Film review: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone - Shane Meadows presents a fan's eye view with mixed results
"The Second Coming" would have been a better title for this documentary about the return of The Stone Roses, but they'd already used it for an album.
Tickled to be the chosen chronicler of the band's momentous reunion in 2011, director Shane Meadows (This Is England) presents a fan's view of the story, which proves to be good news and bad. He loves the music, and conveys something of its headlong energy in both rehearsal and live settings. Just to hear the opening bass rumble of "I Wanna Be Adored" raised the hairs on the back of my neck.
But the film doesn't deal at all with the personal issues that split the band those years ago, avoids one-on-one interviews and skates over whatever tensions still lurk down deep. In this regard it's hard not to focus on the body language of John Squire, the band's co-founder, guitarist and sleeve-designer, who as recently as 2009 had professed a strong reluctance to "desecrate the grave" of the band by reuniting them.
As the most talented musician, with a separate career as an artist, Squire had the least to gain from it. Two years later he had changed his mind, claiming a renewal of friendship with Ian Brown, but the question is begged throughout.
Meadows is on hand to capture nice moments of the quartet rehearsing for their massive reunion gigs at Heaton Park (they would play to 220,000 people), and then loses his way in a long preamble with fans queueing for the free warm-up gig at Warrington's Parr Hall. You keep thinking: Focus please, Shane! The warm-up is a wonderful, sweaty thrash, and highlights the importance to their sound of drummer Reni, holding it all together with his brilliant timekeeping.
Even Liam Gallagher, with unwonted modesty, is moved to call them "the best band ever to come out of Manchester". The Heaton Park finale, by contrast, is rather wasted on a boring 15-minute version of "Fool's Gold". What, no "Elephant Stone" or "Where Angels Play" or "Ten Storey Love Song"? Made of Stone is a must for devotees; but it's not really what the world was waiting for.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Zayn Malik releases first solo song 'I Won't Mind' in 'Zaughty' collaboration with Naughty Boy
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Poldark review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans