'How I fell in love with the Stone Roses again' by Scott Maclennan
'How I fell in love with the Stone Roses again' - a true fan writes...

latest news is that Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown escaped a fine for speeding, obviously armed with a a better lawyer than when he who famously jailed for the ‘air rage’ incident, which seemed so trivial in comparison to, let’s say. REM’s Peter Buck who got off scot free for a far worse affair.

10 thoughts on the Stone Roses reunion
10 thoughts on the Stone Roses reunion

This time the plea was that he needed to take his 11 year old son to the secret rehearsal space (we know where it is but we are not saying) as the band ready themselves for what has turned into the biggest comeback in british rock n roll.

The sheer size and scale of the event has caught everyone by surprise as the band finally did their unfinished business and finally arrived at the biggest band in the UK…the reformation has sparked off a raging argument across the internet…

1. Outside the anonymous world of the internet cynic- the made up name brigade who haunt places like the Guardian comments section, there is a lot of joy. walking round manchester in the last week people’s spirits have been genuinly uplifted by the band returning.

2. Cynics have been slamming the gigs and the comeback as being ‘just for the money’ but as many musicians I know, who don’t even like the Stone Roses, are happy to point out- the band deserve a pay day, they were fleeced the first time round and court cases tied up most of their income. Musicians who spend their lives scraping by are genuinly happy to see anyone get a payday. They also understand that when you find a line up with a chemistry and a magic then you should play together. I kept thinking of that scene in the Julian Temple documentary on the Clash when Joe Strummer is in tears talking about the sacking of Topper for his drug addcition…’you should never fuck with the chemistry’ says wise old Joe. The Stone Roses had the chance to find the chemistry again and took it.

3. People are claiming that is purely a nostalgia trip…and there is an element of this- for many people this will be enough. Few bands capture a generational feeling like the Roses did, the Clash and the Pistols, the Beatles and the Stones did- we are not saying everyone in that generation but capturing a pop culture shift, a feeling. The Roses certainly caught that optimistic E rush, that end of the 80’s euphoria and for many people will remind them of when life was simple and fun with great songs. It’s odd that reformed bands like Pulp, who were great when I saw them this summer, seem to be exempt from any of this criticism- Pulp played a greatest hits set that was perfect nostalgia and got paid very well for it to non stop great reviews- I’m not sure why they seem to be given critical leeway here…and what about the endless bands who come back and play one album beginning to end and get celebrated for it.

4. The band will want to move forward as well and there will be new songs, they are more interested in writing new songs than recreating the past. The new material is meant to be good and we have been invited down to the rehearsal room soon to listen to it.

5. People still say that Ian Brown can’t sing…
The only person who can sing properly in Manchester is Mick Hucknall- I rest my case. If you want perfect pitch auto tuned vocals go back to X factor, gimme Mark Smith, Shaun Ryder and Ian Curtis instead- people with voices. I grew up with punk we want communicators not poncy ‘singers’ this is rock n roll not X Factor. And if you think that Ian Brown can’t communicate with 75 000 people then you don’t get it. And communication is the frontperson’s job in band.

6. There are still people going on about ‘stupid northerners’
I can’t believe this one still rears it’s ugly head…

7. There is a lot of talk of who is going to get the support slots at the Manchester shows…the last I heard was some sort of reggae thing…maybe there will be DJs. I think it would be great to see loads of young bands getting a big break- Reni mentioned Dirty North at the press conference and I told them about Frazer King– bands like that would be great- the future, also be great to hear someone like Don Letts doing his reggae set as well…

8. The straight to ebay with the tickets and selling them for a grand has been disgraceful- not really in the spirit of things- is there any sense of rock n roll community left? what happened to the counter culture? are we just left with sneering at hippies and ripping eachother off. There is an ethical ticket buy/swop site…please go there and use it.

9. The people who bitch on about manchester going backwards re-emerged- you can see their point but an event like this will bring a focus on new groups, let’s go forwards and backwards at the same time. On this site we celebrate the great stuff from the past and write about all the great new young bands. The anti-past people in Manchester just get too stuck in that debate and don’y offer any new bands. In a weird way paralleing the old media in the town who ignored the Stone Roses the first time until it was too late, as ever the media focussed on their mates bands and were swept away when something huge took off without them. That tradition seems to have continued in the city.

