Friday 29 June 2012

Warren McIntyre & The Starry Skies - Ask The Animals

I recently discovered a small independent/DIY label in Glasgow going by the name of Mecca Holding Co with the slogan 'the plan is, there is no plan.'

The small label is run by Warren McIntyre who also has a band The Starry Skies. My sister recently gave me a loan of his bands debut album alongside one by Roy Moller who has also released an album on Mecca (to be reviewed later).

'Ask The Animals' mixes garage, psychedelia, punk and guitar pop to excellent effect. The band are clearly tight and Warren must have an excellent record collection to delve into for influences.

The opener and title track mixes garage and psychedelia with hints of Love coming through at times, especially when the trumpet kicks in.

'Baby you've gotta know, nothing can kill a dream, watch the empire burst at the seams'

'Let Love Come Back To You' is my favourite song from the album. Warren's voice sounds a little tender, the groove is completely different from the first song; the hooks are clearer, it is a great pop song. The trumpet appears again, lifting the song at all the right places along with some chiming guitars.

'Disappearing Darkness' slows things down and there is some gorgeous work on the steel guitar from the start. The backing vocals on this are glorious, the perfect combination of country and gospel.

I wonder where you are tonight, as I sit here under the electric light,
With the shades drawn to stop the daylight from getting through
Let it through, let it through

'How Many' comes across as a loose jam before 'Time Alone' kicks in with fuzz toned guitar, rediscovering the country vibe from 'Disappearing Darkness'. The arrangement on the backing vocals is fantastic again.

'Now Comes Autumn' is another fave of mine from the album. The feeling in the playing, production and hushed vocals makes it a real stand out and yet again the backing vocals are stunning. Warren has a real knack for arrangement and his guitar solo is beautiful leading into the most stunning part of the album, everything slows down...

Now comes Autumn, I remember
A thousand words I could, never tell her
So many pictures that have faded
Now things seem less complicated

It is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time. Check out the video below.

'Through The Black' picks up the pace considerably with a driving beat, soaring trumpets, and again their are echoes of Love, particularly with the trumpet solo and searing guitar before the final chorus.

'Catapults' has a weird shuffling military style beat and feels a little out of tune with the rest of the album.

'Secrets' is garage punk, exploding into life with a brilliant riff and Warren stirs his melting pot of influences with psych guitar and some gospel style vocals aiding the chorus and hooks; one which is pretty apt at this moment in time for bankers and politicians everywhere.

Every day they cheat us, every day they deceive us

Closer 'For The Dark Is But A Star' reminds me of the Polyphonic Spree? That kind of soulful vocal mixed with loads of backing singers. Unfortunately I didn't get to the bands album launch at Stereo a couple of weeks ago but I look forward to hearing this live some time soon.

A good end to the album which displays some real stand out tracks and I would certainly recommend checking it out. You can preview some of the songs via their soundcloud page.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Introducing TeenCanteen

Introducing my sister Carla's new band... TeenCanteen

TEENCANTEEN are comprised of four girls in their mid-20’s: Carla Easton (lead vocals, keyboards), Sita Pieracinni (vocals, bass), Emma Kullander (vocals, guitar) and Deborah Smith (vocals, drums).

Their songs incorporate sunshine pop, girl-group harmonies and multi-melodies and last week they played their debut gig as a full band at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh, having previously road tested a few songs at a few open mic nights and Art events across the city.

TeenCanteen formed out of the ashes of Futuristic RetroChampions and like the Retro Champs they are split between Edinburgh and Glasgow with Carla Easton who wrote the FRC songs and played keyboards adding lead vocals to her repertoire in her new band and Sita Pieraccini going from lead vocals to playing bass (which she had never played before) and backing Carla on harmonies.

Carla and Sita are joined by their friend Emma Kullander on guitar and vocals and Carla’s best friend since High School, Deborah Smith on drums.

After managing Futuristic Retro Champions I have made a conscious decision not to manage my sisters new band and it has been pleasing to watch them develop so quickly since the four got together for their first practice session. I think they had 6 practice sessions before booking some studio time at 45-a-side records in May with money left over from FRC’s and they spent it well, recording 4-tracks in 2-days and taking 3rd day to mix and master.

