Stone Roses
V Festival, Chelmsford
18 August 2012

Capping off a summer of amazing come-back shows we catch the Stone Roses at Chelmsford as play another storming set headlining V Festival.

So, what a summer it has been since the greatest announcement in music that the Stone Roses were going to reform. I was certainly excited and I can only imagine that a number of thirty-something’s were too.

Attending the Saturday at Heaton Park there was great support from one of the more famous Stone Roses fans, Liam Gallagher and his band Beady Eye. This time round they were on the bill with another famous Stone Roses fan, Noel Gallagher. Believe me I feel privileged to have been there.

I mainly went to the Saturday at V Festival to watch these two acts, the Stone Roses and Noel Gallagher, so I wasn’t really expecting much more from the day. The only other exciting prospects were the Inspiral Carpets, but I sadly missed them performing due to not gaining entrance early enough.

The last minute exciting prospect was The Charlatans. They were on early afternoon on the smaller 4 Music stage, which turned out to be a perfect setting for the veteran band. Why last minute? Well, they stood in when Dappy from N-Dubz pulled out. Good thing all round I say.

Tim Burgess was on good form from the start, posing to the crowd and egging them on to get involved in the festivities. It seemed to me they were a welcome substitution for Dappy and people were singing along, getting their voices heard.

Main crowd pleasers were the obvious choices, the big hits such as North Country Boy which they opened with. All the songs got a good reaction from the audience but even more so for favourites including One to Another, Tellin’ Stories, Only One I Know and the closer, Sproston Green. Overall a great set which cheered me and a lot of others up!

After a few hours of milling about and waiting to see the main event it was finally time. After battling my way through to a good position during Example’s set, I was ready to marvel at what was on offer.

Noel Gallagher finally came onto the stage with a confidence that has never let him down. The front of stage area was busy again as the real music fans came over in force, with cheers and claps for the great man standing before them.

Noel’s set was a mixture of his new material and of course his older stuff from his Oasis days.

The set was opened with (Its Good) To Be Free which the crowd fully appreciated. This was followed by some of the massive songs from his new material these were Everybody’s On The Run, Dream On, If I Had A Gun, The Death Of Me And You and (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine. All these gratefully received by the masses of fans with cheers and mass sing-alongs.

Noel went back to his Oasis days by dedicating an acoustic version of Supersonic to Mo Farah. This encouraged people to start off the Mo-Bot and obviously again singing along with Noel on stage. This was followed by Noel dedicating Aka”¦ What A Life to his son Donovan.

The latter half of the set mainly consisted of Oasis classics with Talk Tonight, Half The World Away, Whatever, Little by Little with a couple more new tracks from his album included for good measure. His set was crowned with Don’t Look Back Anger which got the crowd really going and breaking out into full song. Great performance from Noel and now all that left was the wait for the Stone Roses.

With the thrill and excitement still fresh in my mind from Heaton Park I was anticipating a great performance from Ian, John, Mani and Reni and they did not let me down. I opted to stay put for The Roses with a good view of the stage, standing back a bit to fully enjoy the show that they were to put on.

They kicked off with I Wanna Be Adored which everyone around me started singing prematurely before Ian broke out into song. The atmosphere was good and everyone was there to enjoy the spectacle.

Ian looked a legend in his customised Stone Roses artwork jacket. This was going to be one to remember. The passion from the band was still there after playing a long list of shows and again they all looked like they were enjoying themselves on stage.

The set was pretty much what I expected with my main favourites again being the faster paced Mersey Paradise, followed by (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister.

It’s hard to choose ultimate favourites but a medley was played with Sally Cinnamon in my mind, the anthemic Ten Storey Love Song, then Where Angels Play. Each song getting the crowd to sing, this was enjoyable for all involved.

Fools Gold was another delight with extended instrumentals that gave everyone the chance to have a good dance. Waterfall was followed by Don’t Stop which still sounded as trippy as the first time I saw it live at Heaton Park. This got a great reaction from the crowd and a few confused faces of what they were witnessing.

The riffs of Love Spreads just glided into the audience with Ian doing his customary rap at the end which I always fully enjoy. Made of Stone and This is The One sounded awesome, then She Bangs The Drums whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Ian belted out Elizabeth, My Dear without a mention of the Royals this time. Then it was into I Am The Resurrection again getting the crowd jumping and singing and generally going for it. But, like all good things it had to end.

The Roses had belted out another great performance. The four did their hug of solidarity in front of everyone then Redemption Song came on, the sound of fireworks above us.

I thought they did a great job. Still playing with smiles and interacting well on stage together. It’s a shame that gig-wise it’s over for now.

But come new year I hope they deliver the goods again; the possibility of a new album and, fingers crossed, more shows for people to enjoy!

All words by Sassan Tahbazian. 

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