UPDATE: May 10, 2016:
A series of billboards featuring The Stone Roses’ iconic lemon logo have today appeared around Manchester, fuelling speculation that an announcement of some kind is now imminent. The last time a similar thing happened, in November 2015, the band announced a surprise series of homecoming gigs to take place this summer.
Of today’s developments, Manchester Evening News reports that a media agency who deal with the city’s Parkway Business Centre received the lemon artwork late last night, prior to it going live at 7am this morning. However, a spokesperson for the agency said they had no further information about what it signified.
Meanwhile, fans have been posting shots of today’s billboards on social media, including this one:
Since The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown confirmed to NME that the band were in the process of recording “glorious” new music at The Church Studios in Crouch End, north London, we’ve all been waiting to hear the product of their work. Now, according to Twitter chatter and fan forum analysis, it seems like we might be hearing it as soon as this week (or next).
How do we know this? Because a fan, Lewis Jones, ran into Mani over the weekend, who told him a single would be out ‘next week’. (We’re taking this to mean May 9-13). Here is his evidence:
Mani also told him to stay tuned to the radio, because it’s definitely out next week. That’s not a hint you drop lightly
Within the hour there were feverish tweets like this:
And ‘heard it here first’ claims:
Among those tweeting the news is @banjaxer, who we met back in March when rumours of new music were still unconfirmed. @banjaxer is thought by forum users to be journalist Kevin Marrinan, and he’s proven his worth in Stone Roses scoops before, revealing ahead of time that there would be a big Stone Roses announcement back in October. Three days later, the lemon posters went up all over Manchester. It was later confirmed they’d be playing a series of gigs in June 2016.
@banjaxer, along with another journalist, @BenjiJGreen, has teased fans before by suggesting that an EP might be released on March 4 (they used the code SR040316), an EP which never materialised. It’s hard to tell if he’s questioning or jokily confirming the news here, but according to the Don’t Stop forum, he also tweeted a since-deleted picture of a cat coming out of a bag around the same time:
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What other evidence is there? Well, not a huge amount. One Stone Roses fansite writes, “We understand that the new stone roses single will apparently be out next week. As we blogged around Easter time, we understand it’s a rock song, with a psychedelic twist including backwards guitars.” That could just be based on the tweet with the Mani selfie though.
And, as this Twitter user points out, this kind of rumour has appeared before, so perhaps we shouldn’t get too excited:
Still, Mani’s a nice guy: why would he lie to a fan?