Belfast Telegraph

Review: Stone Roses, Phoenix Park, Dublin

"This is a live resurrection and you're all invited," declared Ian Brown last October.

The Stone Roses frontman always likes to milk his Messiah tendencies, so it'll put a cheeky smile on his face to know that his band's appearance is probably the most highly anticipated occasion to grace the Phoenix Park since the Pope.

"Brothers and sisters, we need your assistance," declares Brown, forever the master of overstatement.

Bassist Gary 'Mani' Mounfield begins the rumbling intro of 'I Wanna Be Adored' and 50,000 delirious fans start singing their hearts out.

The Roses have obviously taken this reunion very seriously indeed.

They've been reputedly rehearsing their asses off and it shows. Even Brown's famously wayward vocals have grown into a self-assured and compelling presence.

Aside from the slender back catalogue of their two studio albums, the first of which is played in its entirety, there's a wealth of gems in standalone singles such as 'Fool's Gold'.

And the hits come thick and fast -- 'Love Spreads', 'Made of Stone', 'This is the One' and 'She Bangs the Drums' induce a mass break-out of unbridled joy.

Mani is a far better bass player after his 15-year apprenticeship in Primal Scream; at one stage Brown just steps back and takes his playing in.

"Wow, it must be those Kildare genes," he exclaims.

It's fitting Mani played a blinder as his band mates wouldn't even be talking to each other if it wasn't for an emotional reunion at his Kildare-born mother's funeral last year.

Mrs Mounfield would have been thrilled to see her son's band conquer the Park with such aplomb. As would have the late Tony Wilson, whose words about the Mancunian mindset -- as quoted in '24-hour Party People' -- sum up the Roses' resurrection.

"F Scott Fitzgerald famously said there were no second acts. But this is Manchester: we do things differently here."

Stone Roses play Vital @ Boucher Road on Wednesday 22 August. Tickets are available from

Belfast Telegraph


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