All posts by GeorgeBidwell

I will always use trigger-warnings. Teenage clichéd Morrissey fan looking for a place to express myself fully. Expect reviews of all forms of art, consistent mental health references, anti-establishment sentiments and poetic retellings of important events through my own personal prism. Intersectional feminist. Communist.

Review: Morrissey – Spent the Day in Bed

Last Tuesday Morrissey, somewhat spontaneously, if you ignore the non-descriptive tweet the day before, released his first single in three years. The single received it’s first play, unfortunately, on Chris Evan’s (ugh) BBC Radio 2 morning show at around ten past eight. The track was titled ‘Spent The Day In Bed’ and is the first of, hopefully, a selection of singles preceding the release of his forthcoming album ‘Low In High School’ on November 17th.

I know this review is coming over a week after the track’s first play but this is a conscious decision from me both because college and travel means I have little time to write and because my obsession with each modern Morrissey work only really happens after I am truly familiar with it, in fact it took me four listens to unabashedly adore ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ and hold it as one of the master’s finest works which, of course, I now do. That isn’t to say I wasn’t fully committed to listening to ‘Spent The Day In Bed’, by the end of the day I had listened to the track on repeat around 20-25 times and knew every lyric by heart. Sad, I know but train journeys are long and Morrissey’s voice is much more beautiful than the indistinctive chatter and clang of the national rail. Equally as beautiful, it turns out, is this song which remains an utter treat from start to finish.

Opening with a chimy keyboard riff that continues throughout, it’s clear very suddenly that this is a deeply produced and somewhat upbeat track instrumentally, even if the lyrics aren’t directly optimistic themselves. Bouncing, rhythmic beats proceed from off-kilter opening and soon Morrissey’s vocals fall over the top, rising and dropping in time with the instrumentals provided.

(Above) The cover of Morrissey’s upcoming album
As expected, and always seems to be the case with Mozza’s output, the poetic lyrics are the star of the show here. When elaborated on, the title and refrain of this track take on a much more tender and gentle meaning, ultimately transforming a song many assumed to be dour into an almost uncharacteristically chirpy anthem of self-care. Framed within the fantastic chorus decrying partisan paranoia pushing is a myriad of politically charged soundbites promising warmth and kindness from Britain’s favourite curmudgeon.

“No bus, no boss, no rain, no train// No emasculation, no castration”

This wonderful refrain is what ultimately concludes Morrissey’s enigmatic endeavour into self-love but, most importantly, is a conclusion to the subtle yet tightly strung political comment running through the entire track. Not one to hide his stances on political and moral issues, Morrissey’s new album promises to be as political as any other albums he has worked on including ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and ‘World Peace is None of Your Business.’ Boasting a front cover emblazoned with the image of a child brandishing a pick-axe and a picket sign declaring that we ‘Axe The Monarchy’ and featuring tracks such as “Israel” and “Who Will Protect Us From The Police”, it’s safe to assume this won’t be the most radical track on the album however this lack of outwardly topical comments is in and of itself a political comment. As mentioned above, Morrissey’s insistence on avoiding the news and seeming disappointment that all of his dreams “are perfectly legal” follow a smug opening phrase that he may relax in bed whilst “the workers stay enslaved”, however I would argue that, rather than truly smug, in the context of this track and the freedom from societal chains that is preached in the later verses, this is much more an image of disgust with the modern, oppressive systems. In regards to the somewhat vague comments on the legality of dreams, the image conjures up comments from previous works of Morrissey discussing the criminalisation of homosexuality, and so in my own, somewhat warped, interpretation I can’t help but feel that this day spent in bed is also somewhat of a reflective day pondering Queer British heritage. And of course, when discussing modern politics, we can not, although we may try, avoid the subject of Trump. Morrissey himself has made no subject of his disdain with the Republican president, bringing his band out in ‘Fuck Trump’ shirts and manipulating some Smiths classics into anti-Trump protest songs whilst the media have also done very little to avoid his presence, splattering his orange face across every website and news bulletin for the last 12 months. And so, ‘Stop Watching The News’ can only feel like a direct attack against the centrist apocalyptic coverage being spewed since the beginning of the American presidential election, and Morrissey is aware we’ll make this connection and that is exactly why he sings it the way he does and at the time he does.

