As their eagerly awaited comeback shows rapidly approach, seminal English indie gods the Stone Roses have given their backing to a new film set against the backdrop of their legendary 1990 Spike Island gig. The film, Spike Island, had its trailer premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last weekend, as part of a slew of projects planned by BBC Films. The film’s writer, Manchester lad Chris Coghill, told the BBC that “Mani, the bass player and Ian Brown said, ‘Whatever we can do to help,” and declares that the film will be his “love letter to the Stone Roses, and being 16 years old in 1990 in Manchester.”
The Manchester band appeared at Spike Island at the peak of their success following their self titled debut record and the short lived Madchester scene of the period; where clubbing, sun drenched jangly psychadelia all came together to make the rainiest city in Europe “Cool as Fuck” as one t-shirt used to put it. Attended by 27, 000, the barely audible gig that has since gained mythic status among fans with some declaring it the “Woodstock of the E Generation.”
The film itself focuses on a group of young teenagers trying to get into the gig without tickets, a story not wholly dissimilar from the writer’s own experiences. “I got let down on a ticket…” Coghill said, “…I just sat on my mum’s sofa all day in a mood, whereas these lads go and try and blag their way in.”
More surprising than the film itself, is that the Roses may have new tracks recorded for it. Coghill, who knows the band, and acted in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, which focused on the Roses cross town rivals The Happy Mondays, claims the band have recorded three or four songs; quite a feat for a band who notoriously took five years to record a belated follow up to their debut.