You might remember my blog detailing the reasons why I wouldn’t be getting a ticket for Heaton Park for the long awaited Messianic return of the Stone Roses. (click here to read it). Well on Wednesday I went with a friend (who was at Spike Island) to see the Shane Meadows documentary, The Stone Roses: Made of Stone. It is fair to say after watching this beautiful love letter from an ardent fan of the Roses, I was ready to hitch down to London this weekend and get a scalped ticket for Finsbury Park.
Adored. That is what Ian Brown sang isn’t it? Adored. And that is what they are, still. Even Liam Gallagher was on screen to give praise. They maybe older, grizzlier, wiser and for the most part calmer, but they are still revered and worshipped by an army of fans that never gave up the dream of seeing them back together and Shane Meadows has captured the hope, the fears, the euphoria (and the downs) of the reunion last year.
Shane Meadows may not have made a documentary before, but as the director of some of the finest social realism films of recent times, (Once Upon a Time in the Midland, This is England) I am glad he was behind the camera.
This is a fan’s film, it can’t be repeated enough a glorious love letter to the Stone Roses. There was some incredible footage of John Squires and Ian Brown as Scooter Boys in Great Yarmouth in 1978. There was film of The Stone Roses’ first gig, with Ian Brown in a buttoned up silk shirt dancing on stage not unlike a young Morrissey. There were flyers and posters and artwork galore. There is behind the scenes footage of rehearsal, and coverage of the free warm up gig in Warrington, where the fans tell the story of their devotion and love.
And the four of them back together again. The camera looks upon them as we would, with wonder and amazement and deep joy that John Squires, Ian Brown, Mani and Remi are together again. There is the build up of the warm up gigs, and incredible footage of Heaton Park. Shane Meadows using a spilt screen in a way reminiscent of the Woodstock film.
My friend and I sang all the way through and we clapped and cheered at the end. Stoned Love? You bet I have and if you have too, this is a film you have to see.