The Past Was Yours but the Future’s Mine – The Stone Roses, Heaton Park

Posted on June 30, 2012


written by Robert Pollard

‘I’m no clown’ cries Ian Brown……whilst dressed like a teenager and singing way out of key

Last night, in a field full of 75,000 overweight forty-somethings hellbent on reliving their youth, The Stone Roses played their ‘comeback’ gig; a gig which confirmed their status as the most overrated band on the planet.

I got myself a last-minute ticket for a tenner in order to confirm my suspicions that it would be shite. And it was. I would write to Ian Brown asking for my money back but he’s a money-grubbing little fucker. The cheek of him charging fans 60 quid for this crock of shit takes some beating in terms of downright chutzpah. The sound was shocking and Ian still cannot sing. Oh, and the band look like exactly what they are – old men trying desperately to roll back the years.

It was the first time in a generation that the original line-up had taken to a stage together but unfortunately it wont be the last, with the myth that The Roses are a collection of musical geniuses still being widely accepted. Twitter was full of praise for the band in the aftermath of last night’s gig.

Fellow ‘Madchester legend’ Rowetta proclaimed:

What an amazing night. Will never forget it. So proud to be from Manchester. The Stone Roses are better than ever. Believe the hype!!!!

Liam ‘Super Manc’ Waite almost shat himself with excitement and wrote:

The Stone Roses were amazing, 70,000 people for one band, only Liam Gallagher supporting could have made it any better.

Matt Morgan was more succinct, claiming:

The Stone Roses smashed it last night!

And Ben Reddiough’s dreams came true (bless him), emotionally confessing to the world:

Living the dream tonight when seeing this is the one played live at Heaton Park by the Stone Roses, dream come true

They must have all been pissed off the £4 bottles of beer. The Stone Roses are as shit now as they were 22 years ago.

Quite how a band with one decent album, a reputation for being crap live and one of the most tuneless, moronic singers in history can be quite so revered is beyond me. Ian sang so off-key it was frightening. The guy is a fraud of the highest order. It’s not even like he makes up for that by being a great guy who writes interesting lyrics. No. He’s a boorish clown with an over-inflated ego who drones on about nothing, playing the role of charismatic, macho frontman with all the believability of a Conservative Party manifesto. He even attempted a rap at one stage, providing the most uncomfortable moment of an uncomfortable night. He sounded less Wu-Tang and more Robbie Williams. The other three should have walked off at that point but they clearly have no dignity left.

I was a fan once. It was a phase; a period in which I was figuring music out. They helped me a lot and I got hours of enjoyment out of them. But eventually, the haze of the period ascended and I was free to move on and explore music with more artistic merit. What gets me is the zeal with which so many people still get aroused over them. The idiots inside Heaton Park last night would have you believe they are the best band ever. They’ve been saying it for two decades and the sad twats will be saying it on their death beds. I eventually realised that they weren’t that good at all and stopped listening. I recently dusted down their debut album and gave it another go. I wont be playing it again. Their so-called ‘great’ songs aren’t that great at all. Even the most hardened fan struggles to defend their second album, full of dodgy singing and self-indulgent Hendrix rip-off guitar lines. Then they disbanded. Not exactly the career of a great band in my opinion.

The cringe-worthy between-song ramblings from Ian offer an insight into his fragile confidence. ‘We’ve still got ant we?’ he asked the audience, who were so drunk on their own manufactured happiness that they cheered back at him. ‘Don’t cheer him!’, I thought to myself, ‘it only encourages him’. But cheer him they did. Every blasted wayward note was met with sheer sycophantic excitement. It was enough to make you sick.

It wasn’t all tuneless crap to be fair. John Squire provided flashes of typically brilliant guitar work and I loved the tone he went for. It had a crisp, retro feel that was big enough for a venue of such overblown stature. Reni was his usual self, providing solid grooves with flashes of flair. And it was nice to be reminded of how good Mani’s bass lines in Fools Gold and Made of Stone are. But this was nowhere near enough to save the day or make me believe they are a great band. They have some good elements but writing exceptional songs and performing them well seems beyond them. It is time for this bunch of old boys to take a vow of silence and start drawing their state pensions.

The people I most feel sorry for are the people of Prestwich who had this shower of shite thrust upon them with little opportunity to reject it. The sight of ugly, drunken super-Mancs doing monkey walks dressed in fishing hats is not something anyone should see, let alone on such a grand scale.

Originally, we were told by Ian that last night’s Heaton Park gig would be the ‘start’ of the Roses’ comeback tour; that because Manchester had given the band so much back in the early days it deserved to be the starting point for the rebirth. Fans, delirious with excitement, parted with 60 quid of their hard-earned money for the thrill of being part of the first Stone Roses gig in 16 years – but Ian lied. They have played Spain, Holland, Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden and Warrington Parr Hall before turning up at Heaton Park. There were people there last night who had paid £150 for a black-market ticket plus travel and accommodation for nothing more than a poor nostalgia trip from a grossly overrated band. I wanted my tenner back and left before the end.

And with two nights of this dross still to come, the excitement on Twitter continues. Kurtis Starkie, who is unfortunate enough to have tickets for the Beady Eye supported Saturday gig, rather embarrassingly told us all:

I’m getting a little bit excited about The Stone Roses tonight….I may have to change my underwear!

Yeah, that’s right. Grown men are pissing themselves at the prospect of seeing Ian Brown belt out tunes that were shit 20 years ago. Words fail me.

As you can see from the video below, Ian really should consider pulling his pants up and behaving like an adult. Due to the idiots in the crowd, it’s difficult to hear just how bad his vocal was, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Posted in: Music