Thursday, July 22, 2021

Send in the Clones




  1. The rather limp movie Spike Island released a few years back - four interchangeable scallies and Emilia Clarke go to watch The Roses at Spike Island is the basic plot line - presented the now legendary show as though it were a national talking point, at the time, which it certainly wasn't. I grew up 15 miles away from Spike Island and don't even remember the gig being mentioned on the local news. I didn't even know it had happened until the music press reviews, a week later.

    The mis-rememberings of that movie suggest that the script was conflating Spike Island with the Oasis Knebworth shows of a few years later, which most certainly were a national talking point and were reported on in all the papers. Back in 1990, however, the national press/tabloids only took an interest in rock & pop if it was a story involving Rod or Elton, and the only gigs they reported on were British shows by visiting megastars - Madonna/Jacko. It was actually the Gallaghers with their fast rise, constant falling outs, hedonism and famous wives who changed all that.

    The poster above suggests a similar self-indulgent, wilful amnesia is a motivation for this ahem...event. The Clone Roses heading a bill of lookalikes for other Manc bands, several of whom were not even their contemporaries to mark the anniversary of a gig that many eye-witnesses claim was an anti-climax that has been talked up into legend.

    Two poignant details - VIP & Toilet Upgrades, because nothing evokes that rave-era togetherness like a VIP section.

    Bez playing a DJ set, effectively a support act for a tribute band of the actual band he was once a member of.

  2. I noticed that thing about the VIP toilets! Creepy!

    The Bez being there to deejay is eerie - what happens when real (but decrepit) Bez meets fake (but young) Bez? Does fake-Bez have to take as many E's as real Bez did?

    Didn't even know there had been a movie about Spike Island!

    Spike Island was a big thing in the music papers, but yes I am sure you are right about it making no larger waves. And then the event itself was a damp squib, with the Roses flailing to articulate the moment.

    i don't think the mainstream media paid attention to 90s rock until as you say the Blur versus Oasis battle etc. For instance when Cobain died, there was only a smatter of coverage in places like the Guardian. There was so little info - and it was several days until the new edition of the music papers were out, that Joy went on the internet, then very undeveloped, and we saw all these communities of grief and remembrance spring up via Compuserve or whatever. Pete Shelley was in a chat room offering solace spiced with wisecracks (to deflate any "the savior is slain" religiosity). That whole experience really was my awakening to the world wide web's potential.

  3. Cobain's death and aftermath was so quick, from finding out on Ceefax that a dead body had been found in his house to the funeral two days later? No report on the BBC 9pm news either, just an 'in other news' brief mention. When Amy Winehouse died half the news programme was devoted to it. Not that all that was necessarily a bad thing, looking for approbation from the MSM was always a fool's game, and as you say the Internet was waiting to take up the slack in any case. Always remember unpleasant scouse TV presenter Ann Robinson getting heat for sneering at mourning Nirvana fans in whatever tabloid printed her uninformed musings then. She's still getting work unfortunately.
    The last rock music personality to generate typical rock star publicity was prob Pete Doherty. Who first turned up on TV on MTV being interviewed queueing up for Be Here Now

  4. On first glance I didn't even notice that some of the ersatz bands headlining are either ones that weren't famous enough / didn't yet exist(?) to play at the original Spike Island, e.g. Oasis - or had split several years earlier (the Smiths) - and others who didn't attend the original (Mondays, James, New Order)

    but one support act at the original - MC Tunes - is actually at the remake, as a sideshow performer