another post on The Stone Roses? ok, sure, no problem! i could probably write a dozen or so, and will do at least one when i have my developed pictures back - Tesco were not as honest as they could have been about the time i could collect them today, sadly.
in the mean time, i have covered the support bands, the tatty slapper and the Roses, so now it is time for the epic journey back to where we were staying. and i do mean epic, although from Heaton Park across to the other side of Manchester city centre in around 2 hours was not, under the circumstances, all that bad.
leaving Heaton Park after the concert was, as you might expect, a challenge. it was a happy one, though, as it involved 75,000 elated people leaving on a high. erm, natural feeling high, as it were, although at one point, now that i think, Ian Brown did offer to distribute some ecstasy tablets to the whole crowd if we were feeling a little deflated.
we marched, ladies and gentlemen, through the mud and across several discarded items of clothing and bags. when we finally got out, John decided that nature was calling him for a call of nature, and thus Michele was able to take the best ever picture of John Payne in the history of pictures of John Payne. which is saying something.
that is magnificent, that is. having regaled us with tales of bizarre practices such as dutch rudders and rusty trombones (please do not search for what these terms mean) it is wonderful to be able to repay him by showing this picture off to the world.
on a lighter note, John's niece kindly let us stay in her flat, and both John and Lisa gave us exceptional care and hospitality throughout the whole weekend. nice one!
the way home was tricky to say the least. there are 1,000 taxis that are licenced to pick up passengers on the street, whereas there were some 75,000 people leaving Heaton Park trying to catch them. it wasn't really likely that it would work out that everyone would get home as quick as they would like. in fairness, everyone accepted this and thus a legion of us walked from Heaton Park to the city centre, hoping to catch a cab but happy to walk and remember all that we had just seen.
after a stop off at a most excellent kebab place we were lucky enough to get a taxi, and at a reasonable price too. when we got there no less than Alex Brown called from Australia. it was excellent to hear from him, even if he did only call to call us complete and utter bastards for going to see them when he, as he claims, couldn't. well, it was his choice - come with us to see The Stone Roses or go to his sister's wedding. he cannot blame us for the chosen path.
the next morning (by an hour or so) saw us wake up buzzed and not too wrecked. an exciting trip with John for some Subway sandwiches for breakfast and a formidable range of used blu-ray discs that he quite fancied soon saw us ready to face the world and, in my case, to meet two people i consider friends despite having never met them. that's the way the world goes these days.
they are on the grand social network and all that, but i am not sure if they are keen on being named. as subtle as i can, then, here's your humble narrator with Rich and Franny.
we three "met" online out of the love of another group, as in one that is not The Stone Roses. which band would that be? well, here we are trying to recreate a certain album cover, if that gives you a clue. and no, nothing to do with The Police, thank you!
after a pint and a chat with those lads, it was time for the bus back home. i simply didn't get the chance to do what i really wished to, which was visit Salford Lads Club and have my picture taken in the doorway a la The Smiths, but oh well, never mind, i can always make doing that the reason and excuse for another trip one day!
i did, however, manage to get a picture from the bus of one of the many excellent things about Manchester, and that would be their class tram system!
that tram said, in lights at the front, that it was off to Media City or Media Centre, which i believe is the new home for the BBC, them having moved a lot from London to Manchester. i believe there has been a lot of fuss and grumble from people working for the BBC about this. i say they should then go and find other jobs - Manchester is a class place, i would have no quarrel spending my days in the magnificent place.
back briefly to things that i did not take a picture of, and there's some disappointment for certain people back at verk who were hoping i would get a picture or two of Old Trafford. not the proper Old Trafford where cricket is conducted, of course, the lesser one where certain footballers prance about a bit. we went, alas, nowhere near the place. i did, however, spot what i think is the gasworks in the distance from the bus window, and as i suspect the ground is near that i snapped a quick picture!
i trust and hope that is good enough for all interested, if not sorry about that.
and so, to end off, a picture of your humble narrator that my lovely wife took. hopefully it reflects me happy after having an amazing couple of days, but also a touch sad that it had now come to an end.
John helped the journey pass by telling me even more of this dutch rudder business, whether i particularly wanted to hear more or not. the most interesting bit, it has to be said, was the way in which he dismissively defended and explained how it was "not at all or in any way a gay thing" if you did it with a mate. i politely declined, on the off chance that it was an invitation.
i cannot say thank you enough to everyone in and around Manchester for giving us a welcome and, indeed, being impressed at how far we had travelled to be part of it all. an extra big thanks to John and Lisa for their amazing hospitality and arrangements, and of course in no way least very well done to Michele for suggesting that i at least tried to get tickets for The Stone Roses in the first place!
more updates, possibly less Stone Roses related, soon!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!