10. More dates will be announced..our hunch is that there will be an autumn arena tour, V festival is a good bet and there is strong talk of irish dates…and the third album if it gets finished will be 2013 unless they are moving very quickly…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Exactly. Why do people in this country waste so much energy going out of their way to criticise? There are far too many who apparently couldn’t care less about the Roses trolling sites to get a rise and reaction

    There are no losers in this. The band get the payday they derserve after creating incredible music with little tangible reward thanks to being ripped off back then. Thousands of fans who never got to see them and thousands who never thought they’d see them again have just won the lottery! No-one is forcing anyone to go, to listen or to care. No one is taking the Radiohead records away from the miserable people who can’t help themselves but moan about what is, let’s face it, the biggest news in British music for a long time!

  2. I am not the biggest roses fan but it doesn’t worry me.having said that I don’t like too much nostalgia,when every band and their ganny is reforming and people of a certain age (i.e. people my age)are only interested in the ‘good old days’,that seems a bit cynical in itself.Having said that a bit of nostalgia now and then is nice it’s just when it dominates it seems a bit sad.If they get a good payout good for them,life isn’t cheap as we know why begrudge them that.If music is good or not it stands alone regardless of who got paid what.
    I am available for a Nirvana reunion if Dave and Kris are reading by the way!

  3. I’ve not been this excited and happy about something for years and therefore, I don’t give a toss what anybody else thinks.

  4. Nothing against Reggae music, or dance DJ’s but there is a time and a place for certain music and I really don’t think the Heaton Park gig is the place for them. I really hope the support will include bands that the majority of the 75.000 strong audience will have actually heard of! I know the Roses have not often had traditional support bands but the thought of a modern version of their Spike Island ‘support’ fills me with dread! Hopefully there can be a mix of everything… some up and coming talent such as Dirty North, some indie/dance crossover, maybe some sort of a dance act, but to me a DJ playing to 75,000 people just get’s lost in the field! I would love to hear someone like the Inspirals but I don’t think a retro/nostalgia vibe is what the Roses are about, so I think the support should include some more current bands such as the Vaccines. Oh, and it would be pretty cool to have Noel G on too!

  5. agreed, a lot of the bigger bands never really got the payday they deserved and the roses are one of them. you also mention dirty north and frazer king for a support slot. the place will be massive with a big early crowd, a perfect time for a couple of small stages to show a lot of the talent manchester is now producing. you could actually have 10-15 new bands on while people are trying to get drunk or waiting for their e rush.

  6. I’d love to see The Whip supporting next summer. I saw them supporting at Platt Fields in 2010 and at Wireless Festival this summer. Just the band for this type of gig.

  7. mani said glasgow green was their best gig ever! i was there :)

    this group died over a decade ago and we were told by ian brown there would NEVER be a resurrection..NOW we can dream, their 2nd album wasnt half bad, infact years after it actually sounds great.. no doubt ian has songs written over the years hes not included in solo form maybe more suited to roses and im sure john has plenty of songs written back in the day which could resurface.. if you dont like them dont waste your energy and FUKING JOG ON SEE BON JOVI.. I dreams of the stone roses legacy GROWING and getting to hear new songs excites me like celtic HUMPING rangers!


  8. …OH P.S.

    Can i just add NORTHERN UPROAR have recently just reformed and if they were to get a support slot then this gig would be FUKIN MENTAL :)

  9. Riots in the streets, mass youth unemployment, the scheming right-wing Tories in Government, all in a time of uncertainty and economic depression. Fuck the cynics! The reformation and resurrection of the Roses is like King Arthur returning in a time of need to save Albion.

  10. Spot on John on pretty much all counts, especially the third one about how certain “cool” bands are allowed to get away with nostalgia trips whilst others are mocked for the same.

    This was my take on it (written the day the reunion was announced, along with those of some other Manchester music fans / writers).


  11. Wu Lyf supporting as someome said above would be very very good, they kinda capture that mysterious, psychedelic northern english vibe. Also tracks like ‘Dirt’ are great, was suprised how good they were after all the hype.

  12. […] started it ‘ Alan Mcgee told me the other day, and without Dan there would be no Creation, no Stone Roses and by extension a whole raft of British music. Dan is currently very ill in a London hospital and […]

  13. As much as I respect the Roses for the music they’ve made, I really worry that Ian Brown won’t be able to pull this off. The difference between him and Shaun Ryder and Mark E. Smith is that he tries to sing as though he believes he can whereas Smith and Ryder don’t, they just do their own thing. I hope I’m proven wrong when the shows come around though. As for Mick Hucknall being the only person who can ‘sing’ in Manchester, what? No Liam or Noel?

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