The sight of the reformed Stone Roses this year will be especially momentous if you were there the first time around. For fans with Spike Island, the legendary Glasgow Green gig and mid-Eighties warehouse parties at the fringes of their chemically-addled memories, it’s going to be a uniquely emotional summer.
But, thankfully, help is at hand for Baggy obsessives who would’ve needed a spectacularly convincing fake ID to attend the Hacienda in its pomp. A sprawling free photographic exhibition devoted to the Madchester heroes, paying particular attention to their early years, has just been announced.
The aptly titled Stone Roses: The Third Coming consists of more than 70 images of Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni from their early shows right through to their mid-Nineties implosion. As well as classic shoots (including the paint-spattered “Never mind the Pollocks” NME cover), chaotic gigs and backstage moments, the collection also features a clutch of never before published rarities like the exclusive shot below.
Taken in 1988 by Ian Tilton (one of the trio of photographers that have given their images to The Third Coming) they depict a ludicrously youthful Brown and Reni just a month before their breakout single Elephant Stone was released.
Housed in a suitably grimy disused unit at London’s Whiteleys shopping centre, the show also features dusted down memorabilia and provides an exhilarating look at the birth of a British rock phenomenon. Which may come in handy if an old raver accosts you for some reminiscing at the Heaton Park gigs.