[Ex]:clusive! Roses bass-player talks to [Ex]:ample about ‘The (Second) Second Coming’
With the Stone Roses 3 consecutive Heaton Park gigs already a memory & soon to become Mancunian myth [Ex]:ample Magazine caught up with our old Madchester mucker to ask his views on the whole caboodle. No, no, no, not Mani from the Stone Roses! Our mate ‘Baggy’ from the Clone Roses! Hehehehehe
“When I first heard of The Roses comeback I had mixed feelings. The 1st Second Coming fell a bit flat didn’t it? I discount the tail end of the Second Coming performances without John Squire & Reni. Doesn’t everyone?
I wasn’t too interested in endless discussions about Ian Browns’ live-vocal capabilities either. That wasn’t concerning me, what was: How is this news going to affect my bands’ ticket sales? Will I -maybe- have to learn some new material? You see, for the last 14 years of the Stone Roses (creativity coma, silent brooding -Ed) sabbatical I’ve played the part of ‘Clone Mani’ in touring tribute The Clone Roses
This fact normally divides other Roses fans’ opinion of me, but this isn’t an article defending tribute acts. It’s a live review of Stone Roses Heaton Park performance, Saturday June 30th. I just felt we need to be honest with each other, get it out in the open. Do you feel better? Good, then I’ll begin…”
“As soon as rumbling bass-line for ‘(I Wanna Be) Adored’ kicked in you could feel the crowds’ excitement swell. My alter-ego Mani came on all newly equipped & attired with customised bass guitar & equally impressive -my Heaton Park highlight- paisley Kaftan to match
He locked-in superbly with Reni, playing quite simply some of the catchiest, not over-complicated basslines in Indie music history. Blasting out their own sublime (‘Shoot You Down’) psychedelic (‘Waterfall’) 60’s pop (‘Mersey Paradise’, ‘Sally Cinnamon’) with all the relaxed swagger of a band who still believe wholeheartedly in what they’re about
"I don’t have any huge issues with bands reforming. It’s their material, their b®and & their potential earnings. Saying that, much as I don’t take offence to comebacks, or bands playing until they’re old & grey, -I mean, you wouldn’t ask a plumber to retire at 27 just so he can stay forever young in your memory-, I’m also aware that the original spark isn’t always there
John Squire’s bluesy-edged style of playing fleshed familiar tracks out nicely without spoiling the vibe, adding extra little jams along the way with Reni for good measure. Reni -how important this man is to the sound of this band cannot be underestimated- kept everyone dancing with his trademark fills & lolloping grooves
As for Mr. Ian Brown, yes, I’m sure if you trawl YouTube you’ll hear him waver in & out of tune, but who cares? He stands on stage, love him or loathe him, one of the most important front-men in UK music history. And he didn’t disappoint
From where I was stood the whole band were on top form. Nearly a quarter of a million people must agree with me as that’s how many of us descended onto Heaton Park over the weekend!
"Into the last third of their set, and they saved the heavy-weight hitters for the end, ‘Made of Stone’, ‘This Is the One’, ‘She Bangs the Drums’ (probably my favourite to play live, a real crowd-pleaser), then ‘I Am the Resurrection’ sent the crowd into rapture as every person sang along word for word
I’d almost forgotten why I’ve been playing these songs for so long & why so many people have come to watch my little tribute band over the years! There is a magic to the Stone Roses and their music that not many other UK bands have got close to since they called it a day in the mid-90’s. That magic was displayed to full effect in Heaton Park in front of 75,000 happily mesmerized people."
(Respectfully, R.I.P. Chris Brahney).