Music review: The Stone Roses, Finsbury Park, London
Fearless, if flawed, second coming for band that defined a generation
Nobody on the planet has ever made their way to a Stone Roses gig expecting Ian Brown to have morphed into Plácido Domingo. And, of course, much of the Roses’ charm lay in their singer’s one-of-us-ness. But at points tonight, like during “Made of Stone”, it takes the bellowed singing of the crowd to bring Brown towards being in tune.
For the most part, the Roses get away with the flaw at this weekend mini-festival. Reni and Mani remain a superbly tight rhythm section and John Squire – despite looking ever more like Nigel Tufnel in a camo jacket – still conjures up baggily soulful sounds from his guitars. It helps that half the songs are classics, too.
The Roses are a band that helped define a generation – a generation amply represented here in an audience that’s all lagered sideways. So the mere opening notes of some songs create instant singalongs (or duh-duhs along) no more so than Mani’s introductory bassline for the opening “I Wanna Be Adored”. Squire’s arpeggiated guitar gets the same treatment on “This Is the One”. This mass participation – aided by red flares, fogs of sweat and 30,000-odd people air-maraca-ing – makes for an aptly lairy atmosphere.
Again, as the flare smoke fades into the sunshine and beers are wrested into the air, the joy of the crowd giving the terrace-anthem treatment to the “Waterfall”, “Ten-Storey Love Song” and “She Bangs the Drums” is something to behold. It’s a momentum only stopped by the duff “Standing Here” and “Don’t Stop”, the reversed “Waterfall” which really ought to remain on side one of The Stone Roses.
Still, there’s more than enough fun to be had. Brown swaggers and stalks the stage with an endearing menace. Mani, a man who stands on stage with the relaxation of someone about to have a prostate exam, barely moves a muscle but his playing is flawless. Reni, too, is even afforded a drum solo, which segues “Elizabeth My Dear” into the “dum dum dums” of the introduction to “I Am the Resurrection”, the 10 minutes of which fly by in a predictably euphoric drunken haze. And then, sans encore, they’re off.
For those who missed them at Heaton Park, this is a second-chance-in-a-lifetime to see a band who looked as likely to play together again as The Smiths. It’s flawed, no doubt, but for those in the sunshine on Friday – at least those who can remember it – it hardly matters.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies: Georgian guide to London sex workers acquired by Wellcome Collection
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded