Much like Spike Island, this gig can already be classed as a success before a single note has begun to ring out. Having had a previous attempt aborted, at filling fill this town where Ian Brown still lives, with a full set of The Stones Roses cocky mystique and lyrical pounce on account of poor ticket sales. The sold out signs tonight, certainly gives cause for some bolshie arrogance, where would they get that from?
The first tribute to The Stone Roses comes through in the rugged, atmospheric jolting performance from local lads The Sessions, who slides in a slight artsy tug and a compact belief in their own ability. Building around a deep-seated vocal swagger that takes the feeling of Tom Smith (The Editors) and rubs it in the uncompromising grit of Ian Brown himself, before dousing it, at times, with Ian Curtis spirited pangs of regret. An orchestral keyboard element dominates a good share of the material to proffer a creaky, up-tempo ambient slant that creates a shell around their sonorous, nostalgic 80s rock sound and street-wise mood implanting. Mystery espousing lyrics draws people away from the lure of the bar. Therefore, as the lid is put on an expansive performance, it raises the question as to whether the people of Warrington are ready to give backing to a new band and lend support to local talent. To bring freshness back to a town that is lagging in Wigan’s shadow in more than just rugby league terms at the moment?
Of all the tribute acts seeking comfort in an influential band’s lingering shadow, it has to be The Stone Roses that are the toughest act to resurrect in a live setting. This is, of course, due to the fact that the lure of da Roses live was due, as much as anything, to their self-minded sureness that oozes a murky mystique. This comes through best of all via ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ , but even the yoyo touting antics of the Ian Brown clone fails to resurrect the mystery, pounce and escapism of this potent parade. This song that is driven by the lofty and resounding drum beats doesn’t quite have the desired impact. It then proceeds to take the edge off of the euphoric, urbane strut of ‘The Hardest Thing In The World’, although a beer fuelled crowd accompaniment makes for a friendly vibe and revelers start to relax in the nostalgia. It takes a while for some to decide what they truly want out of a tribute act and it is not long before some decide that they don’t want anything, choosing to head off into the night. No doubt, to listen to the likes of ‘She Bangs The Drums’, ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘Made Of Stone’ in the comfort of one of the many pubs who’ll belting them out tonight.
Those who chose to stay and witness the physical spectacle of the material were awarded with attention to detail, as the mannerisms and peccadilloes of Brown, Squire, Mani and Reni are copied admirably. ‘Going Down’ is replicated with dawdling rhythm and a camaraderie seeps onto the viewing area and there are very few people in the room right now, who wouldn’t pay 15 times tonight’s £10 admission fee to see a much talked about re-union. However, as the lingering buzz of the extended version of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ still rings in the ears, people seem contented to head back to the same venue later this year to see the Monkey Man himself in the flesh, especially as his sets get more nostalgic.