Its now the Wednesday Morning after one of the most meaningful mystical weekends of my life. I mean, seeing the Stone Roses live, that was something I thought I’d never see happen. It all began last Thursday, when me, Ian & Angie all met up at Edinburgh Waverly for the train south. They’re proper Madchester fans, especially Ang who has a shed load of Stone Roses bootlegs scattered through their house in Haddington. So they make the train with a couple of minutes to spare – & its packed, proper packed. Reason being, both east coast (flooding near Berwick) & west coast (landslide at Oxenholme) lines had been blocked & we were only gonna get to Carlisle. So we arrive & the queues for the busses are massive – theres no way we’re gonna meet my mate at Preston who was gonna drive us to Burnley. Luckily, I used to live in Carlisle, & after a phone call, a Mexican meal & a walk through the sun we were at his pad in Denton Holme, safe & warm for the night. He’s the number 2 chess player in town, but Im pretty sharp myself & took a couple of games off him while Ang & Ian tucked into the booze, all three of us giddy at the prospect of seeing the Roses live.
Next morning we were on a train south, the line having been cleared through the night, & arrived in Wigan at 11AM. After showing my Scottish pals the best pie, peas & gravy in the land, we caught a train to Manchester. Booze & chart was flowing & before you know it we were in Prestwick, where the Roses fans from all over the country were descending on masse for their first gig on British soil for 16 years. Meeting up with my Brother-in-law we all hit Heaton Park & partyed all day, off our heads & buzzing to fuck! By the time Primal Scream hit the stage, 75,000 folk had crammed into the site, & we were lucky enough to get into the front pit. Then the Roses came on, & though 50 years old, they confirmed my long-term dedication to their craft – surely the best band in the world, & they know it. The highlight was surely a live version of Fools Gold…
Plus here’s some dudes story of the day, I was gonna film it myself but never got round to it
After the gig we joined the biblical exodus & walked the 5 miles to Manchester centre, where we caught a 1.30AM megabus to Manchester. It was full of weegie Roses fans, all tripping on the energy & happy to have been there. Come 6AM I was at Glasgow Buchanon bus station, where my poet mate Colin picked me up after his night shift & drove me up to his house. I’d seen him two weeks previously, when he’d hosted a supper for Scotlands worse (yet best) poet, William McGonagall – here’s a sample of that erratic bards work, via Billy Connolly
That day, we’d driven down to Eden festival for a mash-up in the mud via our other poet pal Craig Duffy, who’d swung us free tickets. He’d come up with the goods again this time, & by 2Am, after a bus ride along the Firth of Clyde, past the imposing double volcanic plug of Dumbarton Rock, & a wee walk from Largs, I was at the Kelburn Garden Party. The setting is lovely, a woodland world set beneath the psychedelic painted castle, with samba bands snaking through it all, & the place full of familiar friendly faces. It was also a great weekend of tunes – Edinburgh bands like Banana Sessions, Bombskare, The Holy Ghosts, plus this wicked London band called United Vibrations;
I was there on the proviso I read some poetry out by a waterfall – which I did with some aplomb, & spent the rest of the weekend showing folk the red ‘front pit’ tag from the Roses gig, getting high & loving life.
Happy Fuckin Days!