The Stone Roses have confirmed they have reunited at a press conference this afternoon (October 18).
The original line-up – frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni -announced the news at the conference at London’s Soho Hotel at 3pm (GMT) this afternoon where they revealed plans for two homecoming gigs at Heaton Park on June 29-30 next year.
They also revealed they are working on new material and intend to perform some at the shows. When asked if the band were working on a new album Brown said: “We hope so. But we said that before didn’t we?”
Whispers of a Stone Roses reunion started to circulate back in 2005 after Mani joined Brown onstage during his solo gigs in Blackpool and Glastonbury. However, Mani was quick to put a lid on reports of a full band reunion, telling NME at the time they would only reform when “Manchester City win the European Cup”.
Meanwhile, on the 20th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut album in 2009, reunion rumours began to surface again, only to be shot down by Brown and Squire. To underline his stance, the guitarist even released artwork which stated: “I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester group The Stone Roses.”
However, it was in April this year that reunion rumours surrounding the group went into overdrive when Brown and Squire met at Mani’s mum’s funeral and reportedly buried the hatchet.
Mani once again angrily denied reports that the band were set to reunite, telling NME: “I’m disgusted that my personal grief has been invaded and hijacked by these nonsensical stories.” Squire added that reforming for a bumper payday would be “tragic”.
However, it seems that over the ensuing six months the band have ironed out their differences to some degree.
Reports that the band were back together surfaced on Friday (14), when a major music PR circulated an invite to a press conference for the following Tuesday, promising a “very importance announcement” but refusing to deny or confirm suggestions that the band in question were The Stone Roses.
Subsequent tabloid stories suggested that Brown had revealed details of the reunion to his friend Dynamo, a street magician who claimed he received a text from the singer confirming the band was to reunite. Meanwhile, Reni was more cryptic about his involvement, contacting NME to say: “Not before 9T will I wear the hat 4 the Roses again”.
The reformation comes some 31 years after the seeds of the band were first planted, when Brown and Squire met at Altrincham Grammar School For Boys and formed short-lived Clash-inspired band The Patrol.
After short spells in other bands, the pair teamed up with future drummer with The Fall Simon Wolstencroft and bassist Peter Garner in 1984 to form the first incarnation of The Stone Roses, with Brown now taking up vocal duties. Within months Wolstencroft quit to join Terry Hall’s band The Colourfield, paving the way for long term sticksman Reni.
In 1985 The Stone Roses recorded their first ever single, double A-side ‘So Young/Tell Me’. Four years later they released their landmark self-titled debut LP, which entered the UK album chart at Number 32 in May 1989. They later scored their first Top 40 hit with ‘She Bangs The Drums’.
That same year the band gained widespread notoriety when the power cut out during a TV performance on BBC’s The Late Show. Brown repeatedly chanted “amateurs” at TV presenter Tracy MacLeod.
Signature anthem ‘Fool’s Gold’ put the band firmly on the map with a Number Eight hit later in 1989, before the band played in front of 27,000 fans at their legendary/infamous gig at Spike Island in Widnes the following year, dubbed a “Woodstock for the baggy generation”.
It took the band more than five years to release their second album, 1994’s ‘The Second Coming’. Although it marked a departure from their baggy debut and wasn’t as warmly received by fans and critics as their debut, it still spawned the four-piece’s highest-charting single when ‘Love Spreads’ went to Number Two.
Reni left the band in March 1995 and Squire followed suit a year later, citing “gradual social and musical separation” as the official reason for his departure.
The remaining line-up eventually split after a disastrous performance at Reading Festival in August 1996 – a gig that appeared to be the band’s shambolic swansong until today’s reunion announcement.
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Pic credit: Pennie Smith