Daily Archives: Tuesday, 18th Oct 2011

The Return of the Stone Roses

So, just a couple of years after guitarist John Squire made the definitive statement

I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses

which most people would have taken as moderately final, it seems things have changed. John Squire and singer Ian Brown have made up their differences, Mani and Reni are on board too, and a band that briefly burned as bright as a very very bright thing are getting back together for a tour. There have even been suggestions of new material being recorded, though I’ll put my excitement on hold for that.

The original Stone Roses album remains one of my all time favourites: it’s a beautifully crafted piece of work with actual proper bloody songs, more attitude than err, something with a lot of attitude and, look, I don’t know where this sentence is going any more, it seems to have wandered off much in the manner that the band did after that first album.

But yes, that first album and a handful of tracks released before and after it (including the glorious 9 minute version of Fools Gold) blended the best of indie guitar with dance rhythms in a way that influenced a lot of bands in the intervening decades. Yes, decades. That album was released in 1989, when the band were young and even I wasn’t all that old really. After a far too long pause, a second album came along, but somehow lacked a certain something. The band split in less than happy circumstances not long after…

I’m definitely interested to see them back together. Whether the reunion will produce anything I actually want to listen to is another matter, of course.

BBC News – The Stone Roses to reunite for tour.

Weight and Stuff Report – 18 October 2011

Back up a bit today, but not by too much…

Had another little walk at lunchtime to avoid being completely inactive.

Today’s picture is a sample of that Newcastle photographic cliché, the reflections in Eldon Square’s glass wall. Taken with the iPhone 4S as the sky was beginning to cloud over. I like the look of this one.

Broken Reflections

Broken Reflections

Robert Rankin – The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the new Robert Rankin book makes its spectacular appearance. And here it is. It’s set in the same mildly deranged and technologically transformed world we saw in last year’s The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions. London is illuminated by Tesla’s wireless power transmission, airships are quite popular, and someone is killing music hall stars in a quite messy manner.

We meet a private detective who is the real source for Sherlock Holmes[1], but who is unexpectedly also the source for Mr Pickwick[2]. We meet a retired Colonel and a talking monkey.

There’s an Evil Power at work, and of course the Mechanical Messiah itself.

Look, talking about the plot when it comes to Rankin is a bit silly really. There is one, but it’s all about how he does it rather than what he does. Gags are plentiful[3], Brentford is mentioned. It’s good quality far-fetched fiction from the master of such things. Good fun in a “don’t read it on the bus if public giggling embarrasses you” sort of way. Just like all his other books, really.

Will he carry on with this crazed Steampunk theme? Or will the next one be something else altogether? Only time will tell. Unless he lets on. Or somebody sneaks a peek at his computer. Or the manuscript falls through a time warp. Or something.

Look, it’s Robert Rankin, it’s good silly fun, read it now.

[1] And yes, Holmes fans, his name is Bell.
[2] Suggestions that this is impossible due to Dickens being far too dead at the time are denied in a footnote, of course
[3] And of the usual kind. Some of the silliest are in footnotes