The Stone Roses
T In The Park
July 7th 2012
Ankles shackled in mud. One finger spiking the feathery mist of rain. It’s a head back, ale-down-your-arm job. ”ËThis Is The One’ we’ve been waiting for all day.
As ”ËI Wanna Be Adored’ erupts, all thoughts of the hellish post-apocalyptic lake of filth underfoot evaporate. It’s The Stone Roses man”Â¦ at T In The Park!
It’s been a nerve- jangling wait for fans since the band first announced the gig last November. An Amsterdam walk-off in June didn’t help”Â¦ inducing bellyaching rumours of another implosion.
But they’re here ”â representing Madchester and all that’s northern and good in the cold inhospitable bowl of the Balado hills.
Squire is workmanlike – head down getting the job done. Brown’s giving it all that”Â¦ the monkey strut and the ”Ë’ave it’ stare. Reni’s squeezing every drop of juice out of them lemon drums – his headgear fluttering manically. Mani is having a ball – the umbilical connection between ”Ëus’ and ”Ëthem’”Â¦ feeding off all that love and affection we’ve nurtured all these years.
After the euphoric opener they shift down a gear. Meaty versions of ”ËMersey Paradise’; ”Ë(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’; ”ËSally Cinnamon’; ”ËWhere Angels Play’; ”ËShoot You Down’ and ”ËStanding Here’ are all slapped on the jukebox.
The self-indulgent subliminal message from the stage is clear: ”ËWe’re in no rush man. We’re here for the duration. Let’s all chill out, yeah. Enjoy it’.
Well, everyone except Squire. If he was in any doubt he’s here to do a job, Brown makes sure he doesn’t forget it. A bum note during the intro riff of ”ËSally Cinnamon’ earns him what we think is a shitty look and an ear-whisper but is probably the band fooling. Not that Squire’s arsed – he’s too cool for school in his country gent cord jacket.
Plus he’s about to show off his musical prowess with blinding wig-outs on ”ËFools Gold’ and ”ËWaterfall’ – strings dripping musical nectar all over the floor. The James Bond spotlight that’s had Brown locked in its sights has found a new home.
It’s a bit of a shock to be honest. Back in May, the surprise warm-up gig in Warrington’s Parr Hall flew by ”â studded with radio-friendly cuts of everything at ”Ëwham, bam, thank you mam’ speed. Tonight time takes on an elastic quality – making blood-starved feet begin to twitch impatiently. You kind of want them to hurry up and get on with it.
Thankfully that big fat primeval ”ËLove Spreads’ riff cuts scythe-like through the central nervous system. Snap. Your arms immediately crucifix outwards like a marionette’s plaything.
They’ve played an Ace and are ready to show their hand. ”ËMade Of Stone’ and ”ËThis Is The One’ follow in quick succession. Ian’s hoodie is off. He’s down to a black ”ËTee’ with a fern motif round the neckline ”â a nod to the old iconic banknotes T-shirt from back in the day. Jabbing his finger, he pushes home the point. This is it. This time round”Â¦. ”ËThis Is The One’.
Song-wise there are still a couple of boxes unchecked. Disappointing no-shows include ”ËTightrope’ and ”ËTen Storey Love Song’ but then again, you can’t have it all.
”ËShe Bangs The Drums’ and ”ËElizabeth My Dear’ scrape through the rigorous selection process ”â making it to third-last and penultimate place respectively.
”ËI Am The Resurrection’ has to be the show-closer. It doesn’t disappoint. Flares are going off as a wave of pure happiness engulfs you. Squire’s axe is rescuing us and them from two decades lost in the wilderness – bringing us all collectively back into the light.
Boom! Lights up. Four sets of hands pair up and are held aloft. Squire gets a kiss on the cheek off Brown. He’s sorry and he loves him ”â then and now and hopefully always.
For a good five minutes after they’ve walked off we’re still singing ”ËI Am The Resurrection’. Our voices bounce off those oil-black hills – setting us up for the trek home like a good glug of whiskey.
I Wanna Be Adored
(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
Made Of Stone
This Is The One
She Bangs The Drums
Elizabeth My Dear
I Am The Resurrection