TeenCanteen is a much more organic sound than FRC’s. The fact that Sita had never played bass before and that this is Emma and Deborah’s first band (both had never been in a studio) just adds to the sense of innocence and a welcome rawness (so much music is just too polished these days) on the recordings that should be released in late summer. The EP also features guest appearances by Eugene Kelly (Vaselines/Eugenius) on guitar and backing vocals, Duglas T Stewart (BMX Bandits) on vocals, Roy Moller on guitar and Daniel Wilcox on violin.

Anyway, you can watch a short 4-minute film about the recording of the EP over on their vimeo channel at

Lets get on to the live show;

People piled into Henry’s from 7pm, aware that TeenCanteen were on at 8pm. There were plenty of familiar faces from the FRC days and a good few new faces as well which was nice to see.
The girls shy humour shone through from the offset and it was smiles all round as they went into the opener 'You're So Analogue', the tale of a girl who is up to date with her Social Media falling for a guy who is more into his books.

'I think that you're so analogue, because you don't even write a blog'
'I log on 15 times a week, but you never show in my news feed.' 

'One More Night' continued the good vibes before ‘How We Met (Cherry Pie)’ which was a real stand out, the chorus flows better than any I have heard for a long time;

Like rain that falls without a warning, on a sunny morning, this is how we met
Like sugar in my cup of coffee, apples dipped in toffee, this is how we met
Like snowfall showing in the summer, with massive claps of thunder, this is how we met
Like missing puzzle pieces meeting, with joys of seasons greetings, this is how we met 

'Atlas' talked of falling in love and running off to visit the Star Wars set in Tunisia, yet also being happy just going camping in Scotland. The flowing vocal melodies are probably going to become a bit of a trademark for TeenCanteen.

'Fireworks' is one of the first songs that Carla wrote for her new project and it has already been recorded by the BMX Bandits for their forthcoming album. The TeenCanteen live version was very different with Deborah abandoning her drums to share a mic with Emma for excellent 4-piece harmonies.  Duglas T Stewart was in the crowd and he joined in with a kazoo solo at the end.

Emma then took over lead vocals for the verses of 'It Could Be Beautiful' before all 4-girls came in with the catchy chorus;

Go on an say you'll be my man, you know I'm willing and I can

Before Carla surprised everyone in the crowd with a Scottish rap that referenced Katie Perry and contained the line;

'Don't you wait an hour before you text me back, 
cause that is so High School and I am so over that

'Under My Cover' was the last song of the night with BMX Bandit Duglas T Stewart called up to the stage to guest on vocals. Duglas also sings on the recorded version. It was all endearingly ramshackle with Duglas looking genuinely moved at the opening lyrics;

Sometimes I need to realise, the reason why I'm alive, maybe I could be special

You can find a VERY lofi demo version of the song at

That was that, the band had no more songs and had to politely refuse the audiences attempts for an encore. That was until the host for the evenings entertainment Lach (a beat poet from NYC and legend of the antifolk movement - involved in the first releases by the likes of Beck and the Moldy Peaches) asked if there was any way they could play one more.

As the band were clearing up around her Carla played some warm chords on the keyboard a few times and then started was a lofi cover of Kylie's 'All My Lovers' and it was genius. Sita joined in on backing vocals and tambourine and the other girls also joined in when they knew the words. Lach got up behind them and got the crowd clapping along. They somehow pulled it off, transforming an electro pop song into a total lofi heartburner. A great moment. I hope they go on to record a version.

I look forward to the bands first release and some future gigs, they already have some festival appearances lined up.

Monday 18 June 2012

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney - 70 today

Paul McCartney turned 70 today. I was somewhat surprised, it only seems like last year I was singing 'When I'm 64' when he turned 64.

I don’t know why I am surprised, maybe it is because Macca retains such youthful enthusiasm and energy, or maybe it is because of the music, footage and pictures from his younger days that cause him to remain that age in my mind whenever I hear his name.

Happy birthday Sir Paul, a genuine legend.

I thought I would scan through Sir Paul's discography and select 10 of my favourite Macca tunes (Beatles era). It was very hard to keep to 10 so I have listed some Bonus Tracks below.

