FILM REVIEW: The Stone Roses – Made Of StoneFILM REVIEW: The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone
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FILM REVIEW: The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

I had gotten used to the idea that I would never see The Stone Roses live. It was one of those unchangeable and tragic certainties of life. One of my favourite bands would not reform, I was born a decade too late. I was destined only to listen to them through headphones or in dingy indie clubs in Manchester. And then it happened. Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni were suddenly all in the same room, and they were promising the biggest comeback imaginable. The Stone Roses: Made of Stone is the story of how that happened.From the opening scene capturing Ian Brown walking along a line of ecstatic fans in the front-row and throughout the entire film Meadows showcases the heart of this band. Chronicled through past footage of the group at their peak upon the release of first album The Stone Roses, footage of them preparing for the Heaton Park gigs and those incredible performances themselves, Made of Stone is an exciting, uplifting and spine-tingling tribute to their work. There are highlights throughout but perhaps one of the most enjoyable scenes is a black and white split screen of the four warming up in a secret location performing ‘Waterfall’. It’s at this moment the viewer really gets a glimpse of how much these four men enjoy playing and creating music together. Between the warm smiles, lighthearted banter and joking around they radiate a feeling of contentment. This friendship, this band is where they are all meant to be. This is the buddy movie of music documentaries.

Interestingly there’s not actually that much drama in the run up to the reunion. There is the much made of incident where drummer Reni walks out of a warm-up gig in Amsterdam before the encore and the ensuing doubt that he’ll rejoin the resurrection. However that cannot stop the ending which we all know came to pass. The Stone Roses were resurrected brilliantly and iconicly at Heaton Park.

The inclusion of the fans, young and old, is what generates the most smiles. Meadows perfectly captures their feelings at this seemingly miraculous event. The looks on their faces portray how it feels to love and dance along to the Stone Roses in a live setting better than any words ever could. It’s completely euphoric. If you’re not a fan or if you’re just learning about them, I would bet their faces alone would sell you on them. Meadows is also generous with footage of the four actually performing. All the big songs feature; Made of Stone, Waterfall, She Bangs The Drums, Fools Gold, I Wanna Be Adored, I Am The Resurrection, This Is The One. You will be tapping your feet by the end.

Shane Meadows has created a beautiful homage to a band he clearly loves and as a fellow fan I’m grateful that such a massive moment in my life has been chronicled in such an artistic way. If only I could see myself in the crowd that I know I was in…

Watch the trailer for Made in Stone: