Stone Roses live in Barcelona
Stone Roses live in Barcelona


Stone Roses live in Barcelona
Stone Roses live in Barcelona

Here it Comes

Ever since the tickets went on sale for Heaton Park there’s been a collective wish among thousands of people for the end of June to hurry up and come along. The Stone Roses tour is now more than a week old and as the days go by we edge nearer the day when they ‘play at home’ to a sea of people at Heaton Park, all who probably never thought they’d see the day it would happen.

Acouple of years ago I decided to have a go at this on line music/chatting,inter-webbing-blogging lark even though my spelling is ‘terrable’ and I didn’t really know what I was doing. For my first interview I very luckily got to interview Mani, which sort of says a lot about the guy as I’d never interviewed any one before or had anything published.

At the time he was ‘Free-Basin’ it with Hooky and co and being quite nervous about the interview I struggled sleeping the night before hoping not to fuck it up, which I went on to do but by the time10 am come around to ring, still half asleep I put my questions to him. But not even me with my pretty basic ‘run of the mill’ questions asked the 1 question the bassist must of been answering for the last 20yrs, “do you think the Roses would ever get back together again”, I wasn’t that daft.

Going on to cover Ian Tilton and other people like Clint Boon and Chris Helm, who I all got talking about the Roses in some way, I never once remotely thought The Stone Roses would ever get back together again, but that’s exactly what they have done and now, only days away from Heaton Park, it’s finally upon us, almost unbelievable in a way.

So looking back over the week that was and the band’s first few shows what does it tell us about what to expect for Heaton Park?

The 8th of this month saw the band get the tour under way playing 2 nights at the Razzmatazz club in Barcelona and by reading the reviews and watching the Youtube footage of the shows it looked a bit like the Warrington Parr Hall warm up gig. One of those tighter venues with the band sounding right on form, Reni sounding beat perfect with some great run through’s of Resurrection and Fools Gold. Watching back you can see the band smiling at each other and really looking like they’re enjoying it. John Squire, with those fuzzy solo licks in the middle of Fools Gold and playing it bluesy but always groovy and ‘that’ rhythm section out front sounded awesome. All of them still have it and still look cool up there, each one of them still look like winners…

Fools Gold, Barcelona

Managing to get to the Amsterdam gig, it was always going to be a great night, more a British gig than a Euro show, with a lot of recognisable faces about. Among them was Dave, Ian Brown’s brother who was looking forward to it as much as anyone that night. Also there was ex-Fun De Mental and Ian Brown’s percussionist, Inder ‘Goldfiger’ Mantharoo, showing full support for the Roses.

It was a great performance, maybe not quite as good as Barca with an, at times, subdued crowd but then it got a bit weird at the end after Ian’s “Elvis has left the building” announcement with people on the way out thinking they’d seen their last Roses gig and they were gonna ‘split up’. Even the woman who served me a bacon butty the next morning was on about it to a friend but anyone who knew, knew it didn’t mean anything of the kind. In fact, if anything, it just showed his feelings about wanting the show to go on and singing the songs we’ve all waited so long to hear again live. Listen to Ian Brown’s rap to the end of Second Coming. He’s loving it…

Love Spreads, Amsterdam

The Hultsfred festival in Sweden and the aptly named ‘Northside Festival’ have both followed with a review in the Guardian covering the Swedish date and highlighting the band getting verses mixed-up and certain songs not hitting the mark, but the same review also stated that there was a rousing performances of ‘Resurrection’, ‘Ten Story Love Song’ and ‘Standing Here’ winning over the Swedes and ending with what the reviewer described as ‘a lump in throat moment’ as the Roses took their final bow.

A fair statement as it was only the 4th date in and their first outdoor show the full band have played since Glasgow Green, which was sort of outdoor.

So the signs are looking real good and hopefully the sun will have its hat on as well for a weekend that is now within touching distance. What other band has still meant so much to so many and the same as they did the first time round. In a year full of comebacks and reunion tours, this is the one that will for ever be talked about. A set of shows that will surely see The Stone Roses take the mantle they’ve always fluttered around, which is one of the greatest, classic Rock’n’Roll bands ever! see you there…


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