  1. Got To Get You Into My Life
This isn’t in any kind of order other than this song. It is almost like northern soul, the driving beat, the horns, the yearning excited vocal…the song flows superbly, I don’t DJ much these days but I always drop this one in when I do, just brilliant.

  1. Two Of Us
The ‘Let It Be’ album has McCartney stamped all over it. Truth be told, post-Revolver and the death of Brian Epstein, it was Macca who held The Beatles together and kept them going. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, the White album, Let It Be and the song cycle on side-2 of Abbey Road were all his ideas. While Harrison stock-piled songs for All Things Must Pass and Lennon blissed out in an acid and then heroin coma with Yoko, Macca was on fire.

The reason this song is one of my favourites is because I remember buying the album on cassette as a young teenager from Impulse in Hamilton and driving back to Carluke with my Mum. I always think of that journey when I hear the song and the song itself is brilliant. Lennon and McCartney harmonising and a typically brilliant middle-eight ‘you and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead…’

  1. I’ll Follow The Sun
From the Beatles For Sale album that has one of the best album covers of all time, The Beatles with their pristine mop tops looking all serious. The gentle acoustic song allows McCartney to show off his full repertoire of tricks; hooks, melodies, another cracking middle-eight ‘and now the time has come and so my love I must go….’

I always think of The Beatles footage from their time in Miami when I hear this thanks to the Anthology,

  1. Hey Jude
Macca’s song for Julian Lennon. Quintessential McCartney. This performance from the Davie Frost show is stunning.

  1. For No-One
Up alongside Got To Get You Into My Life (and also from the Revolver album) as a real fave of mine, this is McCartney’s songwriting at its best. 

  1. You Never Give Me Your Money
I fell in love with this song (and indeed that incredible song cycle from side 2 of Abbey Road) from the moment I heard it. The song became a particular favourite of mine and my great friend Reddy for the ‘out of college money spent, see no future, pay no rent’ section as that described Reddy to a T at that time. Macca at his best with his use of melody and the ‘oh that magic feeling’ refrain is surely an all time best?

  1. Paperback Writer
Listening back to this makes me a think that it is a real ‘Lennon’ song in terms of raw guitar and vocals. It flows along at 100 mph with McCartney barely having time to get his breath before launching into the next verse. Stunning and his songwriting seemed to step up a notch thereafter.

  1. I Saw Her Standing There
My karaoke tune! Off the first album and a straight up rocker yet still stamped with McCartney all over it. I love the section ‘well my heart went boom as I crossed that room, and I held her hand in miiiiiiiinnneee’. We’ve all been there, love at first sight and that feeling of ‘I’ll never dance with another’.

  1. And I Love Her
From A Hard Days Night, the chords and melody are quite dark, a real departure from the merseybeat sound that caused screaming hoards to chase them in the film. Another sign of progress in McCartney’s songwriting. Genius at work!

  1. Things We Said Today
Another from A Hard Days Night and one that really stuck with me when I first heard it. I remember having conversations with fellow music fans at school about the film and this song in particular, one that Martin Callan who played bass enthused about. The lyrics flow yet they also rise and fall, incredible songwriting.

Other honourable mentions; I’ve Just Seen A Face, Mother Nature’s Son, I Saw Her Standing There, I Will, Get Back, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, All My Loving, Here There & Everywhere, I’m Down and The End.

And think of the ones that I have missed!

Thursday 14 June 2012

Stone Roses, Amsterdam, 12th June 2012

What goes on in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam. A phrase uttered by many over the years and seemingly one that the Stone Roses are sticking to as well. If there was a fall out between Ian and Reni at the end, causing them not to come back on to play traditional closer ‘I Am The Resurrection’, then it is staying in-house; good management!

Anyway, I had waited 21-years to see the Roses. I reckon it was 1991 when I first fell in love with them. When my friend Lynne who lives in Amsterdam called me 6-weeks ago to say she had two spare tickets for the show then it just felt like destiny. Flights were duly booked (as were babysitters) and my wife and I set out for 2-days/1-night in the ‘dam.

