Fifteen years after an acrimonious split, and despite repeated denials that they would reform, the Stone Roses finally look set to announce their resurrection. Six months ago, reports of a reunion were labelled "total fantasy island gear" by bassist Gray "Mani" Mounfield.
But reports indicate that the pioneers of the "Madchester" movement of the late 80s and early 90s have signed up for a series of comeback gigs with the band's full original line-up of Ian Brown, John Squire, Gary "Mani" Mounfield and Alan "Reni" Wren.
The Mancunian band, who fell apart in 1996 after legal wrangles and internal rows, are expected to announce the tour at a press conference on Tuesday.
Invitations have been sent out to journalists for "a very important announcement" at a Soho hotel, and the four members are said to be attending.
A spokesman for Murray Chalmers PR, which is handling the event, declined to comment on the nature of the press conference.
Guitarist John Squire quit in 1995 and although the band limped on with a replacement, the group split after a disastrous performance at Reading Festival in 1996. Ian Brown enjoyed some success as a solo star, bass player Mani joined Primal Scream and Squire charted with his band The Seahorses before pursuing an art career.
Squire, whose artwork graced many of their record covers, has regularly refuted suggestions they might reform. "I'd rather live my life than attempt to rehash it," he said recently. "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."
A feud between childhood friends Brown and Squire has long been seen as a potential stumbling block to any lucrative reunion. Two years ago, Brown said Squire tried to end the feud by writing him a song, but he refused to record it.
In an interview with The Word magazine, 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'."
The band's first album, released in 1989, is widely seen as one of the greatest debuts of all time. Its mixture of melodic pop and dance rhythms marked them out as the leaders of the Madchester scene. In 1990, nearly 30,000 people flocked to see them at Spike Island near Widnes.
The concert – affectionately known as the "baggy Woodstock" – came as the Madchester scene was at its height and the band were flying high on the back of top 10 hit "Fool's Gold".