BARCELONA SALA RAZZAMATAZ
June 8th 2012
Stone Roses played their first gig in Warrington two weeks ago a secret show, in Barcelona they played their first gig of the world tour to a hot, packed emotional audience, Nicholas Cope was there to review for LTW and luckily remembered to take his camera.
Here I am at the Sala Razzmatazz in Barcelona on the first of two nights here to witness the start of the epic return of The Stone Roses. The last time they played Barcelona (Sala Zaleste) was on May 8th 1996 and by the October, they had split up, going their separate ways. Shoot forward 16 years and here I am.
Tonight feels really special. I get to the venue around 4.30pm there is already a crowd gathering outside along with a few die hard fans. I got talking to one fan from Aberdeen who had heard the sound check the day before hearing Fools Gold, Bye Bye Badman and particularly Somethings Burning (which lasted over 10 minutes and they also practised Fools Gold over and over).
By 6pm the bars around the venue were filling up with fans chatting and telling their own stories of the trip the Roses had taken them on. The atmosphere was great, the beer was cold and everyone was buzzing .The queue moved inside with ease and I take my position. The DJ is on and spinning old school tunes; Voodoo Ray, 54 46 that’s my number and Babe Ruth the Mexican to name a few. It gets the crowd going, the lights dim and the DJ bangs on Stoned Love by the Supremes.
The Roses come on stage together and the crowd erupts! Mani punches the air shouting “Come on”. We all know what’s coming, what we’re all waiting for…the unforgettable bass line of I Wanna Be Adored, and when it comes, the whole place begins to bounce and sing over the instrumental. Ian sings “I don’t have to sell my soul he’s already in me”. I feel numb inside to a point that I cannot believe this is happening. It’s a inspiring start to the night.
Just as we are at the starting blocks for this rollercoaster of a night there’s a quick guitar change from John and it’s the first song that got me into the Roses – Sally Cinnamon and Ian’s vocals are excellent, like they are throughout. Ian, John and Mani exchange smiles. Mersey Paradise receives big cheers, it’s always a big favourite. Reni’s got his bandana on and I wonder if he’ll wear his bucket hat again. Ten Story Love song is a massive anthem and the crowd loves to sing it. Ian Brown asks the crowd “has anyone got any requests” followed by “we don’t do requests”.
All of them definitely on great form, playing like a band that’s never split up. The songs have a been reworked and funked up in sections but there are no solos tonight- it’s a team performance. Where Angels Play flows into Shoot You Down, followed by Waterfall’s pure dripping acid pop. Mani looks like he’s having the time of his life. I’ve really no idea what all the toby jugs are for on top of his bass amp!
I was really worried about how good they would be together. I had watched YouTube clips of Warrington and various sound bites of their songs and there is no comparison to the musical treat of their live performance. We then get treated to an epic version of Fools Gold, it’s pure liquid funkadelica that ends in the band jamming. It’s pure heaven to watch them. Standing Here lines us up for She Bangs the Drums or as Ian introduces it ” ONE FOR THE LADIES”.
You cannot help but watch John Squire, he makes it look so easy and I am sure he’s changed his guitar on every song. He plays with such grace, technique and style. He’s up there with the greats. Made of Stone with 2,500 backing singers sounds out of this world and the crowd show no signs of letting up on This Is the One. Which brings us to a super funked up version of Love Spreads. It’s lost it’s rock and roll feel so when Ian Brown starts to rap Paid in Full by Eric B and Rakin, it works perfectly, even adding his own lyrics “Stone Roses on the stage, Stone Roses all the rage”.
The lights go down, the band walk off stage together and the silence that hangs in the air is met by pure screams of joy as the Stone Roses walk back on stage. Ian has swapped his shirt for a yellow Sala Razzmatazz t-shirt. The 10 min rendition of I am the Resurrection sounds fresher than ever and it’s the perfect song to end this magical night in Barcelona .The band stand on the front of the stage together, on top of the world, arms aloft, it makes you feel great inside, all the fans want them to do well and they want to do it for the fans. The lights dim and the band walk off to the sounds of Bob Marley’s
Outside I see Liam Gallagher, Bonehead and Gem Archer hanging around having a cig. It’s been a great night and for everyone who has a ticket to see them…