I have never been so excited about a concert. Our flight from Glasgow at 9am on the day of the concert contained a fair few fellow Roses fans. We checked into our hotel early, got a power nap and then heaed into town to meet Lynne and her friend Cooper, who had flown out the night before. Lynne told us of reports that Mani had been ‘in the area’ the night before drinking a Babysham mixed with Jaggermeister! We had a few beers and headed to Lynne’s flat which is pretty central, meeting he boyfriend Dave who has exceptional taste in music as we chilled out Amsterdam style. I was still hyper though!

We caught a tram and a train to the venue. Amazingly it wasn’t sold out and the touts were getting stung big style outside with the £60 tickets going for half that price. We got in and were greeted by the merch stall where I got a limited edition print of the concert poster and we stored that and our jackets in lockers – very modern/American High School.

With drinks bought (using a token system) we entered the venue and enjoyed some brilliant songs in the build up to the Roses entrance; Voodo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald, some classic soul and ska, Strings of Life and then Stoned Love by The Supremes (rather appropriate for Amsterdam)........enter the Stone Roses. We were down near the front stage right (Squire's side).

They bounded on to stage, full of energy and excitement, sharing feelings and emotions with the crowd. Adored kicked things off, the classic rumbling bass from Mani, some high-hat action from Reni who seemed to be sporting dreadlocks under his bandana, it all kicked off and any worries about Ian Brown’s voice were out to rest as he started;

‘I don’t have to sell my soul, he’s already in me.....I wanna be adored’.

The crowd sang along in lusty unison, smiles broke out on stage and off. The band looked great, Squire in a vintage blazer, Ian started with a hoody which he quickly lost, Mani was in a funky 60's style shirt and Reni in a Brazil 70 style Roses top with a lemon as the badge and Roses 12 on the back - potentially the most popular item at the merch stall.

Sally Cinnamon kicked in, the classic riff was sung along, Brown swaggered around the stage from left to right, Squire turned to face Reni, the band looked tight. The closing section 'then I put the letter back' flowed superbly.

'Sent to me from heaven, Sally Cinnamon, you are my world'.

There was more chiming guitar pop perfection to come in the shape of Mersey Paradise that caused a mass outbreak of dancing and pogo-ing, I could barely believe my eyes and had to stop myself singing at times so I could listen to everything. Squire was coaxing extra little riffs out of his guitar and was on fire throughout.

Ian asked who was from Amsterdam to a little cheer, then who is from anywhere else to a huge cheer. 

Sugar Spun Sister slowed things down just enough for us all to catch our breath before a gorgeous Where Angels Play before the most astonishing run of songs I have ever experienced in my 19-years of gig-going.

It started off with the cool shimmy of Shoot You Down, Brown's voice mixed with Reni on harmonies superbly, it was a joy to my ears, something I thought I would never hear or see live and certainly not 10 rows from the front (I'd get even closer near the end). The closing section just highlighted (for me anyway) the band at their best, flowing effortlessly, gelling together.

Now this time has come, it'll all work out
And when this thing is done, it'll leave no doubt
And when you've had your fun, will you all walk out?
I'd love to do it and you know you've always had it coming

It was sheer brilliance and it didn't stop as Mani and Reni started to jam, allowing Squire to change guitar and after a couple of minutes the jam went into Fools Gold, queue a load of Bez dancing all around me. It went on for ages, this was the 12-inch version x 2, or so it seemed, band and crowd lost in a moment of stone cold funk.

The funky jam continued as the band played a delicious full band version of Tightrope, a personal favourite of mine.

Are we etched in stone or just scratched in the sand, waiting for the waves to come and reclaim the land?

The band were showing off now as they kicked into Ten Storey Love Song, that glorious chiming intro soared towards the heavens and....well I cried, tears of sheer joy mixed with disbelief and smiles as Ian came in;

When your heart is black and broken and you need a helping hand
When you're so much in love you don't know just how much you can stand

The Roses are back, the best band in the world, my favourite band of all time and my heart was beating in time, full of love and happiness. This was a special moment for me.

