World’s biggest Tribute Festival to take place tomorrow at Spike Island

Following a tumultuous 18 Months, Spike Island: The Resurrection is set to take place tomorrow, Saturday on July 24th after multiple postponements in 2020. The event was originally planned for May last year to celebrate 30 years since the Stone Roses’ legendary gig on the Widnes estuary.
This article first appeared in [WAM] Magazine Spring 2021

“We’ve always been determined to make it happen”. – Gavin Scott, The Clone Roses

This year’s show, headlined by the UK’s No. 1 tribute to The Stone Roses and supported by a host of suitably iconic tribute acts, is a rare opportunity to be taken back to the heady days of the Madchester scene, to the gig that was the catalyst for it all.

“We were 2 months away from doing the biggest thing in our professional careers and had it taken away from us but now we’ve just got to focus making it happen.” Gavin Scott, frontman of the Clone Roses told [WAM] on a site visit with Festival director, Andy Spike last December.

“The process of organising the Spike Island gig began in November 2018. The bands and organisers held meetings with Halton Council, health & safety, security, and production companies. We also had quite a few site visits and meetings with the police, fire departments and everyone else. So much time and effort had been
gone into it, and even the meetings we had as late as February didn’t really highlight a major issue for May.
So it all happened very quickly after that.

“You could tell things were getting serious, and once we realised the scale of the problem we had to see what everyone else was doing and follow suit. Postponed originally until Sept 5th, it was soon postponed almost straight away because Neighbourhood Weekender was announced for the same date. We thought we cannot do Spike Island down the road on the same date that Ian Brown was due to headline Victoria Park!”

“We thought there would be a lot of people who had tickets for both and wouldn’t want to choose. “We were devastated because obviously it was gonna be the 30th anniversary and now it’s gonna be the 31st, but to be honest, it’s about the line-up and where it is. The location was perfect in terms of where the [Stone Roses’] fan base was; An iconic place, on an island! It was a massive moment for the Roses. I mean how many gigs have had films
made about them? It just shows how iconic it was.

“Everyone wants the industry to get back on its feet. When that does happen, the atmosphere is probably gonna be even better because people have been starved of going to a gig or a festival for so long.

“As a tribute band, it’s as much theatre as it is music. It’s about the live show and giving people the experience of thinking that they’re seeing the real thing. So we’re waiting until we can do it properly again. We’ve been playing together for over 20 years and this will be our biggest moment ever, and that includes supporting the Happy Mondays at Brixton Academy in front of 4000 people, which was incredible.

“There’s a new generation of fans coming to the shows and the biggest thing for us was when the
Roses got back together in 2012. The support we’ve had is so great that we can now plan this event
knowing that people are behind it.”

Supporting the Clones will be Manchester tribute bands; Oas-Is, The Smiths Ltd, Happy Mondaze, The James Experience, and True Order.

Also adding to the nostalgia will be guest spots and DJ sets from legends Clint Boon, Bez and Andy from 808 State.

Last few tickets are available online. Those who were there for the Stone Roses’ Spike Island gig all those years ago (plus the additional tens of thousands who claim to have been!) will be immediately transported back to the 90s, with set lists and on-stage fashion in keeping with the
original show.

And for a new generation of fans inspired by the second coming of Ian Brown and the boys nine years ago, this is the one. • John Storton

Limited tickets are available now through

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