Ultimately, this is another Morrissey track. Another peer into the mind of a troubled genius reflecting on the world around him and articulating what we’ve all wanted to for so long. This is also a rather delicate turn from Morrissey both in gentler lyrics, highlighting his worries about the wellbeing of his friends, and instrumentally in which a playful organ backs a catchy selection of repetitive and soothing riffs. We waited three years for this and, of course, it was worth it.


What the World Was Waiting For: The flaws and merits of The Roses return

18th October 2011. ‘This is a live resurrection that we’ve invited you to, so you better be careful.’ This flippant comment from Ian Brown on the date of the official reunion of The Stone Roses would go on to capture the spirit, mentality and excitement of the nation’s most prominent musical dream.

Since 1989, the world has been a very different place for the British and lovers of their music. The drab, dull nature of our tiny Island was manipulated by the luscious loops of John Squire, the lyrical lexicon of Ian Brown, the loose licks of Gary Mounfield and the labyrinthine lynchpin that was Alan Wren in such a way that our culture has never quite recovered. And so you can only begin to imagine the elation that filled the air upon hearing this band were back for more and had promised new music! So why is it that six years later so many fans of the band seem disappointed with what this reunion has provided us with? I’m going to try and discuss in this article the many merits and odd flaw that have arose from the return of the greatest band of this century.

Following the press conference given to officially announce this return the band embarked on a world tour hitting their key locations of Ireland, Japan and of course, Manchester where the band’s two huge dates at Heaton Park sold 150,000 tickets in 11 minutes prompting a third date to be added. However before any of this happened, The Stone Roses announced a surprise gig at Warrington Parr Hall exclusive only to fans who brought band merchandise. This deeply intimate gig in front of 1,000 joyous and dedicated fans is some of the most exciting live stuff of the reunion and was documented expertly by Shane Meadows in ‘Made of Stone’ which for my money is reason enough for the band’s second coming. Meadows’ work in regards to all of that film is perfect but it is most visibly tender when he and his camera crew stand outside the Warrington venue and interview many of these very fans whose stories and emotions fill every inch of whatever size screen you can see this film on.

And from there the band went from strength to strength, Heaton Park was a success comparable only to Spike Island, Coachella saw the band on top form even if the crowd were bemused and even the music press were enamoured with the greatest hit sets the band had been touring with. Following this a selection of dates at The Etihad Stadium were announced, one of which was my first time seeing The Roses, and once again these tickets sold out incredibly quickly however what truly shook up the world happened one month and three days before the first concert took place. The Stone Roses finally blessed us all with new music.

‘All For One’ was the first of the new material released and was first played on Radio 1 just before 8 PM 12 May 2016, almost five years since the band reformed. I, as so many others were, was listening intently to the radio, ear pressed to the speaker waiting for what was thought to never happen. To avoid any excess noise, I laid on my bathroom floor next to my radio with my phone recording so that I would be able to listen to the track multiple times even if there had been a delay before the track was put online. The track erupted into the band’s back catalogue as it would later erupt from the speakers of stadiums across the country. The track has been criticised for its simplicity and lack of weight and yet I feel that as an anthemic ode to unity, it is bright, bubbly and brash. It is certainly a weak track when placed against the other masterworks the band have produced in their time but nevertheless it is still a Roses track through and through and it certainly satiated, momentarily, the fans need for new music.

Next was ‘Beautiful Thing’, a track released nearly a month later at Midnight on the ninth of June. I, once again, went to great lengths to hear the song properly staying up all night and listening to the track enough times to know all of the lyrics before I went to bed that night. It seems I wasn’t alone as this 7 minute epic went on to receive much greater critical acclaim and fan acceptance than ‘All For One.’ Fans and critics alike praised the more psychedelic nature of the track, the more sprawling lyrical content and the general complexity the band put forward.

Overall, the tweets following the release of each track and posts on the band’s fan site suggest that I wasn’t alone in my obsession with hearing each track and that most fans seemed to at least mildly enjoy both tracks, however many old-school fans voiced disappointment with the material and even addressed fears that the band may swap some classics for these new tracks on their live setlist. In truth only ‘All For One’ would land onto the setlist making it’s live debut on June 7 2016 at another surprise, smaller gig this time in Halifax. ‘Beautiful Thing’ would remain unperformed aside from Ian singing it’s chorus along with 52,000 other fans at The Roses final gig at Hampden Park.

