Stone Roses reunion triumph leaves fans wanting more

Mon Jul 2, 2012 7:28am EDT
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By Mohammed Abbas

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The Stone Roses staged one of the most eagerly anticipated reunions in British pop over the weekend, and despite rain and an overloaded transport system to and from the gigs, the Manchester band left hundreds of thousands of fans wanting more.

Lead singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield and drummer Alan "Reni" Wren played to three sellout crowds at Heaton Park in Manchester on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, formally burying their highly personal hatchets.

As recently as last year, when the group behind "I Am the Resurrection" and "I Wanna Be Adored" announced it was getting back together, Squire dismissed the idea of following other disbanded acts down the road to highly lucrative reunions.

"When it's just a get-together for a big payday and everyone gets their old clothes out, that seems tragic to me," he said.

Fast forward a few months, and there he was, playing to a combined audience of 220,000 die-hard fans who thought they would never see their 1990s idols back in action.

"It's fantastic. I never thought I'd see them again. The atmosphere, everything was great," said Ian McClelland, 43, who attended Saturday's gig.

Fans and critics agreed that the beer-fuelled atmosphere, recalling the heady days of the "Madchester" music scene led by The Stone Roses, New Order and Happy Mondays, was enough to justify the ticket prices and travel.

Brown, in leather jacket and jeans, strutted and swaggered on stage, as the band played the entirety of its first, eponymous album which is what the crowd had come to hear.   Continued...

Ian Brown of British band The Stone Roses performs on stage on the opening night of their 3 night series of reunion concerts at Heaton Park in Manchester, northern England, June 29, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble