nowhere else to go, it’s the local seaside resort”.
That and the fact it was the height of the house revolution with E driving everything along, the borders between dance music and bands had crossed over making for a truly unique time. A night described as the ultimate Roses performance, it’s a show that’s etched deeply into the band’s live history, marking that point when The Stone Roses put themselves and Manchester on the map. Back then an independent band pulling in a crowd of 4000 people meant there was more out there than the staple diet of Stock Atkin & Waterman of the day, something was definitely happening.
Thanks to the same crew who shot the music TV show, The Tube, Blackpool probably offers the best ever Roses performance on tape, and though the event was one you had to be there to fully appreciate watching it back, you can’t help realise how special and influential their live set really was.
Blackpool, full concert
Ally Pally, 89
Yet to still to play a major London gig the Roses landed at Alexandra Palace on 18th of November 89 to 7000 people. By now the capital were hooked like everyone else and provided the band’s biggest turn out to date.
Like the “Happening’s” in the late 60’s Ally Pally played host to a full on event which was more a statement than a total live performance as the night will also always be remembered for the sound quality, with the sound apparently hitting the back wall and bouncing back there seemed a delay which slightly marred the show but it still couldn’t hold the Roses back from playing their most renowned London gig.
The video below for Ally Pally, though quite poor quality, is really the only live recording about on the net and quite interesting as well listening to Reni’s backing vocals on She Bangs the Drums, offering the smallest of glimpses to the Roses landmark London show.
rare Ally Pally footage, ‘She Bangs the Drums’
Spike island/Glasgow Green, 90
The summer of 1990 saw the big out door events arrive in the form of Spike Island. After a short tour of Scandinavia the band touched down in a space between Manchester and Liverpool in the chemical industrial town of Widnes to a reported 30,000 people. As a rock show Spike Island didn’t really work cemented that guitar/dance cross-over that defined an era. It was a celebration of arriving in one sense and the point where they became the most important band of their generation.
Though, again the band was fighting against the sound because the rig not really up to the job, it was never going to stop the Stone Roses playing a blinder and being sent on their way to the Belfast and Glasgow Green shows with a fire that produced some of the group’s finest live moments.
Both shows saw The Stone Roses hit top gear with Glasgow being a personal favourite among the band themselves.
Spike Island, Stone Roses sound check
Ireland, Feile Festival, 95
Described as the classic Second Coming gig 95’s Feile festival and held at Cork City’s Gallic Athletic Association stadium ‘Pairc Ui Chaoimh’, the band shared a bill with the likes of Paul Weller, Ash, and The Prodigy, who’s set broke down twice due to power cuts and, more bizarrely, Kylie Minogue who played the fest on one of the smaller side-bar stages.
Though not much to go on in terms of reviews or footage at the recent Stone Roses press conference at the Soho Hotel last October Mani said “see that show in Feile 95, that was probably one of the greatest shows the Roses ever played, second behind Glasgow Green in my humble estimations”, say no more…
Feile, ‘Love Spreads’