When The Stone Roses announced their reunion in 2011, second coming fever swept the nation. By late 2013 we were still waiting for new music. By 2014, everything was eerily quiet and the whispers doubled back on themselves. Had the band gone their separate ways again? Was it all a dream? Maybe not. Our gobby knight in shining armour Noel Gallagher has hinted that something is in the pipeline. In a bid to uncover exactly where The Stone Roses might be at in 2015, we take a look back over the milestones that marked their reunion, from on-stage bust ups to surprise shows. If there is more to come, we’re ready for it.
After 15 years apart The Stone Roses returned, announcing their reunion at a flashy press conference at London’s Soho Hotel and baiting the crowd with news of two homecoming shows at Manchester’s Heaton Park. "This is a live resurrection,” singer Ian Brown said. “And you're invited, so you better be there."
The live show hype was one thing, but what fans wanted most of all was confirmation on new music. Ahead of the Heaton Park reunion shows, the Roses reportedly signed with Universal Records in the UK and worldwide, while Columbia, owned by Sony, contracted the band in the US.
1,500 fans were treated to a Heaton Park warm-up show. The Manchester legends played an 11-song set, bounding on stage with 'I Wanna Be Adored', the opening track from their 1989 debut album, and closing with 'Love Spreads'. Liam Gallagher tweeted throughout the gig from his balcony seat.
It wasn’t all ‘She Bangs The Drums’ good times and grooves. During their set at Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall, drummer Reni reportedly left the building, refusing to come back on stage for an encore. "The drummer's gone home,” Brown told the crowd. “I'm not joking… What can I say, the drummer's a c**t."
Fans lucky enough to catch the band’s headline set at Les Nuits de Fourvière Festival in Lyon, France were treated to a rare run through of their 1989 self-titled debut, including the first play of 'Elizabeth My Dear' since the band’s reformation.
For three spectacular days Manchester was Madchester once more. Supporting were The Vaccines, Primal Scream and Liam Gallagher - who sang Oasis songs for the first time since 2009. Brown and co. ended each night with a huge firework display to Bob Marley’s 'Redemption Song.' As well as all the dancing, there were plenty of tears too.
With Olympic fever running through London’s veins, the Roses rode the wave and announced a tiny surprise gig in support of Team GB. Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis got their athletic groove on in a star-studded crowd that included Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, actor John Simm and bassist Mani’s former Primal Scream bandmate Bobby Gillespie.
Following a back-to-back reunion tour schedule, things went quiet over Christmas. Then, at the start of 2013 we got the New Year’s present we’d all been waiting for: new music rumours. Suede's Brett Anderson gave NME some studio details: “I spoke to Mani a couple of months ago, I saw him at a party. He said they'd written a couple of songs.”
After enlisting ultra Roses fan and This Is England director Shane Meadows to document their reunion tour, the band released the reunion rock doc in May. Commenting on the film, Meadows said he decided to omit the band’s fall-out in Amsterdam. “It made me feel physically sick,” he told NME.
The Madchester legends played two consecutive nights at London’s Finsbury Park. True to the rest of the reunion shows, they opened with ‘I Wanna Be Adored’. The band were blamed by local police for an 800% increase in crime in that area of London – the sold-out shows saw crowds of over 50,000 fans.
Another triumphant summer full of reunion shows, but still no new music. Where was it? Director Shane Meadows confirmed its existence. "I know they were writing and it wasn't fiction and I know that there were definitely tunes getting laid down,” he said.
Then, silence. Writing on the Roses fan site I Am Without Shoes Too, a user named HerringBone claimed a friend at Universal Records told him their contract had been ceased because “trying to recreate magic” in the studio following the comeback shows had failed. The band declined an opportunity to comment.
Woah there. Maybe there will be a third coming. A year and a half of band silence later, Noel Gallagher has news. The former Oasis guitarist and friend of the band was recently asked if he had "any idea what's going on with the Roses", to which he replied coyly: "Yes. I know exactly what's going on... They're blooming." Bring it on.