Today is the 27th of May, which means it’s exactly 32 years to the day since I awoke on a gloriously sunny day in Morecambe with THE golden ticket in my hand. That golden ticket would be the one that would get me into the most talked about gig of the next decade, Spike Island.
I was 16 years old, and like a lot of people of a similar age to me, I was heavily into what was described as the ‘Baggy’ scene or, more annoyingly, the ‘Madchester’ scene. There’s absolutely no doubt that The Stone Roses were THE band of the movement, and Spike Island was their moment. Some of the day is a blur, as you can well imagine, but I remember weird things like sitting on a roundabout and my mate Jimmy eating a moth that landed on my jeans (which myself, my brother and our other mate Ricky found hilarious in our half stoned/half pissed giddiness).
I remember that the weather was gorgeous as we took (what seemed like) the ridiculously long walk from the train station in Widnes to the island itself. The bad sound at the gig has been spoken about so many times, but if I’m being honest, I really don’t remember it being that terrible, but I guess I was just lost in the moment of it all. The Roses were EVERYTHING to a 16-year-old me, and here I was, about to see the greatest band in the world (who’d only released one album but fuck that, who cares when it’s THAT good?!).
I still get butterflies when I hear the opening bars of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ to this day. It takes me back to my ‘yoof’ when I was yet to discover how life isn’t all a bed of Roses. Pun intended. It also takes me back to seeing the four of these uber cool bastards swaggering onstage with a looped sample of a huge breakbeat taken from the 1973 ‘Hustlers Convention’ album. As soon as that finished, ‘Adored’ crept in, and from then on in, for the next 90 minutes or so, I was quite literally in a Mersey Paradise.
In the years that have passed, my music tastes have gone all over the place, much like they did back then, but one thing will always be the same, The Stone Roses self-titled debut album will always remain the best debut album ever made (as well as being one of the best albums ever made, full stop) and that day will always be the most excited I’ve EVER been at a gig.
Seán, Manchester. Aged 48 going on 17.
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