The Clone Roses – Parr Hall – 7/6/14

 I entered the Parr Hall for the first time after seeing the Buzzcocks on June 7th. The Clone Roses. The highly acclaimed fifteen year going tribute band to – of course – The Stone Roses. Now I don’t normally like this sort of thing. A bunch of middle aged guys dressing up and changing their personalities and musical abilities into that of other people. The façade of it all just seems strange and, well… Sad. However I do understand and agree that some bands, like the Stone Roses for instance don’t tour very often and when they do, ticket prices are high, and the Clone Roses definitely offer a cheaper and decent alternative. But this review is not just about the Clone Roses or about my views on matters anyhow. It is about the night.

So we walked into the venue accompanied by the drunken sways of men and women some of whom almost alike animals in their actions. Dancing and swaying and falling and singing like tribal men. Music was played aloud as beer was spilled and poured as the crowds kept oozing in.

We weren’t too long in conversation before the first act strolled on and told us of how they had lost a lot money and would appreciate a small donation. At first I thought it was just another sob story in some attempt to gain more cash but they proved me wrong as they pounded and screamed the lines and chords of ‘Cum on feel the Noize’ with a sincere anger and desperation in their voices. There were only two guys on stage. One was a guitarist and the other a singer; one from Widnes and the other from Liverpool. At a first glance you would see not much more than a pub band with a load of attitude but as the songs rolled on – Creep, Sit down, Hi-ho silver lining- It became quite apparent that these guys were doing a great job and this was made even more evident just watching the crowd and the sea of dancing and waving hands their drunkenness and love of music combined had created. A fantastic concoction of admiration and happiness. As the first act strummed and sang Sit Down by James happy drunkards all sat down across the floor of the Parr Hall for the entirety of the song. It made me laugh. It made everybody laugh. The atmosphere just kept getting better until the act announced “We’re playing one more song for you all” before shouting a muffled ‘what?.. Oh fuck this’ and walking off stage. I don’t know what they were told but I can only imagine it was something to do with the curfew. Curfews have got to be met I suppose but what was the harm in playing one more song when all they were doing was making a crowd of working class people feel pretty good for a short while? I don’t know.

After the first act came on a young band entitled The K’s. I’m quite glad I caught the K’s. They were fresh and decent sounding. I wouldn’t say they’ve been going for too long yet their music was great. It appealed to me as a seventeen year old man and as I was at the bar a little while later a guy in his thirties told me how good they were as well! I don’t want to ramble on for too long writing about the K’s but I’m pretty confident I can sum them up quite simply with both a collection of words and an anecdote of the night:

1) Attitude, carelessness, loud noise, anger, vexation and youth! And
2) When you think of a bouncer what do you think? You think, aggressive, animalistic, militant, moody, angry, powerful… What doesn’t spring to mind immediately is, dances to Psycho Killer and sings to the audience. Some things in this life I just don’t understand but one thing I know for certain is that that bouncer was an utter character. If the K’s happen to read this my only advice would be to keep going… To keep going and to hire the Parr Halls bouncer as their singer. Then we’ll conquer the music industry.

I looked around myself and at the room that was now full the brim and to the rafters with an audience of teenagers and the middle aged all of whom gagging to hear the lines ‘I am the resurrection and I am the life’ and waiting in a continuous and growing anticipation for it.

Inspiral Carpets’ keyboard player, the now baptised (DJ) Clint Boon came on next and cast our minds back to the days of The Haçienda and got everybody singing. Well… Not exactly singing but more of a muffled and intoxicated reminiscent squeal! But everybody was enjoying themselves – or seemingly so. Someone launched a drink at Clint but it just narrowly missed him and drenched the surrounding area. I didn’t understand why, but I suppose if you’ve been on the lash all day some things just seem funny. I walked to the bar as Kinky Afro was played aloud and I strolled through the waves of swaying drunks. I really underestimated the size of the queue. It was huge. And in the time it had took me to order two ciders I had missed most of Clint Boons set. I was a little disappointed but the real entertainment for the night was supposed to come from the Clone Roses so as they marched on with the fuckless-ness and Mancunian attitudes of The Stone Roses I, one, thought ‘Oh holy mother of God these are embarrassing’ but I also pondered on the thought that, ‘well they are meeting the needs of all of these people! And that’s got to be good right’. They came on with I wanna be adored as a doppelganger of Ian Brown shook his maracas and paraded up and down the stage. Up and down and down and up; all over the place; bouncing around singing his songs. The crowd really did seem to adore it though – excuse the pun. They were adored. At some points such as in the midst of Made of Stone and I am the Resurrection and Waterfall the actual noise and music of the band became an inaudible mere blur to accompany the true music which was the voices of the audience, overpowering the amplifiers and speakers with a sheer passion and love for music. And I bow down to that.

The Clone Roses continued with their atmosphere of utter rebellion. It was rather stupid but it was a clear depiction and portrayal of the Stone Roses so to be quite honest I don’t actually know what to say! It was embarrassing but it was a true replica, so I cannot fault the Clone Roses at all! Every chord and note they played was precision – It was as if Squire and Brown were up there in front of me, they were mental clones. The music was perfect and they really did the full act!

We stayed until the last song which to me summed up a lot as I noticed one particular member of the audience and recognised him very well. He was an old PE teacher of mine yet tonight he looked very different. He was always a nice guy really but boy did I see a different side to him. With one beer in each hand he jumped and jumped and fist pumped to every single rhythm and beat of I am the Resurrection like a crazed animal finally released from its cage! It was madness! But a beautiful madness! As was the night! I looked upon the crowd one final time as I walked out and could only imagine how cloudy some heads would be in the morning. And then we walked out into the night. Out past the fights under street lights and into Harry’s chippy where we devoured greasy chips.

Joe Loftus

(The thoughts of any reviewer is the sole opinion of themselves and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of [WAM])

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