They went straight into Waterfall and it sounded like it did in my dreams, Squire coaxing loads of riffs at the end and Mani and Reni locked in a groove, that brilliant little bass line, Reni all over his kit and even twirling his drum sticks at times, the groove went on and segued into Don't Stop, an unexpected bonus. This was a band full of confidence already, only their 4th show back and they were pulling off things like this with ease.

Then came my personal highlight from the night; This Is The One in all its technicolour glory, it truly sounded magnificent and lifted things even higher causing me to grab my wife by the hand and lead her into the centre, a mere 3 rows from the front. We were bouncing, pogo-ing, hugging stangers, this was real music to my ears, this was the one, the one that we had all been waiting for, some for years. Even now as I type I am getting tingles at the memory of how good this sounded and how lost in the moment we were.

Then it was the sheer pop rush of She Bangs The Drums, Mani firing the bass intro down our throats at top speed as Reni and Squire came crashing in to lead us on a glorious 3-minute pop trip.

.....there are no words, to describe the way I feel

The stunning run of songs continued with Made of Stone, Brown looking every inch the King Monkey, stolling around the stage, Squire the guitar god coaxing extra riffs and sounds out of his guitar, Mani grinning from ear to ear and Reni holding it all together. The place was bouncing for the chorus.

Sometimes I fantasise when the streets are cold and lonely...

Then it was into Love Spreads, a funkier work out with the mantra hammered home.

And then........well at the end Mani, Brown and Squire all hugged but Reni seemed to disappear. There were a few chants for an encore but most people just stood back in awe at what they had just seen and heard and expected the Roses to come straight back on, or they were too stoned to cheer.

Ian did come on and said 'the drummers gone home, I'm not kidding, the drummers gone home'. I thought this was an attempt to get the crowd to cheer more for an encore. I didn't hear it at the time as I was trying to get a chant going but he then steps back to the mic as the crowd are boo-ing and says 'get it all out, the drummers a c*nt'.

So there was no epic finale of 'I Am The Resurrection'. It would have been the cherry on the icing on the cake. I was disappointed for about 5-minutes and then we caught back up with Lynne, Dave and Cooper and just talked about how brilliant it had been and how happy we were.

The next day Lynne and I bumped into Mani and Ian in town. Ian asked me what I thought of the gig and I just said 'it was amazing, totally amazing' and he grinned. I had overheard a conversation with a guy Ian had been speaking to prior to me and Ian said (with a smile) 'Oh glad you enjoyed it, it might have been our last gig.' Mani looked like he had been enjoying the nightlife and after posing for pics the two went back off to their hotel.

Roll on Heaton Park but that gig takes a huge pressure off for me, I could be miles back at Heaton Park, at Amsterdam I lived out a dream and finally saw my favourite band and they were on fire.

Tulips from Amstedam? Not for me, I'll take the Roses any day of the week! ;-)

Friday 8 June 2012

Miaoux Miaoux album launch at Mono

Last night I went down to one of my favourite venues to witness one of my favourite artists celebrate the forthcoming release of their album ‘Light of the North’. The venue was Mono and the artist in question is the supremely talented MiaouxMiaoux, someone whom I have written about many times on this blog and I also had the pleasure of working with him for a while.

Miaoux Miaoux is essentially Julian Corrie, but he has a growing number of people helping him – Kris Fergusson on bass duties, Paul Carlin on drums and guest vocals from Anna Miles and the exceptionally cool Profisee, not to mention the backing of the seminal record label Chemikal Underground releasing his music.

The album is already picking up fantastic reviews and I really hope that as the reviews and word of mouth recommendations grow, then Miaoux Miaoux will go on to be recognised and appreciated as one of the best artists in the UK; songwriting, singing, production, guitar, synths, bass, drums, remixes…..this boy has the lot and it is beautifully packaged in his debut for Chemikal.

I arrived through the drizzle just as the recently reformed Mitchell Museumwere finishing their last song – not good! Between song music was supplied by Auntie Flo and the excellent line-up was further complimented by ConqueringAnimal Sound, long terms friends with Miaoux Miaoux and currently on the shortlist for the SAY Award with their sublime album ‘Kammerspiel’, although I would say that to fully appreciate their talents and music then you really should take the time to catch the live.