There is one event I have deliberately avoided mentioning when writing this piece and that is the infamous ‘Reni leaves stage incident.’ On June 12 2012 the group played their third ever gig as a reformed band, a Music Hall in Amsterdam. During the concert Reni’s earpiece had been giving him trouble and interference lead to him struggling to play and so when the band left stage for an encore Reni ditched the performance leaving the band drummer-less and unable to go on. Ian relayed this information to the crowd in a deliberately antagonistic way and even went as far as calling Reni a “cunt”. This incident inflamed age old rumours regarding Ian and Reni’s dislike for one another, rumours that would later return as the band’s split seemed imminent. Whilst hardly the death of the reunion that the music press had described it as, it becomes painfully obvious that this highlighted what would become a growing divide between two of the band’s most divisive members.

Arguably the most important element, and the element that has truly cemented this reunion as the most important musical event of the last decade is the healing of the rift between generations of baggy-clad ravers. The Roses first defined a generation in the nineties when the loose hippies celebrating acid and the ‘second summer of love’ flocked to Spike Island and created a sea of bucket hats, an aroma of pot and an event that lives on in mythology. Amongst these were The Gallagher Brothers whose floppy hair and flared jeans kept the spirit of early 90’s subculture rolling and when the World’s cameras were pointed at Oasis during the height of their powers, the pair waxed poetic about Ian Brown and Co, specifically ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and in doing so turned a whole load of Britpop teenagers onto The Stone Roses. This sequence of inspiration, acknowledgment and revival would keep going in the years between their breakup and would create a stream of fans who grew younger and younger. And yet something special happened with this reunion. Every gig was a spectacle, every kid into indie music put a lemon in their social media usernames, bucket hats were back and parents, children, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters all became one and The Stone Roses fan-base grew ever more diverse. Suddenly it was cool to raid your parents wardrobe and go to gigs with them wearing matching bucket hats, it was cool to share CDs and I honestly believe The Roses are a great point of connection between me and my parents as well families up and down the country. The Stone Roses preached and practiced what no other band ever could. One love.

And then it was over. Following two shows at Leeds First Direct Arena, rumours began to fly about The Roses split following a supposed leak sharing news that Hampden Park was to be the band’s last ever gig. Soon after, fans began to post pictures from signings telling us that the band themselves had confirmed this was it for The Roses and before long it seemed set in stone. After an amazing gig at Hampden Park Ian dropped the final comment that solidified to so many the conclusion of the band: “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy it happened”. This was it, arena tours, new tracks and generational crossovers finished with a single line. However the lack of official announcement following this obvious finale begs the question, is this just another hiatus? Could there be a third coming?

And would we even want it? It has become a point of contention for fans of the band, across fan pages and forums as to whether it all lived up to the hype. Whether the band that we never thought could have reformed ever should have done. And in conclusion I think so. This reunion has offered me and the rest of my generation the chance we never had, the opportunity to see The Stone Roses live, to be a part of the cultural phenomenon that you can’t put into words, to feel the spirituality of The Roses. The band were always on top form performing setlists of golden material and releasing two songs, both of which are excellent for seemingly juxtaposed reasons, one a rollicking call for peace, the other a slower jam questioning the psychedelia of relationships and society. I have seen it argued that this was a nostalgia trip, a chance for fans to hear their favourite tracks and nothing more but I then ask: in this age of political turmoil and oppression, what could be more uplifting than the chance for so many of us to share in our celebration of something we love? And this return has given us that, it has provided us with unity in a time where that seems so far away and has brought us all together in a way nobody but The Stone Roses can and whether they continue or not their music is forever immortal.

