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2011. After 15+ years apart, the original members of iconic English band The Stone Roses - Ian Brown, John Squire, Alan "Reni" Wren and Gary "Mani" Mounfield - reform for a concert tour. Enlisting the film-making talents of director Shane Meadows (This is England, Dead Man's Shoes, A Room for Romeo Brass) this film documents their reunion, including initial meetings, practice sessions and the concerts themselves. There is also coverage of their 80/90s history.Written by
It's pretty obvious from the off - in spite of a bizarre Hitchcock interview to open proceedings - that director Shane Meadows has made a love-in piece for his favourite band. Which of course is honourable and perfectly understandable, because, like, we all would do it. But here in lies the problem, that of a documentary which really doesn't bring much to the party for those not already in love with The Stone Roses.
For fans there's a lot of essential stuff, such as early footage of the band members when they were so vibrantly youthful, be it ripping around on scooters or those early gigs, it has a nitty gritty vibe that gladdens the spirit - and this even allowing for some of the cringe worthy interviews where arrogance and naievity rule . Also, as expected with Meadows, there's a great snap-shot of the era of their youth, as The Sex Pistols God Save The Queen belts out we are also privy to the depressing site of Hulme in Manchester, a place where the crows go to die...
Cut to later on as the band prepare for their reunion gigs, where it's great to see them so radiant and relaxed during rehearsals, it's this stuff, coupled with all the live footage we get, that lifts this to must see status for fans of the band. But we learn next to nothing about the problems within the band, both in early form and the reunion, these are given short shrift, as is the glossing over of the Spike Island gig, which if fans are honest, was beset with problems and not as mythical as some might have you believe...
But ultimately, this is a band who deserve their iconic status, and Meadows knows this and ensures that their status as revered music legends is not tainted. Cantona, Liam Gallagher et al know it, and we know it, The Stone Roses rock and are important in the pantheon of British rock music. 6/10
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