Jamie and the rather gorgeous Anneke took to the stage and urged the crowd to move forward, which they duly did. They then proceeded to play a beautiful 30-minute set that consisted entirely (or certainly largely) of new music. Anneke prowled the stage, using her voice to create wonderful sounds that conjured up references to Bjork in my mind. Jamie created melodies from a vast bank of keyboards and synths, cinematic, vast and expansive, yet also with the capability of drawing you in to make you feel right at home. One new song in particular caught my ears, starting off with lush synths before Jamie created a simple melody that threatened to go ballistic and clubby but just teased and developed into a stunning song. I caught up with Jamie afterwards to say hi and he will be announcing some great news in the near future about their next release. I hope that CAS or Remember Remember win the SAY Award.

On to the main event though. Miaoux Miaoux took to the stage and with a brief but heartfelt thanks for coming, the trio of Julian, Kris and Paul launched into their set. The trio are super tight on stage and the addition of live drums and bass has really pushed the Miaoux Miaoux sound into new territories. Forthcoming single ‘Better For Now’ sounded brilliant, Julian’s vocals were effortless, the rhythm section locked together. ‘Autopilot’ came blasting in, the squelchy synth supplemented by Kris on bass and Julian singing about love found and love lost;

‘I love you but I’m letting you go’.

The album may sound poppy but several of the songs deal with the loss of love, it is nicely balanced by those that sing of the joy of finding and being in love. All of the album (I’ll review that shortly) and the live songs show off Julian’s natural talent for melody and hooks. Old favourite ‘Knitted’ isn’t on the album but it remains a love highlight, as does the instrumental ‘Hrvatski’ which benefits from the live band jamming on it.

The trio had further guests in the shape of Anna Miles who sang the perfect summer pop song ‘Is It A Dream?’ and provided additional vocals on a few others, while the MC/rapper Profisee sang the delicious ‘Virtua Fighter’ that could easily find it’s way on to a Gorrilaz album. ‘Cloud Computer’ has a beautiful guitar riff that stays in my head for days every time I hear it.

‘Hey Sound’ is Miaoux Miaoux’s real party song, a real dancefloor filler, the only problem was that the cool Glasgow scenesters that made up a large percentage of the crowd were too cool to dance – shame on them. I can’t wait until this album takes off and people do dance at Miaoux Miaoux gigs.

There was no room for ‘Snow’ or the stunning ‘Stop the Clocks’ (my personal favourite from the album) but the band closed with a superb cover of ‘Theme From Great Cities’ by Simple Minds.

Get on to the album, out on Chemikal Underground on Monday.  I promise you, you won't regret it.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Stone Roses - my ideal setlist

Next week will see my wife and I fly out to see the Stone Roses in Amsterdam. It will be the first time I have ever seen my favourite band live.

I missed the Roses in 1989, I was only 13. However in 1991 I was 15 and some compilation tapes started doing the rounds in the 5th year common room. I was immediately sucked in by the pure guitar pop of 'Mersey Paradice' and 'Sally Cinnamon' that were on alongside the likes of 'Weirdo' and 'White Shirt' by The Charlatans and some choice cuts by the Mondays and Inspiral Carpets.

I became addicted to the Roses, the glorious debut album, the singles and the astonishing b-sides and then the funk out of 'Fools Gold' and the groove of 'One Love'. I bought all the 12-inches, the CD boxset that even contained their very rare debut single 'So Young/Tell Me', I even bought some singles on cassette. 

It wasn't just the music though; it was the look, the style, the swagger, the belief and the artwork.

After a night out in Glasgow I was browsing round Tower Records (which used to stay open until midnight) and found the 'Live At Blackpool' video. Remember, we didn't have the internet back then, there was a sense of mystery that surrounded the Roses, something they have somehow managed to maintain even now with their comeback.

That video just encapsulated everything I love about the Roses. I must have watched it back-to-back for a week or more; Ian Brown coming on to say 'Manchester in the area, we're international, we're continental' while strolling around with a luminous yo-yo while Mani and Reni locked into the groove of 'Adored' and Squire sent shivering shimmers through his guitar.

