Manchester legends play unique hometown gig

Vs Cancer gigs see Stone Roses members reunite

A host of Manchester music legends united onstage to play one of the city’s classic anthems last night (March 30).

The climax of the Manchester Versus Cancer event saw former Stone Roses bandmates Ian Brown and Mani take to the stage with Smiths bassist Andy Rourke and New Order‘s Peter Hook to perform ‘I Am The Resurrection’, sparking scenes of pandemonium at the MEN Arena.

A fundraiser for Manchester cancer hospital Christies, the event also saw Brown play a short greatest hits set, including new song ‘Goodbye To The Broken’, and Noel Gallagher headline with a semi-acoustic set.

The Oasis leader played classics such as ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, ‘Slide Away’ and ‘Half The World Away’, along with ‘Don’t Go Away’ from ‘Be Here Now’ – which he dedicated to Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno.

Noel was also joined onstage by Paul Weller for a version of The Jam‘s ‘The Butterfly Collector’.

Weller had earlier joined The Charlatans for another Jam tune, ‘Town Called Malice’.

Other collaborations included Peter Hook joining Echo And The Bunnymen for ‘Lips Like Sugar’ and McAlmont and Butler teaming up with Andy Rourke to run through a pair of crowd-pleasing Smiths classics, including ‘Still Ill’ and ‘Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me’.

Speaking to NME.COM, event organiser Rourke explained the inspiration for the night: “My manager’s sister Nene passed away last year. She made it to last year’s event but sadly passed away soon after. So tonight’s gig is in her memory,” he said. “The whole point of the night is to be a celebration of music, rather than wearing black arm bands.”

Meanwhile, Mani said the gig also held special personal significance.

“Everyone knows someone who’s been hit by it [cancer]. Three of my relatives died of it this year so it’s a great opportunity tonight to get up and raise some money to beat it. As well as having a buzzing music scene, Manchester also has the major research institute for cancer – Christies – so tonight we just want to raise as much as we can so they can kick the disease up the arse.”

As ever, the Primal Scream bassist was coy about a potential Stone Roses reunion.

“When he (guitarist, John Squire) stops painting and picks up a guitar again, who knows? It’d be a nice thing to do, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Manchester City will probably win the Premiership before it happens.”