The Stone Roses return with triumphant gig in Warrington

May 24, 2012

The Mancunian band play their first show for 16 years as comeback gathers pace

Scott Gries

THE STONE ROSES are back, and delivered a knockout performance as they played together for the first time in 16 years at a secret gig in Warrington last night.

The free concert was announced on Wednesday afternoon and attendees were asked to bring memorabilia to prove that they were fans of the indie-dance band. Among the crowd at Warrington's Parr Hall was former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.

Somehow the media smuggled several reviewers into the venue, and they declared themselves impressed by the show which began with I Wanna Be Adored and closed with Love Spreads.

Stone Roses biographer John Robb awarded the band five stars in The Guardian. "This was one of those rare gigs where the audience even bellowed out the bass lines and guitar riffs," he said. "Arms were aloft and expectations intense. Even this most cocksure of bands looked slightly nervous for a few seconds, although it wasn't long before singer Ian Brown located the swagger that would be copied by hundreds of frontmen."

The Daily Mirror was equally impressed. "This was a comeback worthy of the hype," it announced.

"Frontman Ian Brown's vocals were strong throughout and the band seemed well rehearsed and relaxed in each other's company. During Waterfall, Brown said something in guitarist John Squire's ear, and the pair exchanged a smile," noted the NME, eager to reassure readers that the band's old tensions had disappeared.

Robb was pleased to see the foursome still had their groove. "Perhaps most thrilling of all was hearing how the nimble rhythm section that almost single-handedly invented indie-dance remained intact - Mani's bass combined with Reni's drumming to devastating effect."

It was a "blistering set" according to music website Louder Than War. "The ecstatic audience regurgitated every classic song – drunk on their own good fortune to be there," it said.

Things appear to bode well for the band's summer tour which includes three shows at Manchester's Heaton Park. The dates sold out in record time when they were announced last October.

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