Tuesday, 18 October 2011

'The Third Coming?'

‘The Third Coming ?’

So it would seem that out of the ashes of a few solo careers, a band transfer to Primal Scream and the ‘not as bad as they were made out’ Seahorses, the news has come through that seminal band The Stone Roses will be raising from the indie flames once again.

The group will reunite for 2 shows at Manchester's Heaton Park on June 29th and the 30th 2012 and this will then be followed by a World Tour! I'm sure simply the support acts (probably fighting over the spot as we speak) will be worth the price of admission alone. But is this really great news? I'm in two minds.

The legend of the band rests on 2 albums, although when the smoke clears it’s the 1989 self titled debut that will be the one that is remembered as it brought something new to the table and charts and carved a baggy niche in the market that was completely their own. By the time of the follow up (5 years later no less) 1994’s ‘Second Coming’ seemed to be the sound of a band that had watched ‘The Song Remains The Same’ a few too many times and had decided that ‘more is more’ with added guitar solo’s and more Jimmy Page style riffing throughout, turning the group into everything the group wasn’t, a regular ‘rock’ band. It didn’t help that during the ascent of the band up the charts for the 2nd album the whole era and generation had changed, and any good will and expectations the band had, from the press and fans loyally awaiting the follow up, was swiftly kicked down a peg or two by the brand new Manchester export OASIS and their own debut album ‘Definitely Maybe’. The group bowed out and were left in the memories of the fans that loved them and on the ‘Best U.K Albums’ list for posterity.

Now after many, many false rumours, sightings and bitching in the press it seems that the group will once again be taking to the road to play their best material and although I’ll be fighting for my ticket there is still a slight weird feeling about the whole thing. The problem with bands reforming many years after their initial dissolution is that it’s impossible to recapture the times and feelings that you once had. From the fans points of view, the baggy Jackson Pollock splattered teens that crammed into cars to the 1990 Spike Island gig to watch the band at the peak of their powers are now pushing 40 years old! The thought of them trying to pull on their baggy jeans and scoring some low rent E’s while their own teenage children mock them from the side-lines shows that the times have already a’ changed a few times since and instead of revival it would instead creep over to the side of pastiche.

This may seem very venomous in my appraisal of the possibility of a reunion while at the same time praising acts such as Dylan and Neil Young for their constant output well into their 60th years but I only dismiss the idea of the generation re-hash. The Stone Roses album and songs will always sell, never in amazing quantities but like The Velvet Underground each generation will pick up on it and love it because it’s a great, great album and with songs like ‘Made of Stone’, ‘She Bangs the Drum’, ‘Waterfall’ and the indie night classic ‘Fools Gold’ what’s not to like?

Do some shows, big ones, give everyone a proper send off (as well as giving the band members a nice pay off) and end the story of The Stone Roses with a bang rather than a whimper, once and for all exorcising the 1996 Reading Festival disaster set before stepping back to watch the bands you influenced come through and take the music onwards.

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