On Friday night as Primal Scream were rousing through Country Girl, I saw approximately thirty coppers running frantically through the disabled section to the rear of the bar which was next to where the wheelchair platform was. Over the previous five minutes, I’d seen a few people gently walking back to their places in the field with crates of orange breezers and packs of small plastic bottles of white wine. Word went round that the bar had been stormed by disgruntled punters who’d been getting crushed in the queue. Having been in that same queue about half an hour earlier, I wasn’t that surprised that it had happened, you wouldn’t have been able to get a cigarette paper in between the seething crush of humanity. People were being swayed from side to front with no control over their movement. Getting away from the bar without spilling any drink was akin to walking a tightrope with a ball and chain.
Primal Scream perform Movin’ On Up at Heaton Park on Friday night
Primal Scream were excellent and I was pleasantly surprised. A week earlier I watched them on the telly at the Isle of Wight festival and Bobby Gillespie’s voice sounded shot to me. I now know, he was just having a bad night. They swept through Swastika Eyes and Movin’ On Up with aplomb. Loaded and Come Together went down with expected ecstacy and when they wrapped up with Rocks, the amazing Scream guitarist Barry Cadogan, a man who looks like a hybrid cloned from the DNA of Keith Richards and Jimmy Page, strutted and raged around the stage like he was playing Madison Square Garden in 1974.
The Wailers performing Three Little Birds on Sunday night
Before Primal Scream on Friday and Beady Eye on Saturday, The Wailers had the crowd happily singing and dancing with classics like Jamming, Could You Be Loved, Three Little Birds and many, many others. Of the support bands I saw this weekend, they were to me, comfortably the best one I saw. After their set on Saturday night, the once ubiquitous Michael Jackson classic, Thriller, came out over the venue PA. Any hopes I had of the crowd in flash mob stylee doing the arm waving of the zombie dance from song’s video were alas, a forlorn one.
The Wailers performing One Love/People Get Ready on Saturday night
At the end of the Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, John Lydon infamously asked, “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated” ? It’s ironic that our now lovable, iconic, Tory voting butter salesman, once angry young rebel was manipulated to front a band advocating all kinds of anti establishment rhetoric (never action) yet really, he and his cohorts in the Sex Pistols were really just puppets in a sartorial marketing drive spearheaded by Malcolm McLaren. Now we have Liam Gallagher who was originally a rock ‘n’ roll singer (to my ears, a great one too) but who’s now a rag salesman trading on his self imposed scally image and accent, selling clobber that no self respecting scally would ever be seen dead in. On the Saturday night, Beady Eye were the main support. Liam Gallagher, nearly 40, pranced, prowled and scowled around on the stage with all the cool and joie de vivre of a lad half his age who’d just been kicked out of Brannigans. They roared through Four Letter Word, Beatles and Stones and debut single Bring the Light before introducing brand new song, World Not Set In Stone to an overwhelmingly apathetic audience. The opening notes of Rock ‘n’ Roll Star brought the audience out of it’s slumber. After that, everybody dozed off again while Beady Eye went through the Instant Karma influenced The Roller. That was followed by Standing on the Edge of the Noise where people around me were singing Get Back over the chorus. The genuinely brilliant Wigwam immediately preceded the Oasis classic Morning Glory which was rapturously received. Beady Eye should have walked off stage with that high but they carried on with the World of Twist cover, Sons of the Stage which meant that as a good a song it is, they walked off to subdued applause. I wonder how long it’s going to be before Liam Gallagher get’s in touch with his older brother to sort out their differences (and I don’t mean Paul).
Beady Eye performing a rapturously received Morning Glory on Saturday night
Anybody who was at the Arthur Lee/Love concert at the Manchester Academy II in March 2005 will probably remember seeing John Squire, Gary Mani Mountfield and Alan Reni Wren stood together near the mixing desk at the rear of the hall during the show. This completely destroyed the myth of John Squire’s supposed pariah status amongst his ex band mates that most people believed to be the case (now people seem to think it’s Reni). I was told by a bloke I know who works as a publicist/PR in the music industry in the spring of 2009 that it was only a matter of time ’til the Roses reform. When the rumour of the Stone Roses re-union (confirmed a few days later) first spread around like a bush fire in Central Manchester on a freezing Saturday night last October, not everybody was taken aback with the news. What was seemingly unanimous though was the sense of anticipation and excitement of the forthcoming shows which everybody (again correctly) knew were going to be at Heaton Park.
