The Stone Roses, one of the great bands that helped Manchester’s music scene secure it’s formidable reputation, recently announced two comeback gigs, to be held in June next year at the Etihad Stadium, and even organised two extra nights after overwhelmingly high demand for the £60+ tickets.
They will also headline T in the Park and Dublin’s Marlay in the Park. This news comes after three years of silence, following their 2012 reunion, which fans expected would signal new material. Considering that they are now a 32 year old band with only two albums, the lack of new songs leads to the question: why are they touring with the same set list they’ve played for years?
“Considering that they are now a 32 year old band with only two albums, the lack of new songs leads to the question: why are they touring with the same set list they’ve played for years?”
The tour cannot be deemed as a comeback tour, because the band have already come back together, nor can it be a showcase of new songs, unless they have a sly new track up their sleeves, which is highly unlikely. Ian Brown put across the idea that the Roses were working on new stuff for their comeback three years ago, though no new tracks have appeared.
It leads us to wonder whether the band are even aware that a third album is long overdue, with Second Coming being now nearly 21 years old. The Roses famously have their own prerogative though, which is possibly another reason why they’re so cherished and believed to be such a sacred part of British music. For all we know, they could roll on stage in June to something that fans wouldn’t expect or recognise, rather than the usual bass line opening of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’.
“The excitement surrounding this announcement, however, is a testament to their legacy”
The Stone Roses are intrinsically linked to nostalgia for the 90s; whether for the rave culture or the supercilious attitude of these band’s frontmen, epitomised by bands like Oasis. Arguably, it’s something that blinds fans to the band’s obvious shortcomings: their disappointing second album, or the lack of new material. It’s possible that the Roses may simply be playing it safe by not producing another album at the risk that it would not fulfil expectations.
Possibly, the tour is simply to reassert the Roses’ presence in the music industry after their silence that dulled the hype of their reunion. Some speculate that the band only reunited in 2012 for superficial financial means, especially as guitarist John Squire said he would never be a part of such a reunion. The following gigs announced after their reunion, then, if motivated by money, comes as especially disappointing for fans of The Stone Roses, since they have always been admired for their total disregard of publicity, which they asserted “was not contrived”.
The excitement surrounding this announcement, however, is a testament to their legacy. Their exalted tracks, such as ‘She Bangs The Drums’, ‘I Am The Resurrection’ and ‘Fools Gold’, have served as inspiration for countless bands – consider the Gallagher’s view: “no Stone Roses, no Oasis”. It goes without saying that thousands of first generation fans will be ecstatic with the news and digging out their baggy t-shirts and Reni hats for the occasion. It will also be the perfect opportunity for second generation fans to experience the songs that they have only ever heard on Spotify.
Can this tour compare to the monumental gigs the Roses performed in their heyday such as Spike Island? Does it even matter? After all, the Roses are playing, and it could be one of only a last few chances to see such a prodigious band.
Emily is currently listening to ‘I’m A Girl’ by Peace