well, as we move ever closer to the return of The Stone Roses, one or two things remain a mystery. the first, and the one i want to know more of, is exactly what they are going to be releasing in the way of new material. late in 2011 they announced they'd signed two record deals, but there's not been a hint of any new material as yet. the now legendary press conference announcing their return suggested at some new songs being "almost ready"; one would have thought they'd be wanting something out before their run of festival appearances and Heaton Park gigs.
in regards of the latter point there, the bigger point of interest for the world at large would be who, if anyone, will be the support act or acts for the band at the Heaton Park weekend. i've got no inside information whatsoever, but the usual reliable sources are presenting a possible four acts. i doubt, as will be obvious from the below, all four will be on the bill. here, then, for your entertainment are the four candidates being presented.
the links between The Stone Roses and Primal Scream are fascinating. the album The Stone Roses gave many bands a sense of purpose and direction, the absolute best of which was the Scream and the subsequent Screamadelica album. when the wheels fell off The Stone Roses in the 90s, the only instant good which came from it was Mani joining Primal Scream, and the saddest part of the reunion is that Mani is out of that band for good, according to Bobby Gillespie.
the parting of the ways, though final, was rather amicable. who knows, perhaps part of the "buy back" option for Mani returning to The Stone Roses was the guarantee of a support slot for one or more of the gigs. this rumour seems rather plausible, to be honest. right kind of music and same kind of fans. let there be no surprise if they are announced as being on the bill.
erm, yes. this one is from a "reliable source" so long as your definition of reliable stretches to Shaun William Ryder. for many it does not; for me it does. "there's always some truth in anything Shaun says" stated Ian Brown, after all. the Mondays are back together and are touring in May, leaving June open just in case, in their words, "The Stone Roses want us to come and be on the bill". was this them angling for the gig or Shaun Ryder just telling it like it is?
a myth from the Madchester scene was that, induced by the ecstacy revolution, all these Manchester bands were the best of mates and all got on fine. the truth was far from this, but there was a friendship of sorts between the Mondays and the Roses from the start, one that went from "of sorts" to "good" as the years went by. for us humble fans, the Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses on the same bill equals heaven. it might well run the risk of turning the whole thing into an early 90s revival festival, though, in particular if the Scream are on the same bill and just do Screamadelica . Shaun Ryder and Bez wish for them to be on the bill, and my understanding is that they are rather persuasive.
"support them? i'd f*****g sell hot dogs for 'em, if that's what they asked me to do". so said one Liam Gallagher when asked if he would consider an offer to support The Stone Roses. the idea of Liam Gallagher giving up top billing is an interesting one, but when it comes to this there is no surprise. in general, Liam Gallagher is the most self-assured, arrogant and full of himself being on the planet. mention The Stone Roses, however, and just like all of us touched by the magic of the band his head bows and he speaks in terms of awe, reverence and worship.
the band are all mates with Liam, with John Squire in particular being pretty close - Liam's first ever go at lyrics, remember, appeared on Squire's Seahorses album rather than on an Oasis one. if one wanted to see Liam Gallagher give the performance of a lifetime then handing him a stage and telling him he's to get the crowd ready for The Stone Roses would pretty much deliver that.
Beady Eye makes great sense for the bill, but that depends on negotiations and deals around the last act to be touted as support......
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
the idea of the return of The Stone Roses bringing about a sense of universal love, forgiveness and a return of one generation under the same groove probably hits a brick wall in having both Liam and Noel on the same bill. outside of suggestions of legal action by Liam against Noel, i just don't see it happening. a pity, as both love the band and would no doubt want to be involved, but is that enough for them to put differences aside?
if it had to be one or the other, my hope would be that Beady Eye are on the support instead of Noel. the High Flying Birds album, whilst not entirely bad, is just not the sort of thing that would work at all well on a weekend like this one. as is the case with Liam, the band remain friends with Noel so there may be a sense of obligation to invite him along. i kind of hope not.
make of the speculation what you will. if i were to court an opinion, for the sake of politics with the Gallaghers it would be wiser to ask neither than just one of them, so i would expect the Happy Mondays and/or Primal Scream to be announced as the support.
in the end, it does not really matter who is the support act, really. great if we get to see another legendary band, but let's be honest - both us fans and any support act booked are only in Heaton Park for one reason - to see, enjoy and pay homage to The Stone Roses.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!