After 15 years, the Stone Roses confirm rumours of a reunion and announce plans for a comeback tour next year, with tickets going on sale this Friday.
After days of speculation, the band at the centre of the 1990s “Madchester” scene today announced their reunion.
The band will kick off a worldwide tour with two hometown gigs at Manchester’s Heaton Park next summer. The shows on 29 and 30 June next year are expected to attract 75,000 people, and tickets will go on sale this Friday at 9.30am.
The four former band members have already started rehearsing and are also working on new material.
Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met six months ago at bassist Gary “Mani” Mountfield’s mother’s funeral – the first time the pair are thought to have met since the band’s acrimonious split in 1996.
Something magical happens when us four are in a room together. It’s just so beautiful to get hold of it again. Gary ‘Mani’ Mountfield, bass player
“When me and Ian met by chance it changed everything,” said Squire, speaking at a press conference this afternoon. “In some ways it felt like 15 years ago was yesterday. It was surreal. We went from crying, laughing about the old days, to writing songs in a heartbeat.
“In some ways, it’s a friendship that defines us both – and it needed fixing,” he added.
In typically modest form, Ian Brown said the plan now is “to take on the world”.
Mani talked nostalgically about getting together with his former bandmates. “There’s something magical happens when us four are in a room together,” he said. “You can’t put your finger on it. It’s just so beautiful to get hold of it again. Missed it, you know.”
But after 15 years, even the most devoted fans will be wondering, why now? There is speculation that Brown’s recent split with his wife and anticipated divorce bill could have been just the incentive he needed to bury the hatchet with Squire, whose departure from the band in 1995 was the beginning of the end.
Two years ago, Brown said Squire had written him a song but that he was encouraged by his children to reject it. In an interview with The Word magazine, Brown said: “He actually sent me a tune 18 months ago – pretty good, sounded nice, I liked it. But my sons turned round and said, ‘Dad you can’t work on that – he sold you out didn’t he? He left you for dead.'”
Squire hit out at lucrative band reunions earlier this year in an interview with NME magazine: “When it’s just a get-together for a big payday and everyone gets their old clothes out, that seems tragic to me,” he said.
These concerns have since been brushed aside.
Famed for their blend of psychedelic guitar pop and infectious dance grooves, the Stone Roses managed to appeal to both ravers and indie-kids alike.
Their self-titled debut album, released in 1989, was critically acclaimed, and in 1990 nearly 30,000 people flocked to see them at an outdoor gig on Spike Island, near Widnes.
The band’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in 1995 when guitarist Squire quit after ongoing disagreements with Brown, the lead singer and Squire’s childhood friend. The band split up the following year after a reportedly disastrous performance at Reading Festival.
Brown went on to perform as a solo artist, and bassist Mani joined the band Primal Scream. Squire formed the Seahorses and later pursued a career in art.
Until last week, when journalists were called to a press conference on 18 October, band members had vigorously denied rumours of a comeback.
Indie kids Pulp reformed this year and completed a nostalgic trek of the summer festival circuit, performing tracks from the acclaimed 1995 album Different Class.
After breaking up in 2003, Suede released The Best of Suede album last year and performed their biggest ever show in London’s O2 Arena this year.
After disappearing into a Buddhist monastery, Leonard Cohen emerged to find he had been fleeced by his accountant and took him to court in 2005. A world tour was announced in 2008, with all proceeds going towards Cohen’s depleted retirement fund.
The four members of Blur finally went their separate ways after 2003, with Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn working on their own musical projects. They reformed in 2009 and tickets for their Hyde Park gigs sold out within two minutes of going on sale.
The fellow Mancunians broke up and reformed twice – in 1999 and 2003. Their reincarnation was a lucrative one, and the band went on to release new material.