Review: Arcade Fire – Everything Now

Arcade Fire, master of the modern concept album, have returned with their first record in four years and in typically untypical fashion, the album’s lead singles and promotion promised a new direction sonically for the band. Marketed using the bizarre methods of fabricating fake reviews, band news and even whole companies, all of which were basic and disappointing satire from such a bold and seemingly intelligent band, the album has been the subject of much discussion. This discussion was furthered fuelled by the lead singles which, in coincidental unison with The Killers, highlighted a new groove and disco based sound for the band commonly associated with existential indie guitar rock. 
The album begins in strong but unusual fashion with a continuation of ‘Everything Now’ a record that follows its own continuation. The titular track however is an optimistic, bounce-infused look to space complete with the band’s trademark nostalgia. 
The darker following track, ‘Signs of Life’ promises an atmospheric yet still funk-heavy tone elaborated upon in tracks such as ‘Electric Blue’ and ‘Good God Damn.’ These tracks whilst certainly well-realised are disappointing and add nothing of great value to the album, each of them serving only to slow down the album and they all isolate themselves from the catchier nature of the overall album which isn’t necessarily an issue however the boredom that these tracks inspire mean that, aside from ‘Signs of Life’ these songs would be better used as b-sides or on a darker album the band may go on to produce. 
These two tracks are also responsible for the album’s biggest flaw: that from track 7, ‘Infinite Content’ to track 10, ‘Put Your Money on Me’, the album is incessantly uninspired and dull. The album’s satire, which is more minimal than other critics may suggest, is present deeply on these tracks whose lyrics of technology and voids filled by visual information reeks of Baby-Boomer’s ‘criticisms’ of modern technology in that they seem baseless and in fact say very little about the many problems that our advance in modern technology has caused. Also within this drought of entertainment is ‘infinite_content’ which is an acoustic version of the album’s most painfully cringeworthy track ‘Infinite Content’ whose lyrics say little of the target of its critique. Despite the fact that the Abba comparisons are boring and somewhat exaggerated the groove-based ‘Put Your Money on Me’ is the catchy and enjoyable homage to the Swedish four piece that finally lifts us from the album’s driest patch.
However, of course, the influences are obvious and yet they pale in comparison to the returning motifs of the band themselves. Lyrics of suburban boredom and desperate pleas for escapism are old-hat to the Butlers at this point and yet the lyrics here are as beautiful and reflective as ever blending the surreal and the crushingly benign in a way that captures great longing. Other lyrics this time around however often concern self-esteem or a lack thereof, this is most obvious and notable in the fourth, and best, track of the album ‘Creature Comforts’ in which the wonderful line ‘stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback’ is sung many times or is seen I n the quiet, conclusive ballad of the album ‘We Don’t Deserve Love’ in which the band beg the listener to tell your boyfriend you love his song’. Both of these tracks are beautiful, powerhouse hits of inner turmoil and pain rendered through the disco style of the entire album. However, in a surprising turn, many of the band’s other lyrics here are cloying and obvious such as the sickly pining of ‘Peter Pan’ or the boredom inspiring mess that is ‘Electric Blue’. These lyrics are scattered sparingly across the record and so fail to drag down the overall impressive prose here but the lyrics are still unappealing and a symptom of the album’s overall issues. 
As mentioned above, the record winds down with the slow, emotive ‘We Don’t Deserve Love’ which is a long, winding six and a half minute confession of confusion and self-destructing emotions and relationships. This is the album’s most complex track complete with cryptic lyrics and a beat that lacks the pop-sensibilities of the band’s earlier work on this album. Following this is the closing track of the album which is another continuation of ‘Everything Now’ and the shorter track completes the melancholic tone set by the prior track and ends the record in a way that is both emotionally sound and links the beginning and end of the album creating an illusion that the album lives in a continuous loop. 
Overall the band’s foray into disco works sporadically and enhances the album only on the opening, anthemic such as ‘Chemistry’ and the titular track itself. The tracks composition and lyrical accompaniment are also the weakest Arcade Fire have ever been, beginning with a slew of enjoyable yet forgettable hits before slowly fading into a chain of mediocrity and then concluding by coming down into beautiful yet underdeveloped hit of ‘We Don’t Deserve Love’. Despite flourishes of brilliance, mainly ‘Creature Comforts’ this is a weak, unbalanced album chained to a sound that inhibits Arcade Fire and clearly lead to the birth of some of the most uninteresting and basic tracks in their career. 

Darklands Retrospective and Review: The perfect angst album? 

The 80’s were the age of angst and the rightful birth place of teenage culture admitting that it’s horrible to be a teenager. Despite some rather obvious outliers, Rebel Without a Cause, The Ramones and others, teenage culture before the 80’s mostly consisted of Americana-esque ideas regarding freedom, love and optimism and yet with bands like The Smiths storming the charts and films like The Breakfast Club filling multiplexes it seemed that a new decade had ushered in a new era of teenage honesty. Bands like The Smiths and The Housemartins also pioneered what would go on to become indie music categorised by these lyrics of teenage trouble and yet in the cultural conversation of inspiration, originality and lyrical connection, I feel that one band, and one album in particular, are often left behind, that is The Jesus and Mary Chain and their seminal album ‘Darklands’.
Released at the conclusion of summer thirty years ago, ‘Darklands’ reached number 5 in the U.K album chart and signalled a new popularity to the band previously branded ‘The New Sex Pistols.’ This comparison applied to the band for their risqué lyrics and raucous live shows felt shallow as the music press, finally, began to catch onto the lustful angst in the band’s lyrics and instrumentation. The band’s melding of lyrical poetry, gothic imagery and vulnerable anger reached a heightened crescendo in this album of balladic sadness and the pain of being a teenager reflected through existential horrors. 

