Stone Roses reunion: comeback gigs confirmed | Music | guardian.co.uk
Stone Roses reunion: comeback gigs confirmed Band appear together for first time in 15 years to announce two reunion concerts in Manchester next year, followed by world tour
They are the resurrection
The Stone Roses in 2011.
Some will say they are doing it for fool's gold, others will wonder if as they enter middle age they just wanna be adored. But fans of the Stone Roses
will only care about one thing: the band have confirmed they are reuniting, with two gigs planned for next year, followed by a world tour. The band will play new material, though a new album has not yet be confirmed.
Despite legal wrangling with record companies, fall-outs and vehement assurances they would never get back together, the original lineup singer Ian Brown
, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield and drummer Alan "Reni" Wren announced two gigs at Heaton Park in Manchester on 29 and 30 June 2012.
The long-awaited news the resurrection has been some time in coming, with rumours circulating for several years was announced at a packed Soho Hotel in central London.
The scheduled gigs will be the first time the band have played together in 16 years, since a widely panned performance at the Reading festival in 1996 that lead NME to describe Brown's rendition of I Am the Resurrection as "more like the eternal crucifixion".
The Stone Roses exploded on to the British indie scene in 1989 with their eponymous album, hailed as one of the greatest debuts of all time. Their psychedelic sound spoke to a generation of ravers during the second "summer of love". In their hometown of Manchester hundreds of fans gathered outside already sold-out gigs, and at the height of their fame nearly 30,000 people attended the "baggy Woodstock" at Spike Island near Widnes in 1990. But the group became snared in a lengthy legal battle with their label Silvertone, unable to release new music before a court case left them free to sign with Geffen. The follow-up to their debut, Second Coming, was finally released in 1994, but failed to meet inflated expectations. Drummer Reni left in 1995, followed a year later by guitarist and songwriter John Squire whose ranging riffs were as integral to the Stone Roses' sound as Brown's distinctive vocals and the band split up the same year. Brown went on to create six albums, bassist Mani joined Primal Scream, while Squire, who created the artwork for the band's first album, formed the short-lived Seahorses before deciding to concentrate on art.
There seemed to be no way back. Squire created a work of art in 2009 that carried the words: "I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group the Stone Roses."
He said at the time: "I'd rather live my life than attempt to rehash it. Even if Ian and I were still double dating as we did in our teens then the prospect of a reunion wouldn't interest me at all." The feud between the teenage friends continued, with Brown apparently refusing an olive branch from Squire, who he said had sent him a song. In an interview with the Word magazine in 2009, Brown said: "He actually sent me a tune 18 months ago pretty good, sounded nice, I liked it but my sons turned round and said: 'Dad, you can't work on that he sold you out, didn't he? He left you for dead."
Rumours of a comeback circulated in April this year after a meeting between Brown and Squire at the funeral of bassist Mani's mother. But it was quickly dismissed by Mani who said, in no uncertain terms: "Please **** off and leave it alone. It isn't true and isn't happening."
But the obstacles in the way of a lucrative reunion have been swept aside. The news will put them in good company: Pulp reunited this year for a series of successful comeback gigs, the Specials reunited in 2009 for their 30th anniversary, and Take That have proved creaky knees need not mean a diminished fanbase.
Questions will undoutedly be asked about Brown's vocal capabilities once described by Guardian critic Alexis Petridis as "a muffled, gloomy honk, like a despondent goose wearing a balaclava" and whether the band, now in middle-age, will be able to capture the heady excitement of their early days. But to accusations they are selling out, they could reply with the lyrics of I Wanna Be Adored: "I don't have to sell my soul/ He's already in me". Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am.