Tonight’s the night. Not only are the Stone Roses back, but they are back in their home town, their old stomping ground of Manchester, for shows at the enormous Heaton Park.
Am I going? Nah. I saw them last time round, mate, on their first round of comeback gigs for the Second Coming album, released five years after their debut. It was, in fact, the Roses’ first show in the British Isles since 1990, and it was… ok. As enthusiastic kids we were buoyed along by the thrill of seeing our idols, live and in person, and before anyone else. This was at the Irish festival Féile ‘95 in Cork city, which was a really great festival (despite someone dying), but looking back on the footage of the Roses now, well, that’s another story.
To my mind the Stone Roses are second only in influence on British indie after The Smiths. Well, third place, I guess, now that Joy Division have been elevated to being the pinnacle of everything guitar music could and should be. And what’s the connecting factor between all these bands? They’re all from Manchester. Yeah, the city I live in has defined indie-rock music for the last 30 years. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
Yes, there is a buzz here about the Heaton Park gigs, of course there is. But as with everything Manc, there’s also a sly element of piss-takery. Maybe it’s because some people don’t like the band, or maybe it’s fatigue at having to relive the “Spike Island” mythology all over again (Spike Island was a huge Roses stadium show that happened in 1990, and has gone on to become the stuff of urban legend, despite many people who were there decrying its status as the most important cultural event of a generation.) Or maybe it’s just a Manc thing. That’s what I’m going with.
So, speaking of piss-takery, here’s a very funny spoof clip of The Stone Roses talking about their reformation. You might need to be in on the joke for this to work fully, but there’s a lot of universal humour in here too. I mean, who doesn’t find the Manchester accent even just a little bit funny? This clip was written and created by Nico Tartarowicz, and also features the comedian Peter Serafinowicz impersonating Morrissey (and we’re big fans of Serafinowicz at DM.) So there’s that, too. Oh, and kudos for also laying into the ultimate talking-head-TV classic-rock-bore, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie: