It was one for my personal ‘bucket-list’. An ambition realised seemingly against all the odds. As the light faded over Manchester four stars came out to shine.
Like many others, I never thought I’d see the day: The Stone Roses were back on stage together again and it was simply glorious.
It didn’t matter that summer showers had reduced much of Heaton Park to a Glastonbury-esque mudbath.
It didn’t matter that a fair proportion of the 70,000-strong crowd were wasted on drink or drugs. Or perhaps both.
It didn’t matter that 30 feet to the left of us a man was randomly urinating as he danced about – a JD Sports carrier bag full of alcohol slung over his shoulder as he twirled around.
Not pleasant, granted, but it didn’t bother us overly.
When the first strains of I Wanna Be Adored swept across the expectant hordes there was an audible gasp.
The disparate elements of an Eighties musical phenomenon had been reunited and the resulting chemistry was irresistible.
When the Stone Roses’s seminal first album was released in April 1989 it seemed to perfectly capture that moment in time.
They had produced arguably the perfect debut album. There’s not a single duff track which is why it sounds as good today as it did when Eastern Europe was in revolution and Maggie’s Poll Tax was being inflicted on Scotland.
The Stone Roses were in the vanguard of a renaissance for British guitar bands.
Without the Roses there would arguably have been no Brit pop. There would certainly have been no Oasis.
That’s why everyone from the Gallagher brothers to artist Damien Hirst and even Hollywood icons like Brad Pitt have lined up to pay homage to four northern lads who gave music a good kick in the you-know-whats just when it needed it.
In 1989 yours truly was 17 and a student at Sixth Form College, Fenton.
I had a Saturday job at the Brittain Adams fireplace and bathroom showroom in Tunstall which paid me a tenner.
That was enough to pay for student night at Ritzy’s in Newcastle where indie kids like me could jig about to everything from the Happy Mondays and the Inspiral Carpets to The Wonder Stuff and Carter USM.
But the Stone Roses towered above all other bands of that era. They were simply a class apart.
Their music. Their look. Their attitude. It was all brilliantly distinctive.
The Roses’s debut album was the most played cassette tape in my mate Rob’s blue Ford Orion. He was the only one of us who had a car, you see.
Long before Manchester United’s multi-million pound heroes were running out on to the Hallowed turf at Old Trafford with This Is The One ringing in their ears, it was the euphoric warm-up track for our pool team at the now-defunct Duke of Wellington pub at Norton.
On Sunday night in Manchester it was, for me, the high-point of a two-hour gig which transported me back to my days of long(ish) hair, baggy jeans and no responsibilities.
The classics flowed, along with the beer, as Fools Gold, Sally Cinnamon, Sugar Spun Sister, Made Of Stone and I Am The Resurrection brought the memories flooding back.
Square and safe as we were, my mates and I never did drugs and so seeing the ‘popper’ sellers on the streets and spaced-out people falling over in the mud was something of a shock. I guess we just forgot how strange and brave things were as the Eighties came to a close.
Will Ian, John, Mani and Reni manage to stick together to complete this tour?
Will we ever see a third album and will it be any good?
But for a brief moment at least the Mancunian band’s brilliance has been reignited for a new generation – as well as old gits like me and my mate Rob for whom the memory of last Sunday will forever be special.
Pick up a copy of the Weekend Sentinel every Saturday for 12 pages of nostalgia