It had rained heavily during the morning, leaving the ground decidedly soggy and forcing most people to don their trusty wellington boots, but that didn’t stop the huge crowd from from cheering on Ian Brown and his bandmates.
The set began with frontman Brown bounding out onto the stage, clad in a cagoule covered with the band’s classic paint spattered backdrop and lemons, and simply saying to the crowd “Yeah? We’re The Stone Roses” as the opening notes of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ began echoing from behind him.
Playing beneath an a laser-powered light show and an enormous screen, which was cut into six sides in the style of a strip of old-style camera film, the band looked relaxed as they worked their way through a 90-minute, 17-song set.
With the band barely pausing for breath in between most tracks, Brown kept the talking to a minimum, only thanking the crowd on a few occasions and raising his hand in approval throughout the gig. He did however introduce ‘Made Of Stone’, saying: “A lot of you weren’t born when we wrote these songs, but this is the sound of the unemployed.”
Set highlights included ‘Mersey Paradise’, an epic sprawling version of ‘Fools’ Gold’ which clocked in at well over 10 minutes, ‘Waterfall’, which saw thousands of arms swaying all over the crowd, ‘Made Of Stone’ and ‘She Bangs The Drums’.
Bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield also bantered with the crowd before ‘This Is The One’ as he held aloft his bass guitar which had ‘Mani Utd’ painted on the back. As the crowd booed playfully, he responded by flipping a quick middle finger.
The track has special significance for Manchester United fans as it is played just before the team run out onto the pitch at their home games at Old Trafford.
The band ended the set with their customary send-off ‘I Am The Resurrection’, which saw Brown spending the track’s instrumental outro holding up a model figure of Bruce Lee to the camera. Leaving, as they always do, without an encore they then exited to huge acclaim.
The Stone Roses have one final stop left on their European tour, which takes place at Belfast’s Tennent’s Vital Festival on Wednesday (August 22).
The Stone Roses played:
‘I Wanna Be Adored’
‘(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’
‘Ten Storey Love Song’
‘Where Angels Play’
‘Shoot You Down’
‘Made Of Stone’
‘This Is The One’
‘She Bangs The Drums’
‘Elizabeth My Dear’
‘I Am The Resurrection’
Earlier in the day, Reverend And The Makers were in typically defiant form on the festival’s 4Music Stage as they played modestly attended set.
“I bet you’re wondering ‘How come you’ve got all these mint songs I’ve never heard?’, well, that’s because you listen to Radio 1,” frontman Jon McClure told the crowd before the band launched into set highlight ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’.
Emeli Sande drew a huge crowd to her slot on the Virgin Media Stage shortly after and celebrated by playing a string of hits from her huge-selling debut album ‘Our Version Of Events’ as well as a cover of Coldplay‘s ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’.
Keane also faired well, playing a selection of hits from across their career, including ‘Is It Any Wonder?’, ‘Silenced By The Night’ and set highlight ‘Everybody’s Changing’ during their mid-afternoon slot.
Example followed the Sussex trio on the Virgin Media Stage and delivered a powerhouse set with opener ‘Stay Awake’, ‘Kickstarts’, ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ and his collaboration with Calvin Harris ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’ all sending the crowd suitably bonkers.
The rapper, who told the crowd that he considered it “an honour to be sharing a stage with Noel Gallagher and The Stone Roses”, also dropped his new single ‘Say Nothing’ and the previously unheard ‘Perfect Replacement’, which came complete with a whomping, Pendulum-stlye bassline.
After him and just before The Stone Roses, Noel Gallagher leant heavily on his Oasis back catalogue during his 15-song set. The guitarist and his High Flying Birds played a selection of his former band’s biggest hits, including the opening ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free’, a stripped back ‘Supersonic’, ‘Talk Tonight’ and ‘Half A World Away’.
Gallagher also dedicated recent hit ‘AKA…What A Life!’ to all the Manchester City fans in the crowd after his team had narrowly overcome Premier League newboys Southampton 3-2 earlier in the day and played album track ‘AKA…Broken Arrow’ in honour “of all the ladies in the crowd tonight”.
He finished his set with crowd favourite ‘(Stranded) On The Wrong Beach’ and much-loved Oasis singles ‘Whatever’, ‘Little By Little’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
To read a full review of this year’s V Festival, pick up next week’s copy of NME, which is onsale on Wednesday (August 22).