Monday, February 06, 2006

I've just ordered a book through eBay which arrived this week, "The Stone Roses - and the resurrection of British pop by John Robb". Got it for 50p. Not bad considering it hasn't been read. Well it has actually but not by the eBayer i got it 'offa'. She bought it for her boyfriend who is not a big reader. Guess she was trying to inspire him by buying a book for Christmas that might be of interest him, but it didn't work.

Anyways she wouldn't post it to Holland (silly mare!). That's twice in a row that i've bought stuff of UK eBayers and they have flaty refused to post to holland even though I said I would pay any extra for postage. The last one was 2 plates (replacing some i broke by leaving them on an open gas flame). She said " no i don't want to risk postage to Holland as they will break in the post". But apparently they won't break if she uses Royal Mail post.

So now I have to wait until May to get them from my parent's address. Waited till they arrived then left her a negative feedback comment. Like a kick in the nuts to a keen eBayer. So the Roses book i asked to post it to my brother, and he read it in a couple of days and then sent it over. I was flicking through and noticed he starts the book with a whole chapter devoted to the Roses Blackpool Empress Ballroom gig, which I went to.

So i thought for my next blog I'm gonna write a bit about the next big gig the Roses played which was Spike Island. I should still have the ticket for that somehwere. It was a piece of art in itself. Hold on.......attic here i come. Found it - Not bad condition considering it's 15 years old. Wonder what it would fetch on eBay. There is one for sale on there at the moment. So the Roses had played the Blackpool Empress Ballroom in August 89, which was their biggest gig to date. (3-4,000 ish) and shortly after (november 89) they played the Alexandra Palace in London (Alley Palley) to a slightly larger crowd. I didn't go to Alley Palley as The Happy Mondays were playing the same night in Manchester. Was an incredibly difficult decision to make.

My mates went to London, but mainly for financial reasons I plumped for the Mondays. So 6 months later they hadn't played any more gigs and after the rush of following them around we were in serious need of some Roses adrenalin. So when the Spike Island gig was announced we rushed down to Picadilly Records to get our tickets. As usual i was skint so I just bought the ticket and didn't go for the coach package like my friends did. I'll worry about how i get there later.

When the day finally came I waved my mates off in their plush coaches, and cadged a lift of my friend who was on his way down to Birmingham to go back to University. "Go on John mate, it's only a slight detour (took him about 2 hours longer). As soon as i saw the masses and masses of white tee-shirted fans all looking a bit lost but kind of all walking in the same direction I guessed i was there and sent John off back to Aston Uni. 1990 was pre-mobiles so somehow I had to link up with my friends amongt the 30,000 strong crowd, who all looked pretty similar. Roses white tee-shirts, flared jeans and floppy haircuts. the atmosphere was amazing. No-one knowing what was going to happen. In 1990 festivals were not 'places' to be. Cool bands avoided them let alone set one up themselves.

It was a glorious sunny day, and we parked our buts in the grass at a reasonable distance from the stage and awaited the 'event'. After an hour or two we soon realised that we were going to be subjected to crappy DJ after crappy DJ and no bands were supporting at all. So we wandered around a bit, ate some 'burgers' and attempted to get a beer in the beer-tent, which I succeeded at after an hour wait, but by the time i got back to the group most had spilled on the ground. At around 8pm it bacame apparent something was happening and as the sun was disappearing the band came on to a huge noise of relief and excitement. The set was only an hour but worth waiting for and was finished off with a firework display.

Sounds nothing special then but at the time we were all thinking . Wowwww Fireworks and an outside concert!!!!. note the white tee-shirts and jeans uniforms So that was it. All over and now "fuck off home please". So 30,000 people headed off in the dark over fields to try and find coaches and cars in little old Widnes. I followed the crowds to the nearest train and travelled free all the way to Manchester. The conductors didn't dare come round to check people had tickets. Whilst i waited for my cab on the corner of Picadilly Square I was approached by a nice looking lady, and asked if i wanted some company. "Yeah fine I'm just waiting for me taxi like, but sure if you want to chat!" "OK love it's 30 quid where do you wanna go?". I was young an naaive. I got back to 304 Larch Court to find all my mates sitting on my bed with sombre faces. (I picked the long straw when we moved into 304, and got the largest bedroom on the bottom floor next to the kitchen, but as i had a telly aswell my room became a living room where your fellow housemates didn't knock to enter).

"Howayy guys I know it's over but come on was a great day!!" They then proceeded to tell me how on the way back from Widnes they had heard accross the coach's radio that one of the other buses had crashed really badly and that a lot of fans may have been injured or killed. They had been listening to the local radio since they had got back to hear of their fates. So we sat there till 4 in the morning all on a downer until we realised that it was all bullshit and nothing had happened at all. Great day, kinda makes you realise why Mr Robb started his book with the Empress Ballroom gig and not Spike Island. As for the Roses, they played 2 more gigs in 91, Dublin and Glasgow and never appeared again for 5 years.

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