Rising! Phoenix Park and the Roses
Rising! Phoenix Park and the Roses

Stone Roses
Phoenix Park Dublin
July 2012

Ireland has been waiting for years for the Stone Roses to return to our fair Isles. Last time was at a festival with Robbie Maddox on drums instead of Reni. it still sounded great but without the genius drummer there was always a feeling that we didn’t quite get to see the real thing. This time is for real.

Rising! Phoenix Park and the Roses
Rising! Phoenix Park and the Roses

A lot of us went over to Heaton Park last weekend which was a stunning show and excitement is mounting for the return of the band that mean so much. The last time they played in Dublin was at Macgonagles in the mid eighties- their last show as a 5 piece band and famously the night that Andy Couzens was jettisoned from the band.

It’s packed here in Phoenix Park, some say it’s the biggest crowd ever for a single show by one band in the country and there is an endless sea of heads that goes crazy when the Supremes Stoned Love comes up over the PA and then goes ballistic as the band enters the stage. “Brothers and sisters, we need your assistance,” declares Brown as the rumbling bass intro to I Wanna Be Adored is, as ever, the perfect intro. I know over the years the band has attempted to mope this song around the set but they have one of the great rock n roll intro songs here and it’s difficult to see where exactly it came go in the set apart from the beginning.

The endless rehearsing has made a big difference and as the set, which is the same as Heaton Park, is faultlessly tight. The first half of the set is made up the pristine, crystalline pop that the band made their name on- those cascading guitar riffs- this includes some of the classic b sides that are sung back at the band with as much gusto as the more recognised classics.

The set switches gear with Fools Gold which is a loose, funky jam and has the the amazing outdo where John Squire plays every lick in the book, quoting the Beatles Daytripper for one section- you just wish it would go on forever. They follow this up with Somethings Burning which is extended and feels like Can jamming with Public Image as the Roses go far out! not as far out as when they play Don’t Stop straight after Waterfall, the churning cascades of the song played backwards and even sung backwards which is mind blowing and as triply as any band ever gets- a lot is made of guitar bands like the Roses being trad etc but this is pure mind blowing experimentalism played live in front of a huge crowd- the Roses weirdest track played to a seething pit of dancing youth.

The other moan is ian brown’s vocal but he sounds great tonight, confident and relaxed and the more relaxed he best the better he sings- singing softly and sweetly which really suits his voice whilst he moves across the stage throwing moonwalks or even neo- Bruce lee karate moves- he even comes down the barrier at the from to shake hands with the audience which is along way from the more aloof personnae he used to project in the old days.

Brown grin as mani shows some killer bass moves and states,
“Wow, it must be those Kildare genes,” he exclaims knowing that his band is hot, the best musicians on the circuit who can jam at will and take the songs into different shoes. Reni is like liquid- i’ve never seen drummer so good and the Roses are the revaluation of the sumer and deserve all the praise they get.

There is no encore- how can there be? Resurrection is pure perfection and nothing can top that.

The third coming is in full swing…

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