After an acrimonious decade or so, '90s indie kings The Stone Roses have put aside their differences and announced a series of comeback gigs. There was a certain amount of speculation last week as to why Shane Meadows was lurking at the press conference, but now we know: Meadows has been commissioned to make a film about the Stone Roses' return. He's going to show us a vision, a wild apparition, that sings to the depths of our souls. Or something.
For our younger readers, The Stone Roses - singer Ian Brown, guitar hero John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni - slouched to the top of the indie charts in the late '80s, with a self-titled debut album and infectiously groovy singles like Elephant Stone, She Bangs the Drums, and the quintessential Fool's Gold. They were at the vanguard of Madchester, although a bitter dispute with their record label Silvertone (which at one point saw the band trashing the Silvertone offices with paint) meant they effectively sat out the whole scene. They eventually resurfaced in 1994 for the Second Coming LP, but half the band quit during the ensuing tour.
Time and potential earnings can heal a lot of rifts though, and the fact that ticket sales for the comeback gigs in the hour they first became available were somewhere in the region of £20m, suggests that the Roses have good reason to be nice to each other for a while. But if Meadows, making his documentary debut, is given all-areas access and final cut, there's every chance that we'll see some interesting behind-the-scenes drama. There's also the angle that the band were always notoriously awful live... We're sure they'll carry on through it all.
The Sheffield and London-based Warp Films are behind the production. Appropriate that, since not only does their resume include music documentaries (The Arctic Monkeys; the All Tomorrow's Parties festival), but they also brought us Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes and This Is England. Away from fractious baggy bands, Meadows is also currently working on further This Is England series' for TV: This Is England '88 and '90 will follow last year's '86.