It takes confidence to keep Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, Jimmy Page, John "The Master" Simm and half of the transplanted population of Manchester waiting late into a Monday night. But The Stone Roses have never been short in that department.
Last night's (6 August) surprise show at Shoreditch's compact Village Underground club was billed as a thank you to fans who bought tickets to Heaton Park, and throughout the day the unscrupulous trafficked their wristbands for up to £250 online. Inside, veterans of the Roses' entourage (sample eavesdropping: "I haven't seen you since 1989!") squeezed past Bernard Butler, Paul Weller, Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys, moustachioed DJ to the gentry Andrew Weatherall, Boy George, Bobby Gillespie and sundry guest-listed Olympians in an atmosphere of buzzing anticipation.
In the rear a gracious Wiggo, in dapper suit rather than Team GB trackie, posed for pictures with anyone who asked - strange how mundane rock fame seems in the presence of a genuine superhuman. The Roses took the stage an hour behind schedule, a fact which Ian Brown acknowledged with humour. "Sorry we're late," he said, waving that vertical tambourine/hair straightener thing of his. "We split up in there but we're back together now."
The celebratory set that followed suggested that the reunited Roses' nerves, if they'd ever had any, have been thoroughly dismissed by a successful summer. They playfully extended almost every song - pretty much everything got an I Wanna Be Adored-style coda. Reni left no beat unembellished with a tricksy little improvisation and John Squire's protean guitar wandered into worlds of its own.
And there were nods to the guests too. "We've got the King of England here: Bradley Wiggins," Brown announced. "And the Queen of England too: Jessica Ennis." Humility from the Stone Roses? Now we really have seen it all.
Andrew Harrison @Nndroid
9:22 AM | 07/08/2012
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