The week beginning October 17th 2011 saw two new chapters appear in the bible of Mancunian music.
The first – centred around the release of Noel Gallagher’s first post-Oasis album – was interesting; vaguely resembling the parts in the Christian Bible when Jesus performs some of his later miracles that are quite impressive, but not as good as his early ‘mass-appeal miracles’. A decent passage, but not as classic as the Old Testament gloom of Ian Curtis hanging himself, or perhaps the controversial parts where Morrissey has vaguely contemptible ideas about humanity.
The second chapter, however, provides great significance to the narrative.
The Stone Roses looked to be dead and buried. John Squire, saviour of the looped guitar riff, even appeared to his disciples via a piece of modern art on the internet, telling them he had no intentions of “desecrating the grave of seminal Manchester pop group, The Stone Roses”.
Mani, the bass player has been touring with Primal Scream; Ian Brown has been wearing Adidas tracksuits and releasing average solo albums; Reni, the drummer disappeared off the face of the planet – the very thought of, them, ‘resurrecting’ the defunct Roses seemed ridiculous.
It came as a shock then, when on Friday afternoon, the internet seemed to explode with rumours of all the original members of Stone Roses ‘doing a Take That’ and reforming for some big shows with big pay packets.
These rumours were duly confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday; The Stone Roses have indeed reformed.
The band will start with two ‘homecoming’ dates in Manchester’s Heaton Park – a fitting venue, famous for Oasis’ final Mancunian shows and the visit of Pope John Paul in the 1982 – before heading out on an as-yet unconfirmed world tour and releasing a new album. It’s a tantalising prospect for a band who left behind an air of unfinished business and unreached potential.
However, despite being excited by the likes of ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and ‘I Am The Resurrection’ in all their baggy glory, I can’t help but feel slightly apathetic. For a band that once sang the words ‘I don’t have to sell my soul, he’s already in me’ – it would appear that this ambiguous ‘he’ character has almost certainly vacated the body – there’s something about £55 plus booking fees for one ticket that just screams, ‘we are definitely in it for the masses of corporate money.’
Sadly, there’s such a huge amount of hype around the event that I almost feel obliged to go. Even if Ian Brown can’t sing any more, I’m sure the chorus of emotional northern men will act as a stirring buffer for his patchy middle-aged vocals. It will go down as one of those glorious moments in my young life that I can look back wistfully upon, as my children scramble to get their e-tickets for JLS’ 50th anniversary tour. Hopefully I’ll be enjoying myself too much to question the irony of a 48 year old man singing “the past was yours, but the future’s mine.”