Stone Roses sell £12m of tickets in just 68 minutes

 

Excitement surrounding a Stone Roses reunion that many fans believed would never happen saw 150,000 concert tickets snapped up in 14 minutes yesterday.

Promoters responded to the demand for the band's shows at Heaton Park, Manchester, by announcing a third date on 1 July next year, which also promptly sold out.

In total, 220,000 tickets, at £55 each, were sold within 68 minutes of booking lines opening. By 1pm, tickets to the sold-out shows were selling on eBay for three times their face value.

The sales were worth £12m to the band. "We plan on spending the rest of the day jumping up and down with our hands in the air," said singer Ian Brown.

Seventeen years after they last appeared on stage together, the Manchester group delighted fans by announcing on Tuesday they were reforming following years of occasionally spiteful bickering.

Brown said he hoped the concerts would "uplift" the national mood. "We [originally] wanted to announce our reunion the day after the riots."

Relations between childhood friends Brown and John Squire, the group's guitarist, had been acrimonious since the latter quit the group in January 1996, with the pair regularly insulting each other in the press and rubbishing any suggestions of a reconciliation. The group disbanded seven months later following a disastrous performance at the Reading Festival. But the pair, now both 48, reportedly buried the hatchet after meeting at the funeral of bass player Gary Mounfield's mother earlier this year.

Squire said: "We went from crying and laughing about the old days to writing songs in a heartbeat. It is a friendship that defines us both."

The band's eponymous debut album in 1989 – featuring songs including "I Wanna Be Adored" and "I Am the Resurrection" – is regarded as one of Britain's greatest. They quit their record company Silvertone following a lengthy dispute and signed a multimillion-pound deal with Geffen in 1991, before releasing Second Coming to a more muted reception in 1994.

On top of the three Manchester dates, Brown said the group planned "to take it around the world". They will also record new material. "We are going to do what we did the first time and ride it 'til the wheels come off," he said.

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