Last night was a one-time showing of The Stone Roses documentary “Made of Stone” by Shane Meadows here in Cleveland. Of course, this movie was playing to sold out audiences elsewhere, but not in Cleveland baby! I think there were 20 of us. Granted, most suckers were at the Johnny Marr show on the other side of town, but they could have done both. My husband was like a Twilight fan girl giddy with excitement, and even won a compilation CD. A great way to spend a Wednesday night!
I had seen the documentary “Blood on the Turntable” and although it lacked interviews with some of the band, it was a fun and crazy look into the management the band had dealt with. Music industry typical BS –you know how it goes. Honestly, I thought “Made of Stone” would have delved into more interviews; the forming of the band, and why other members had left and so on. Although there is some great footage dating back to their scooter days and shows at the Hacienda, the information on the band was lacking. I understand it was a film partly about the comeback, but it was treated in a way where you had to know who the band was already in order to get the fullness of why all these people are running in the streets when they hear via social media that a free gig is happening and they have to show up to the box office with a piece of Roses memorabilia to get a wristband.
Shane Meadows is a fan first more than a director. It shows when he reacts to seeing the set lists written in the rehearsal space, and by the fact he stays back and doesn’t want to rock the boat after Reni walks off stage in Amsterdam; an explanation is never really given as to what went on, only headlines that he had quit. John Squire and his drug problems are never brought up, it’s all very skimmed over aside from the legal troubles with Silvertone Records. The interviews with fans is more revealing I suppose, so maybe other than a few voice overs here and there an in-depth interview with the band wasn’t needed. The look on a fan’s face when Ian Brown grabs his cell phone, takes a selfie, then hands it back is pretty great.
This is a live concert documentary more than anything, which is great if you see it in the theater with the sound. Lord knows they aren’t the best live band as a rule so this was actually a great way to see them! The songs shown in rehearsals are pretty great, as well as the concert footage of “Fools Gold” and others. In the end, I still can’t understand a word Mani says, John Squire is simply adorable, Ian Brown seems genuinely amazed and happy, and Reni is still able to rock his Kangol hat at times. I’d say “Made of Stone” is perfect for the super fans and perhaps those Americans who want to understand how deep the love of this band goes if they didn’t know who they were. If you want a funny, ridiculous, look back at the history of the band and the amazingly crazy manager they had, get “Blood on the Turntable” as a follow-up.
I am not kidding you that during the live footage, both men I was sitting with in the audience teared up. This band was their scene, as they missed Joy Division and New Order slightly, and were already a bit older by the time Britpop had hit big. The waitress at the bar across the street asked us, “so who are the Stone Flowers?” which was strange since I can’t imagine she was much younger than I was (then again I was debating between a Stone Roses or a Depeche Mode poster for my room when I was 12!). So, we told her. How they invented Britpop pretty much and for many people, they were their Beatles. “Oh, I’ll have to look them up” she said.