The record opens with the titular track, in which Will Reid professes he has ‘gone to the Darkland’ itself to talk and rhyme with his ‘chaotic soul’, these opening lyrics seem to suggest that this entire record is a place for the Reid brothers to vent, discuss and reflect on their innermost selves. These lyrics are backed by a heavy, flowing riff that instantly creates the distinctive sound that goes on to populate the rest record, a riff that continues steadily and peaks at a chorus of deep longing in which Reid sings that he ‘wants to go’ in one of the album’s more vocally conventional moments. Following this ‘Deep One Perfect Morning’ seems to describe the morning after a decadent night in which one’s ‘thoughts turn backwards’ and ‘screws turn into my mind’. This source material also allows the band to create the first major mood change as the record jumps from the depression and need for escapism to the youthful dawn following one such night of escape. It’s a feeling shared by teenagers across the country every weekend and this softer tone is elaborated upon when Jim Reid describes the ‘moon and all the stars’ in a line that no matter how wonderful could still be ripped from the diary of any besotted teenager. 

This major-key shift continues into the band’s first directly romantic track ‘Happy When It Rains’. The lyrics of two lovers connecting over shared misery is a moment of pre-emo romantic melancholy most evident in the track’s title itself. ‘Down on Me’ immediately translates this inner turmoil into the rough bounce of a track preoccupied with ideas that would go on to be clichés in teen literature such as Jim Reid admitting that he can ‘fake a smile’. While these lyrics may now seem over-used and under-developed, in the context in which they are used and the tight instrumentation behind them means that you understand why these tropes have become so commonplace. 

The deeply downbeat ‘Nine Million Rainy Days’ serves as the midpoint for the album and whereas ‘Happy When It Rains’ described the building of a relationship signified by rain, this track with its spacious instrumentation and lyrics of rain as a symbol of heartbreak seems to suggest a breakdown of that very same relationship. ‘April Skies’ is next and boasts the album’s catchiest drum beat which is impressive as a drum machine was used in place of Gillespie following his split from the band, ‘April Skies’ is also another song that perfectly captures the mid-point of passion and sadness in a series of sensational riffs and prose describing another toxic relationship. 

‘Fall’ is the most overtly sexual track on this album using deliberately provocative imagery such as people on their knees and people falling onto one another to balance the equally dark lyrics of someone falling into a depressive episode all whilst a tight, frantic bass-line overplays the shortest and most energetic track here. This sexuality is both furthered and dismissed in ‘Cherry Came Too’: a Beach-Boy’s-esque tribute to a girl who stirs something in Jim Reid, whether this is sensual or not is never described however the bouncing verses that collide into a joyous chorus suggest a far more innocent reading. 

‘On The Wall’ follows and draws the album back into thoughtful contemplation as a head-banging drum beat and smooth bass-line frame lyrics of growing up and looking back. The track also holds a haunting quality as references of time, hour glasses and ‘grains of sand’ suggest an inevitability to the passing of time. The album concludes gently with the melodic and acoustic ‘About You’ which also holds the final reference to rain describing lovers who live ‘in the pouring rain’ and there being ‘something warm about the rain’. The positive conclusion of this common thread ends the album with a delicate optimism, yet one still enriched with The Jesus and Mary Chain’s singular lyrical and musical approach. 

As an album complete, ‘Darklands’ is a balanced, heavy record of highs and lows, connections and breakups, angst and joy. The teenage experience may never be referenced directly and yet it wasn’t in the works of The Smiths either, what makes this such an applicable record to the early years of adulthood is it’s references to common themes of love, pain and awkward loneliness. This may be an under-appreciated and under-recognised piece of youthful anxiety and yet that may be down to the spiky and rough personal moments blended into the broad ideas here. This is the coming of age album that could only be made by The Jesus and Mary Chain. 

Live Review: The Stone Roses (Wembley Stadium, 17/06/17)

There’s something special about gigs. You know it, I know it and chances are if you’re reading this, you’re fascinated by that something special, that change in atmosphere that can lead to tens of thousands of people blending into a single beast of flailing limbs, excitement and physical contact in a way incomparable to even the most important football fixture. It’s also a moment in which any number of ordinary people pile into a single venue to look up at people who at any other moment are ordinary themselves but with the presence of instruments become God-like figures in the eyes of the eager audience.