I remember taking the day off work when the Roses finally released their comeback single 'Love Spreads' and then at the end of the week being in Girwoods in Wishaw when it came on and everyone went mental. I still remember fellow Roses nut Mark Duncan getting up on the pool table to dance like Ian Brown to it.

I remember sitting down and almost watching my stereo the day 'The Second Coming' came out with my wee brother. 'Ten Storey Love Song' sounded like the most gorgeous thing on earth, 'Tears' was sensational, 'Tightrope' was stunning and 'Beggin' You' was off the planet.

Then they announced some dates, including the Barrowlands. I was 18 and had my first job and I was surprisingly conscientious.

My brother was duly packed off to queue for tickets outside the old Virgin on Union Street. I think he got the 7.30am train. It was already mobbed and he returned empty handed. The rumour mill said tickets were going for crazy sums - outwith my reach.

My brother ended up seeing them at Sheffield Arena that year, minus Reni, but still he saw them in the flesh - our favourite band. I am still jealous of his ticket stub.

Then they split, in quite horrific manner. The tighter than tight band imploded in a messy fashion.

I caught them all post-split. Ian Brown's debut album was a lofi classic, The Seahorses were shit but I saw Squire, I even went for a pint with Mani in 1999 and caught Reni and singing and playing guitar with his band The Rub at Tuts. The highlight was catching Squire play a secret show at Tuts when he opened with the instrumental to 'Resurrection' then played 'Waterfall' and 'She Bangs The Drums'. The place went mental.

Then Brown and Squire each laid claim to Roses tunes with Ian even hiring the Complete Stone Roses to back him as he played a set.

That's all in the past now - the past was yours but the futures mine.

It is now 2012 and after being pretty against a reunion at one point (I walked away from Ian Brown the last time I saw him at Rock Ness in 2010 as his voice was so shot) I couldn't believe how excited I was when they had their Press conference. They still look like a gang, they still have the humour and the confidence.

And then when they played Warrington Town Hall the other week I found myself following John Robb's twitter feed and almost wetting my pants at the setlist and everything that was being said. The boys were back in town.

And so on to Amsterdam. I already had a ticket to see them at Heaton Park but when my friend Lynn got in touch to say she had 2 spare tickets to see them at the 5,500 capacity Heineken Arena I bit her hand off.

So what would my ideal Roses setlist be?

Well since the announcement I have made several playlists and although I would be ecstatic if they played these songs in any order this is what I would go for;

Adored - the classic set opener
She Bangs The Drums - fuck it - straight into Drums
Ten Storey Love Song - the chiming guitars will melt my heart and probably make me cry
Elephant Stone - brilliant intro and a real pop rush
Mersey Paradice - more pure guitar pop
Sally Cinnamon - imagine this for a first 6-songs, I would be in heaven
Sugar Spun Sister - lets catch our breath - just a little
Where Angels Play - a magical song
Made of Stone - a stone cold classic, one of the best choruses ever
What The World Is Waiting For - the comeback thousands have been waiting for
Bye Bye Badman - the first half of my ideal set is pretty heavy on the early stuff
All Across The Sands - an early b-side thrown in for the purists
Breaking Into Heaven - then it is all change as we get into a real groove
One Love - and we keep it going
Fools Gold - and we really get into the groove
Begging You - things go into overdrive as the crowd go nuts
Somethings Burning - eases things down again while keeping the groove
Standing Here - that glorious guitar intro will cut through the air like a knife
How Do You Sleep? - a fave of mine from the Second Coming
Going Down - mellowing out for a few songs before the finale
Tightrope - brilliant songwriting, the live version of this on the Crimson Tonight EP is amazing
Your Star Will Shine - I preferred this to 'Love Spreads' when it first came out
Elizabeth My Dear - to celebrate the jubilee! ;-)
Tears - The Roses at their best, incredible musicians
Shoot You Down - straight into this, one of my all time faves
Waterfall - we head to the finale with one of the Roses most iconic songs
This Is The One - we are getting near the end, people will be hugging strangers for this one, emotional
Love Spreads - the Roses jam out before...
I Am The Resurection - the ultimate finale, no encore, over 2-hours of music

Wishful thinking?! So was the reunion!