The Stone Roses Are Back!

A bit older and wiser, The Stone Roses make their return! Reni, Mani, Ian Brown, and John Squire.

Whilst Mr. Wapojif sat in work today stifling in the intense heat (okay so it wasn’t that warm but we’re pallid Brits in the Professional Moron office and, even worse, Northeners!) an unexpected news story popped up. A free, one off gig in Warrington tonight, starting at 8pm, out-of-the-blue, by none other than the newly reformed Stone Roses. Now Warrington’s a horrendous dive of a place but it’s where Ian Brown was born, and the band in their heyday always threw unusual, one-off shows like this. Fans had to rush to Parrs Hall in the town’s centre wearing some Stone Roses clobber, or clutching one of their CDs to get a wristband to let them in. They go on stage at 8pm, in about 5 minutes after I publish this. Sadly I’ve missed it, but I’m seeing them on the 30th of June.

Seminal indie/alternative group The Stone Roses stunned everyone by reforming back in October of 2011. Why stunned? As it seemed about as likely as Mount Everest falling over that these obstinate fiends would reconcile and return to the stage. Happily they did reform and announced a big bunch of shows (they’re the fastest selling gigs in history – 220,000 tickets went in 14 minutes). They start next month and will run through 2012, the highlight being 3 massive (in the proper, non-Mancunian “Massiv, innit, you know wot I meen?” type way) shows in Heaton Park, at the North of the city.

The Stone Roses rehearse Waterfall on The Other Side of Midnight; early 1989.

So why the fuss about The Stone Roses? A lot of people won’t get the staggering hype and excitement the fans feel, but then most people haven’t bothered listening to The Stone Roses properly. Case in point, Mr. Wapojif had one friend who confidently announced they were “shit”. Could he name any of their songs for me? Nope. A convincing argument against a band whose eponymous debut album has won Best Album Ever awards.

So, AGAIN GODDAMIT, why are The Stone Roses so good? Many reasons, but the sheer staggering quality of their songs dwarfs any other band over the last 25 years. As mentioned their debut album is genius, and whilst the group got mired in protracted legal wranglings which destroyed their momentum after its release in 1989, they were still able to release a much maligned, but actually rather good, second album – The Second Coming. You can also find a number of wonderful rarities online (such as the beautiful Pearl Bastard, The Sun Still Shines, and Boy on a Pedastal), as well as The Complete Stone Roses. The latter is a collection of all of their classic B side-singles like Mersey Paradise, Going Down, Standing Here, and Sally Cinnamon.

The band’s return marks THE RETURN of their genius drummer Reni, who has been absent from the music scene since 1995. Reni is one of the most naturally gifted drummers to ever grace a kit – up there with the likes of Keith Moon, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, and Buddy Rich. He arguably tops the lot – a famous quote is he “played the drums like Hendrix played the guitar.” I can’t think of any better compliment ever. Except, maybe, “you make a good bacon butty!” That would be pretty good, too.

Rehearsing circa 1989. Guitarist Squire created all of the Jackson Pollock themed artwork himself.

Anyway, the usual bizarre humour has been left behind today at Professional Moron to announce the official return of The Stone Roses. In a rather dire world right now it’s so nice to receive a thunderous bolt like this to shake things up. The moment Reni begins to go berserk on Elephant Stone, Mani’s bass kicks in on I Wanna Be Adored, John’s guitar riff for Waterfall starts, or Ian hushedly whispers “I want to do it and you know you’ve always had it coming” on Shoot You Down, we will know something special has returned. All hail The Stone Roses!

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