There’s something special about The Stone Roses. You know it, I know it and chances are if you’re reading this, you’re fascinated by that something special, in which Northern lads become psychedelic pioneers pulling genuine musical poetry and fascinating prose from the doldrum images of a working class existence. They’re also the band in which each member becomes his own figure, commanding the crowd with riffs, a general sense of brilliance, perfect beats or bass-lines that defined a generation, or two.

Of course then, Stone Roses gigs are that monumental kind of special, fluctuating between smooth, romantic feelings of unity and the stomach dropping excitement of being in the same room as those idols who have shaped your life in some, spiritual way. Imagine then this is coming off of the reunion that nobody ever believed could happen, the release of two successful singles and the gig is at Wembley, in front of 90,000 people, the band’s first London performance in four years. That is the level of magnitude that lead to me and so many other fans descending from the nearest tube and turning the Wembley Walk into a sea of bucket hats and cans of lager. 

The support bill for this event was incredibly strong, Sleaford Mods spat at a crowd of bemused onlookers either appalled or enthralled, The G.O.D left little to no impression and Blossoms were typically crowdpleasing with a selection of perfectly pleasant melodic ballads. In between these sets was a DJ who looked incredibly like Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and played a selection of anthems from Friday Night, Saturday Morning by The Specials to Weekender by Flowered Up. This political doppelgänger was nothing more than coincidence and yet felt somewhat symbolic as positivity and optimism flowed through the Wembley atmosphere and, for the first time in years, the political landscape also. These choices ultimately, and predictably, concluded with Stoned Love that lead to a sinking in my heart and presumably that of those around me also as we all knew that within moments The Stone Roses would grace us with their collective presence. 

The band entered the stage in typically impressive fashion with amazing outfit choices and football chants from every area of the overwhelming arena. Within moments, Mani’s iconic bass line swam through the air and things changed for good. The slow, rhythmic rise of this track is as goosebump inducing as any other in history and it’s effect on a crowd is immeasurable and unparalleled, in these few moments, anything seems possible, the world reaches harmony and every member seems to shift in nature: Brown’s persona grows ten feet, Squire’s hair flows in a non-existent wind, Mani’s smile lights up the screens projecting across the venue and Reni’s loops fill the ears of adoring fans. It sounds hyperbolic but any fans know, this moment is a revelation no matter how many times you are a witness of it. 

And from there, the set list goes from strength to strength as The Roses’ every track is backed by the sound of eager audience accompaniment across every beat and note. From the otherworldly jangle of Elephant Stone, the beloved wails of Sally Cinnamon, the band cruise their way through a selection of greatest hits, slowing down for the balladic cascades of the psychedelic beauty that is Where Angels Play, making room for the surreal Beggin You and of course concluding with a sure fire double hit of This is the One and I Am the Ressurection, both of which move a crowd in ways that no other band seem to have quite mastered. 

With this near flawless setlist, the band seeming truly comfortable and the fans all pleased, The Stone Roses at Wembley Stadium was another perfect arena date from the band that continue to surprise us. However, on a deeply personal level, this concert holds within it possibly my fondest memory, the memory of mine and Ian Brown’s interaction. Any fans of The Roses will know, I am sure, that at many points in most Stone Roses gigs, Brown throws tambourines out to members of the crowd. Towards the latter half of this particular set, having previously made eye contact with him, Brown strolls over to our side of the impressive stage and looks around for someone who deserves the privilege of his own tambourine and by the time he has reached us I am already halfway thrust over the barrier that separates me and the band, pleading for the tambourine and after some teasing, Ian does oblige and throws it to me, however it is snatched by a man just to my right: a devastating moment and yet one instantly redeemed by Brown’s promise that he will get me one regardless. And two songs later he did. As if something out of my most fantastical dreams Brown, in front of 90,000 other fans, passes me, through security, the blessed tambourine and the treasure I now most value. It is needless to say that following this, my night turns into a single stream of euphoria passing through my every fibre intensifying particularly during This is the One in which the genius of the track and my own searing glee begin to truly amalgamate. 

Following this, rumours of The Roses imminent split turn to truth as Brown confirmed to the Hampden park audience that we should all “be happy it happened.” And how I was, my favourite band of all time had reunited, released two brand new and utterly terrific singles and on my second time seeing them had provided me with a memory I shall never forget, nor will I ever want to. 

One love.