Stone Roses press conference in London on the 18th of October 2012
On Friday and Saturday nights, between the support sets of Primal Scream & Beady Eye in the half an hour to the Roses coming on stage, the venue P.A. for some reason became almost in-audible. The sweet tones of Jeane Terrel singing Stoned Love faded out to the entry of the Stone Roses to the stage on both nights. The brooding, menacing but also re-assuring bass riff of I Wanna Be Adored predictably kicked the show off before the Roses launched into Mersey Paradise and the brilliant (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister
Ten Storey Love Song in the daylight
The words of Sally Cinmamon were faithfully recited by the crowd before the Roses, with great subtlety segued Where Angels Play and Shoot You Down. The mood of the crowd quietened during those songs and Bye Bye Badman. The rapture returned on the chorus of Ten Storey Love Song which was sung in the park with all the vigour of a football crowd. Along with the almost hypnotic drum beat from Reni, Fools Gold is where John Squire really indulged. The beginning of the song resembled the opening of James Brown’s Get Up Offa That Thing, there was also an almost mischievous playing of the Day Tripper bass riff as the song faded out.
Fools Gold at Heaton Park from the Made Of Stone film
A subdued Standing Here followed Fools Gold, from there on in, it was classics all the way home with the sublime refrain of Waterfall seamlessly turning into Don’t Stop, a song that for twenty years I thought would be impossible to perform live. A closing volley of The Jimi Hendrix influenced Love Spreads, Made of Stone and This Is The One took the crowds breath away. On This Is The One, Ian Brown’s voice was so far out of tune that he was nearer to the harmony than the melody. It didn’t matter in the slightest though, it’s a testament to Ian Brown’s charisma that he can get away with it. He’s by no stretch of the imagination the best singer around and he’s no dancer but as a band frontman, he commands the stage and the audience’s attention with a similar panache to Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury.
Love Spreads performed on the Saturday night
Mani, who’d looked like a man holding his breath all night introduced the unmistakable bass riff to She Bangs the Drums. In 1989 on this song, Ian Brown sang “Kiss me where the sun don’t shine, the past is yours but the future’s mine”. Over the weekend he chanted exactly the same mantra and on both occasions, he was wrong. They blew their future post ’89 in haze of litigation and badly synchronised drug use. As for the future, who knows what will happen with the Roses once this tour’s concluded. I hope they stick around a while but having watched them implode bizzarely before, I wouldn’t bet on that happening with somebody else’s money. There have been some people getting a wee bit over precious about the legacy of the Stone Roses and this tour (it’s a rock band for chrissakes, not the attempted desecration of Moses tablets). It’s as if this enterprise could tarnish their memory and mystique but they’re generally the same people who predicted the same damage to The Beatles reputation following the dual release of Free as a Bird and Real Love in the mid 1990s. Looking back on that some 16 years later, The Beatles are more respected and revered now than they’ve ever been. The people who like The Beatles and them songs, remember them, the people who like The Beatles but didn’t like them songs have forgotten them and the people who don’t like The Beatles or them songs are phony wannabe free thinking iconoclasts.
She Bangs The Drums from stage right
After She Bangs The Drums, Ian Brown shared his opinions on the monarchy before singing the short but certainly not sweet Girl From The North County/Scarborough Fair influenced Elizabeth My Dear. The pulsating opening of the closing song, I Am The Resurection was greeted with the reverence which the songs title commands. It was an almost quasi religious experience for the masses of people singing every word of the song for the people who’d stayed on after the songs beginning.
Elizabeth My Dear and I Am The Resurrection performed on Saturday night
This article was originally published by United We Stand website, its reproduction here is courtesy of them. The original can be found here
(9th of July 2012) To the memory of Chris Brahney, God bless
Come with me to a place no eyes have ever seen
A million miles from here where no one’s ever been
God-given grace and a holy heaven face I’m on the edge of something shattering I’m coming through
Ian Brown & John Squire 1989