Stone Roses... from resurrection to redemption...
Stone Roses... from resurrection to redemption...

Stone Roses :
Warrington Parr Hall :
live review
May 24th 2012

 Stone Roses... from resurrection to redemption...
Stone Roses... from resurrection to redemption...

“If you’d have told me this morning I’d be seeing The Stone Roses for free tonight at the Parr Hall I’d have told you to f*ck off!” snorts one Stones Roses ticket holder”¦ and so says the rest of Warrington.

For me, it started off as a whispered corridor conversation ”“ a rumour via a workmate and a friend of a friend that The Stone Roses were doing a free gig at Warrington’s premier live venue that night – and in terms of tickets it was first come first served.

I already had a ticket to see them at T In The Park having missed out on the Heaton Park gigs, but seriously who turns down the chance to see utter genius reformed right on their doorstep for one night only?
Immobilising the husband, I ordered him to put his slippers on and get across the road to the Parr Hall where a group of music fans were already congregating in nervous hopefulness. Amongst we Warringtonians who had grown up on a diet of ”ËœI Am the Resurrection’ and ”ËœWaterfall’ the rumour was already spreading like wildfire -including the all-important information that a piece of memorabilia was essential to secure a ticket.

Luckily the husband is a muso and has a wide library of Roses-related CDs and vinyl to choose from. Clutching the sacred merchandise to his chest he managed to deflect a pack of wolverine Scousers to secure his own ticket. The town’s branch of HMV was rumoured to have been wiped clean of Stones Roses merchandise within the hour.

I immediately bailed on work ”“ throwing the entire contents of my purse into a taxi driver’s lap and demanding he put his foot down to the Parr Hall. I arrived – rolling out of the taxi Starsky and Hutch-style – and pegged it to the box office (sliding into the queue where my husband was holding my spot).
From there it was a sweat, sigh and a jump to ”Ëœwristband acquisition’ status ”“ setting the stage for one of the greatest musical highlights of my life.

Why was I so bothered? Well, when you spend your formative years sat outside Ian Brown’s Lymm home praying for a glimpse of God-like genius, it’s not inconceivable that you’ll snatch the opportunity to see the band in action. For me The Stone Roses are youth, exuberance and joy ”“ everything that makes you feel real, Northern and alive.

The fact that they would throw a free gig in my hometown – with donations to a deserving charity – only sealed them in my mind as the ultimate ”Ëœone-of us’ band with no airs and graces.

It’s been amazing to see the groundswell of joy and support in Warrington. People were genuinely thrilled to have something to celebrate and be proud of. That the band would choose Ian’s hometown to flex their mothballed musical muscles is genuinely appreciated.

It was a privilege to exchange ”Ëœhow I got my ticket’ stories with people from as far afield as London – as well as to comfort one guy with severe sunstroke who had been stood queuing for his ticket since 11am.
Come 9.30pm and against a perfect arch of sky-tossed ale – refracted against the neon hue of the stage lights – the band opened up proceedings with ”ËœI Wanna Be Adored’. Do not fear”¦ Ian sounds fantastic ”“ no auto-tune required (although he did have the ultimate backing track in the form of a full- to-capacity-house).

The on-stage dynamic was a joy ”“ heart-warming banter being exchanged between the group with Ian purposefully making physical and verbal contact with his joyfully reciprocating bandmates.
This was a blistering set ”“ dipping into their debut as well as the ”ËœSecond Coming’ album with gems like ”ËœTightrope’ and ”ËœLove Spreads’ getting an airing just as much as ”ËœWaterfall’ and ”Ëœ(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’.

One woman next to me broke down in tears as her ”Ëœwedding song’ ”ËœTightrope’ made a welcome appearance on the well-measured setlist ”“ whilst Squire’s solo on ”ËœWaterfall’ melted the very walls of the claustrophobically-loving entertainment space.

This was a gig for the fans and about the fans ”“ a real homecoming for Warrington-born Ian in every sense of the word. The ecstatic audience regurgitated every classic song ”“ drunk on their own good fortune to be there.

”ËœShe Bangs the Drums’ (described by Ian as “One for the ladies”) was a personal highlight ”“ transforming the sprung floor into an ecstatic wave machine. Show closer ”ËœLove Spreads’ was the perfect question mark to a sentence that has only just begun.

”ËœI Am The Resurrection’ was a disappointing omission in an evening that was otherwise blissful perfection, but then again do they really need to confirm their rebirth after a barnstormingly intimate precursor to Heaton Park and T?

From the bottom of my heart thank you to The Stone Roses for gracing our town with your presence and reminding us why your resurrection is THE headline story of the summer.

Setlist (as taken from Reni):
I Wanna Be Adored
Mersey Paradise
Sally Cinnamon
Made Of Stone
(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
She Bangs The Drums
Love Spreads

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  1. Jesus you know how to tell a story and I think you captured all our thoughts tonight with your description of the gig

  2. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

    Was stuck in some training session at work yesterday and didn’t find out about the gig until it was too late.

    Gutted I missed this. Proper sinking feeling. Shit. Bollocks. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Bollocks. Shit. Fucking fuck.

    I bet it was amazing. Seriously cannot believe I missed it.

    Makes Heaton Park all the more exciting.

    Big massive giant personally disappointed absolute Fuck!

    …but at least the greatest, most real bandin the world ever are definately back.

    The world feels like a better place today.

  3. Immobilise means:

    1. to make immobile or immovable; fix in place.
    2. to prevent the use, activity, or movement of: The hurricane immobilized the airlines.
    3. to deprive of the capacity for mobilization: The troops were immobilized by the enemy.

    Mobilising your husband would make more sense:

    1. to assemble or marshal (armed forces, military reserves, or civilian persons of military age) into readiness for active service.
    2. to organize or adapt (industries, transportation facilities, etc.) for service to the government in time of war.
    3. to marshal, bring together, prepare (power, force, wealth, etc.) for action, especially of a vigorous nature: to mobilize one’s energy.

  4. ‘sliding into the queue where my husband was holding my spot’

    So you pushed in the que for tickets? Nice one

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  7. I was there from 9am and my head is bright pink. Minor sunstroke a small price pay for the best gig of my life. It’s good to have them back!

  8. Looking at the setlist looks like Johns been told to turn his guitar down.Turn it up John at Heaton park lets have driving south and begging you.

  9. After reading this I’m more up for Heaton Park than I was before. Would have loved to have been at Warrington, thanks for sharing your thoughts John.

  10. Wow.. I’m in Australia reduced to tears after reading that brilliant story.. thank you for sharing for the love.. I totally felt like i was there with you.

  11. From NZ, and trawling the stories filtering through, such a good piece, sincerely written and easily the best review of the gig I’ve read, largely due to your obvious and sheer joy in seeing the band back together playing music. It is a great thing that they have reformed and it is to be a Summer of joy (winter down here, but same thing…) Thanks for the review.

  12. Watched the footage and the atmosphere looked amazing in that small venue.Went to see em in Paris for warm up shows before second coming tour in a smallish venue they were unbeleivable.John passed me a bottle of water down from stage.So exited about heaton park im going with a mate that used to be my apprentice hes a massive roses fan but was too young to go years back.He ended up with all my souvnirs and ticket stubs.Its gonna be mental.

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