What The World Is Waiting For
It’s easy to say I have waited a long time to see The Stone Roses live. Unless, of course, you have some terrible speech impediment – or are a total mute. Jesus, what a terrible thought: someone unable to talk because a rat ate their tongue while they were out of their mind on smack in the gutter. Well, I haven’t really waited a long time for this because most of the last couple of decades were spent thinking there was zero chance of this happening. When there are four people in a band and only one moon-faced bass player is the one saying he was remotely interested, well he was more open about his want for the reformation than that. I think Mani would have done this for nothing on a car park.
Whatever parts unfinished business/money/nostalgia/pride/wanting to satisfy the fans, this was I am happy it happened. As with anything that exists and matters to anyone it has created a fair amount of derision and scorn (most of which coming from exactly what were the proportions involved in the decision to reform). Surely you’d have to be stupid to think four old geezers could pull it off.
Well I was stupid enough to get tickets for two of the three comeback concerts. And today was the first.
Of course you cannot get 75,000 people in a park (part of a park) without there being a lot of idiots. My recent research would estimate it at the number being in the high 60,000s.
For the first couple of hours of being in the gig the only idiotic behaviour I had witnessed had been from me: when I paid £7 for a pork muffin. As the venue filled the critical mass for cretin density was breached. Some time around 6.30pm the lunatics started threatening the management of the asylum. A reasonably well managed queueing system stopped being well managed and because people had had about four pints – and were twats to start with – they ceased respecting the queues and other people by jumping barriers and trying to make the queues disappear by pushing from the back. People are very quick to blame things going wrong on people in supervisory capacities not doing their job but, you know, people have to take responsibility. The lack of control is an excuse, a poor one. It’s 2012: a few pints is not an excuse to go feral.
It didn’t stop at not queueing. Men and women were pissing everywhere. Sometimes I have sympathy with this – and I have/do sometimes piss in places that are not toilets. I try and limit it to when I am desperate and to places that aren’t needed for other stuff/in the middle of where people are. I am also sympathetic to people being desperate in circumstances where there is no other choice. But there were ample toilets. There were several blocks of cubicles and also urinals. For men lots of places; for women, not so many but still some. My girlfriend was never gone more than 10 minutes when she went and that’s not a hellish wait if you ask me. It was too much for the woman I saw pissing about 2 feet away from a van serving food. Men were no better, I used the urinals closest the stage several times. I didn’t have to queue once; every time I walked past there were men pissing on the drinking fountains/handwash points 10 metres away.
At least it never got to the stage where people truly started committing crimes (have you seen the fucking comments? Apparently this was deserved…)
Enough of the scum.
The sense of anticipation around 9pm was very sensey, anticipation-wise. Loads of people were anticipating – you could sense it.
Fortunately there was to be no letting down. The Roses were amazing. To actually see them on stage after all these (non-waiting) years was truly magical. I have seen Ian Brown several times and have never been let down by his voice, that is often scorned, and tonight was no different. Squire was amazing. Seeing them live really hammered home how important Mani and Reni’s rhythm are to the sound. Oh, the sound. What a beautiful sound those boys can make.
I’m not one for hyperbole and going over the top when assessing something but: this was a better gig than when I saw Dodgy in Oldham in 1996.
Clearly, I am being light-hearted. Nothing could beat Dodgy. No, this was one of the best things my eyes have seen. Anything wrong with it? Well There was a scouse man dancing badly right in front of me, but I just moved and solved that. My lighter stopped working but I solved that by getting a light off someone else and then chain smoking. Oh right, anything wrong with the band…not really. Well if I could have had it completely my own way there would have been a couple more songs from The Second Coming (I’m one of the weirdos that prefers it). There I said it: it wasn’t perfect.
Speaking of not perfect,I took some not very good photos throughout the day. In order to try and mask their lack of quality I have made them into a GIF. Look, the picture changes into another one before you can see how shit it is! [Yes, I did wear a headscarf-type thing: it was windy, I have a lot of hair. And, anyway, someone stopped and told me I was the coolest man I’d ever seen…so, like, whatever. I think he was on crack. Another man tried to shake my hand, so I Suarez-d him i.e. I moved my hand a little bit and then pulled away when he tried to shake my hand.]