Stone Roses play first night at Heaton Park

stone roses play heaton park
stone roses play heaton park Image credit:

How would you describe Fools Gold, One Love, Waterfall and Resurrection?

Well, the first has chicken topping, the second comes with cheese and tomato, Waterfall has salmon and the Resurrection is finished off with spinach and onion...You may be wondering what on earth we are going on about, but the four all fall into pizzas; Pizzas which were available to the 8,000 VIP guests at Heaton Park over last weekend to see the comeback of the century, the Stone Roses.

Whilst the likes of Chris Moyles, Bez, Rowetta, Ray and Jamie Winstone and Garry Neville enjoyed the hospitality bar and bar-b-q a further 225,000 fans turner out over the weekend to capture their youthful years which were sound tracked by Ian, Mani, Squire and Reni.

The last time the Roses had played such a huge concert was back in 1996, the performance cost them their career. A dismal ending to the Reading festival saw John Squire and Reni being replaced and Brown’s vocal being strained beyond belief. The years which followed saw animosity between Brown and Squire vowing never to play together again. The rumours of comebacks were quickly burned by Brown, although last year after a terrible tragedy involving the passing of Mani’s mother brought the four together again and at the funeral the seeds were being set for an emotional comeback tour, a tour which would recreate their infamous Spike Island show in 1990 and which would bring them back to Manchester at Heaton Park one year later.

Opening with a number for their adoring fans followed by turning this Manchester green and pleasant land (apart from numerous beer cans, empty pizza boxes and half eaten festival food) into a Mersey Paradise.

‘As you can see, we’ve still got it’ Brown tells the first of three sold out crowds after Sally Cinnamon. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the Roses just have two albums under their belt, the self-titled debut record dominated tonight’s sounds as well as their image with lemons squeezed across the stage backdrops although there was still plenty of memories to be found from their second coming.

With Euro 2012 still in flight we should remember Reni's quote in NME back in 2005 when he told a journalist the Roses would only perform again if his team won the European Cup...we couldn't wait that long!

The dreadlocks Reni were sporting could have been a reference to an incident which occurred earlier in the month when Ian Brown called the drummer a c*nt on stage because he went home before the encore due to a problem with his drum kit...The drummer who replaced Reni at Reading was Robbie Maddix...who had dreadlocks. 

Reaching ever more nostalgic heights the Roses continued with Ten Storey Love Song building up to the pinnacle number of the night, if not the decade. Sod it, the highlight of music history full stop...An epic rendition of Fools Gold which was pre-empted by a teasing spasmodic introduction which was rounded off by an immense electrical instrumental climax.

Waterfall flowed into the set next which ran into a rare oasis puddle of a live performance of Don’t Stop and a field-hugging play of Love Spreads.

‘Where did it all go wrong?’ shouted Brown, but before any of the middle-aged crowd, some with today’s new generation on their shoulders, could answer ‘1996’ Made of Stones washed away any of those painful memories before a beating version of She Bangs The Drums, Elizabeth Dear and of course, I Am The Resurrection took us back to our mundane lives.

The concerts weren’t just a trilogy of shows, they were memories and until VIP’s start forking out a few quid for Charming Man burgers this will be the musical comeback of our generation.

Disabled access was quite good at Heaton Park allowing blue badge holders privilege parking near the venue although the viewing platform was situated a little far back from the stage.