The Stone Roses
Finsbury Park, London
Saturday 8th June
Almost 12 months after the Roses triumphant gigs at Heaton Park last summer & the band’s London shows were hotly anticipated by fans and media alike.
Would the momentum of last year’s outings continue?
Well, all the questions began to be answered in a cloud of red smoke with the traditional opener I Wanna Be Adored as 50,000+ people were all getting their vocal chords tuned up ready for countless singalongs.
The first of three songs that didn’t appear on last year’s show was Elephant Stone, still sounding as good as it did since 1990 with Ian Brown’s vocals sharp, Mani’s solid bassline, Reni showing why he is a vital part of how the Roses sound and John Squire continuing to dazzle everybody with precise guitar licks.
Ten Storey Love Song follows with the crowd joining in what is one of the Roses’ essential live anthems. Standing Here is pristine and the second of the three new oldies in the form of Going Down remains one of the best Roses songs.
After Ian Brown persuades a member of the crowd that he needs his shakers for the rest of the gig, the slick Shoot You Down is the next song on an already impressive set list. But the lights turn to gold in the shape of a blistering 12 minutes of Fools Gold. from the moment Mani starts the familiar bass and John Squire gives it a more rockier guitar riff, Reni adds the vital element of drumming which no other drummer can do and Brown with whispery vocals makes it the song of the night.
Immediately Something’s Burning follows with Ian Brown continuing the Fools Gold style vocal rasp and the rest of the Roses barely breaking a sweat. Waterfall is the next “song of the night” contender & it mixes into Don’t Stop, a song that left one Joey Barton in a state of Twitter confusion last year but proves all songs that go backwards don’t necessarily have an evil message attached to them.
She Bangs The Drums is still one of the songs of any generation, hard to believe that it’s almost 25 years old. The rock fuelled Love Spreads blasts its way into the night sky until its time to put up the hands again for This Is The One which proves the audience are still in good voice. Made Of Stone is another song of the night, complete with a chorus that must be one of the most sung chorus’ ever.
The third new-old song is Breaking Into Heaven, done with a slick slow groove with Ian Brown only raising his voice for the chorus, John Squire giving a guitar lesson to all who stand before him, Mani and Reni providing the backup elequently and making the staunch Roses fans forget that this song had only been done a few shows previous with Reni on drums.
A trip to London to see the Roses wouldn’t be complete without Elizabeth, My Dear being played and they don’t disappoint. A blinding drum solo from Reni (50 years old and can still put the modern day drummers in their place) blends nicely into the finale, I Am The Resurrection, and 10 minutes of one of THE greatest songs ever written brings the curtain down on a highly successful show.
Yes, there was no Sally Cinnamon or Mersey Paradise but the appearance of the aforementioned songs that were there are very welcome. With so many quality songs to choose from it must be difficult to choose what to put on the setlist. And let’s not forget that somewhere down the line a new album will be with us as well, bringing yet more quality to an impressive array of songs.
To anybody who thought that they wouldn’t last………listen to the live stuff, that should help you re-assess that opinion.
All words by Mark Sharpley. Mark’s author’s archive is HERE.