ALMOST 23 years to the day, the Stone Roses returned to the scene of one of their most historic gigs for, as singer Ian Brown put it, “a little déjà vu”.
On 9 June, 1990, the band played, by most accounts, a triumphant show in a very sweaty big top on Glasgow Green. Until they reformed last year, it was drummer Reni’s last performance with the group.
There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and a considerable jump in their pulling power, with more than five times as many fans converging on the Green for this return fixture. The band of a generation have seduced subsequent generations, including their support acts, The View and Jake Bugg, who was still in nappies when the Roses split acrimoniously in 1996.
But there can be few bands as qualified as Roses contemporaries Primal Scream to grease the wheels for the main event. Although their set leaned heavily on the more esoteric sounds of their new album, they brought to the party indie anthems such as the devotional Movin’ On Up and the undeniably groovy Loaded.
As the showers dispersed and the sun set, the Roses took the stage to a bagpipe fanfare followed by traditional set-opener I Wanna Be Adored, featuring some blissed-out guitar work from John Squire, who frequently appeared to be playing a different gig to the rest of the band, adding hoary guitar intros and codas to the likes of Sally Cinnamon, included as a special sweet treat for Scotland.
He was able to go to town with the wah-wah licks (and Beatles references) on the sultry Fools Gold, but it was Mani’s signature bassline and Reni’s elastic drumming which stole the show there, while an increasingly out of tune Ian Brown graciously accepted the support of 50,000 backing vocalists.