The Stone Roses
Saturday June 15th 2013
”We’re international, we’re continental – but we’ll settle for Glasgow”.
This is not a gig this is an event and is seen by the Scottish Roses fans as much as a home coming gig as the Heaton Park concerts were last year. This is not a band coming to play this is family making a well over due highly anticipated visit and the blue and white carpet is well and truly rolled out. Across the city a mass of pre event party’s and meet ups are setting the tone of the day, there is a warm kinship mixed in with the expectancy and machismo the rain and chilly air makes for icebreakers in new friendships and not diminishing the vibrancy and spirit of excitement, enjoyment and anticipation for what’s to come.
The Roses have a triple bill of support and they should not go unmentioned Jake Bugg brings his youthful Bob Dylan twanging, while it can’t be claimed he’s an original he is no doubt a class act, the mighty Primal Scream who I expect could phone in a performance today – don’t and deliver a great set. Opening up The View are a band that I am seeing almost cold my knowledge limited at best about this Scottish pop punkrock band, they have certainly brought a huge crowd who energetically and enthusiastically enjoy the youthfully dynamic performance.
The intermittent rain eventually gave way to an intense downpour, many of those in the crowd bowing their heads, asmany ignoring the deluge danced again in Glasgow Green rain, the sun bursting through turning the water drops in the shining diamonds filling the park with clean bright light and as the rain abates from the stage and then across the sky a rainbow marks the end of the precipitation bold and clear it heralds the last few moments before The Stone Roses were due on stage.
As the crowd on mass sings along to chorus of Stoned Love it peters out softy as a lone bag piper walks on stage: playing the Flower of Scotland prior to The Roses appearing on stage to a cheer that, rather than building, hits the senses like an explosion, Ian cheekily attempting a swift check under the bagpiper’s kilt. The entire green seems to be bouncing along.‘I wanna be adored” states Ian as the 50,000 crowd sang along how could he – how could they can’t be in any doubt that they are. Finally included in the set Elephant Stone within a second Mani’s bass line has gripped the audience, the feelings arestellar Ian Brown delightfully soft yet confident vocals marry perfectly with John Squire’s intricate fingerwork and Reni making that bands heart beat loud, clear and funky, the audience melodically sharing it’s passion of the songs poignant words and harmonious melody.
The glances and one line comments playing out across the stage between the band is spellbinding and is as much as a show as the show itself. Ian spotting people to single out in the audience for a flash of his smile, a wink or even mock pretence ‘you want my coat – okay here you … arrr just kidding’ as he pretends to take off his jacket for a voice on the front row calling for its possession. Eventually in the vocal break of ‘I am the Resurrection’ he leaves the stage working the front, as Mani, John and Reni create magical swirls of music to accompany him. Swaggering back the music reaches its crescendo and ends; they gather and embrace to thunderous cheers from the audience“Best band in the world in the second best city in the world.” States Mani no one seems to want to argue with that.
Those that have seen the band throughout the past year know that the set list is essentialy unchanged, there were no new songs and no ‘premiering’ of old ones. It will give the naysayers something to beat the band with; it’ll not be the first negativity this tour and this date has received. It is just a reformation for nostalgia? So what! if you’re not into that then don’t buy a ticket don’t come along. ‘It’ll never be the same as 1990!’Of course not they are different people now, we are different! it wouldn’t be the same and it’ll be something different, something to enjoy here and now.
Glasgow Green 2013 is where the enthusiasm and energy in the audience did not diminish, as the young and the now, not as young, shared in a remarkable experience in the here and now and without comparison to what was before.Was there a highlight of the night? No, the highlight was to be there, be immersed in and energized by the atmosphere and music from the first note till the last- that was the highlight.
All words by Katie Clare. More writing by Katie on Louder Than War can be found in her author’s archive.