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Stone Roses Reform: The Second (or Third?) Coming?

Posted on the 19 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Stone Roses reform: The Second (or Third?) Coming?

The album that started it all

The Stone Roses epitomise the late Eighties and early Nineties, with their baggy clothes, winsome, meaningless lyrics (“She’s a waterfall”), and powerful tunes. Their album, The Stone Roses,  was an enormous success, leading the “Madchester” movement of popular beat combos (which included the Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, The Charlatans and James). One group that were not in the Madchester scene was Steps, who have also announced that they are reforming this week, though one wonders if this will bring Liam Gallagher quite as much joy (see below.)

The Stone Roses’ second album, not at all arrogantly titled The Second Coming, did not do so well, however, and the band split in 1996, dwindling into outfits that weren’t very good (The Seahorses, anyone?, which was founded by guitarist John Squire) and slightly ill-judged solo albums from frontman Ian Brown.

“Our plan is to take on the world,” said Ian Brown, quoted on The Independent.

But now the band have decided that they’re going to reform (perhaps they got their cue from Take That). They’ve already sparked controversy, with Brown (who is now 48 years old) attacking a Daily Mail journalist at a press conference, reported on the Media Monkey blog in The Guardian: “Let me ask you a question. What’s it feel like to write for a newspaper that used to support Adolf Hitler?”  Liam Gallagher’s certainly excited: he tweeted: “Stone Roses getting back together – not been this happy since my kids were born.” They’re not doing it for cash, though: the Press Association reports that Gary “Mani” Mounfield (the bassist), who insisted that the lucrative tours they will engage on are not the prime motivating factor; that falls to the fact that “”People have got dreams that they probably want to see happen. It would be nice to satisfy their dreams and get it done.” The fact that Ian Brown is going through a costly divorce, reported The Daily Telegraph, may or may not be a factor.

“I’ve never seen anyone our age do what we’re attempting to do. Like Everest,” boasted Drummer Alan “Reni” Wren, also quoted on The Independent.

Hurrah! Neil McCormick, The Daily Telegraph’s rock critic, said he was “sceptical” until he saw them – even despite their advanced years, they still “look like a band”. The foursome were positively bursting with pleasure. They scooted over the fact that the band were “appalling” when they broke up, but really this is more about the magic of four friends sparking off each other and making brilliant music. As Mani himself said, “Rock n roll’s more than just music, isn’t it?”

Hoohah? They shouldn’t reform, said rock photographer Keith Cummins, quoted on The Mirror. He could understand why, though: “we’re thinking under this huge swell of nostalgia,” he said. If all that we have to aspire to is Mumford & Sons, then it’s no wonder they’re doing so. “You look at the cover of the NME, you know?  Florence and the Machine? If that’s as exciting as it gets then God help the kids.”

Harrumph. Sam Wolfson on The Guardian was a bit more belligerent. He wasn’t even born when the first Stone Roses album came out – he was hoping that “if, in 2011, you asked a 15-year-old who Mani was, they would reply: ‘He’s the wooly mammoth from Ice Age.’” But that didn’t happen – we’ve been subjected to guff about the Stone Roses for years. “Ian Brown has appeared on five NME covers this decade, Dizzee Rascal just one.” So many bands have broken up and reformed – Pulp, Blur, New Order, The Verve, had all “broken” up when Wolfson was 14, but he’s seen them all play. The Stone Roses are awful: “To some they may be the euphoric soundtrack to a first pilled-up shag in a nightclub toilet. To me, they are Primal Scream in need of editing”. To top it all off, “[t]hey are a live band most famous for being shit live.” News of this reunion fills him with dread.

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