25 years ago on this very day, The Stone Roses played an epic gig at Spike Island. You can read the full story of the day here – including reminiscences from the organisers and the likes of Paul Oakenfold, who DJ-ed, and Maxine Peake and Jon Ronson, who watched – but right now we’re slapping on a bucket hat, cracking open a tinnie and delving into the annals of YouTube to see whether we can recreate the show on our laptop screen.
Sadly, it’s pretty tricky. 1990, of course, was a time before camera phones, and most people at Spike Island were probably too mashed to operate a camcorder.
Thank the Gods of Madchester, then, for this 10 minute video, which claims to be “the only remaining footage of The Stone Roses’ seminal Spike Island gig. Shot by a fan on an amateur video camera…”.
For some context, check out this clip from the documentary ‘Live Forever’, which features both journalist Jon Savage and these wise words from Noel Gallagher: “It was a shit gig, but it was a fantastic… from a technical point of view, the wind was blowing the sound all over the place. I don’t think I got to hear one of the songs properly. That wasn’t the point. The point was that there was all them people there. Spike Island, that was the blueprint for my group, who were then going to become the biggest band in the world. The Stone Roses, their impact stretches so far beyond the gig itself and the music. The Stone Roses need never have played a note at that gig. The job was already done when the people were there, d’you know what I mean?”
Spike Island’s blustery sound blighted the experience for many, and you can judge for yourself in this from-the-crowd recording of the audio:
But really, as Noel says, it was more about the gathering than the performance, as this footage of the queue ably demonstrates…