OCTOBER 11th, 2011. A date Stone Roses’ fans will never forget. The date Ian Brown and co announced their very own resurrection.
Heaton Park was, for many, the unforgettable culmination of more than two decades of waiting, wondering and wanting. For legendary tribute artists The Close Roses, it was also the beginning of a new era.
Ahead of the Clones’ Burnley Mechanics gig on Friday, April 26th , singer Gavin Scott spoke to the Express about the impact the Roses’ comeback had had on them, seeing their heroes live for the first time and how he still gets knocked for singing in tune.
“The Roses getting back together has been good for the band. We’d been pretty much doing the exact same thing for 14 years, doing the Roses as they were in ‘89. This has meant we’ve been able to change the set list around, alter the sound and what we wear. It’s helped freshen things up.
“We suffered a bit around the time of the Heaton Park shows because obviously a lot of people had tickets for the real thing. Since then though it’s been great. I know they obviously have the shows in London and Glasgow but not everyone can afford a ticket or has been able to get hold of one.”
The comeback has brought with it a whole new generation of fans as well, according to Gavin.
“We played King George’s Hall in November and it was full of kids. We’ve always played to largely older crowds, mainly men but there are a lot more teenagers coming to gigs now and there are more girls.
“The Roses’ songs are timeless and it’s nice to see a younger generation experiencing these songs now.”
The ultimate busman’s holiday in a lot of ways, Heaton Park was one gig Gavin and the band were never going to miss though.
“None of us got to see them when they were about the first time around because we too young so we were at Heaton Park on the Saturday.
“There aren’t many bigger fans out there than us so it was a great experience.
“It would be good if there was some new material coming out. There’s been a bit of delay because maybe they are waiting to try and get it spot on. It would be great to learn some new songs, although it would mean rehearsing, which is something we don’t really do any more.”
Rehearsing though may not be in Gavin’s best interest, having been told by fans in the past to produce a more authentic Ian Brown vocal performance and sing out of tune.
“I’ve had a lot of messages saying we’re better than the Roses because I sing in tune but then I’ve had some people telling me that I wasn’t authentic enough because I was in tune. Can’t really win that one unfortunately
“Anyone who criticises Ian Brown’s vocals though don’t know what they are on about. This isn’t X-Factor, it’s real music.”
The Clone Roses will be playing in front of 25,000 screaming rugby fans when they provide the pre-match entertainment for Wigan Warriors home game against St Helens. This is one of the reasons why Gavin doesn’t see why they won’t continue what they are doing for quite some time to come.
“We were all playing in original bands when we started doing this. We’d play with our bands though, and it would usually be just in front of the other bands who were performing, and then the next night we’d play as the Clones and the place would be packed out.
“We just thought ‘well this is more fun, let’s keep on doing this’. And it’s something we still enjoy now.
“We do take it seriously but not too seriously if you know what I mean. We want people to have fun. We want people to come along, close they’re eyes, pretend they’re seeing the real thing, have a good night and then get a kebab. You can’t really go wrong with that.”
Tickets for the Mechanics gig are £10 in advance, £12 on the day (does not include kebab) and can be bought by ringing the box office on 01282 664400 or visiting www.burnleymechanics.co.uk.