Seminal U.K. rock band The Stone Roses  is to reform for a series of highly lucrative live shows.
Following days of speculation that a reunion was imminent, the announcement was made earlier today (Oct. 18) at a packed press conference in The Soho Hotel, Central London. All four original band members - singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary 'Mani' Mounfield and drummer Alan 'Reni' Wren - were present.
The band, which disbanded in 1996 following the departure of John Squire and a disastrous subsequent headline set at the Reading festival, confirmed that they will embark on a worldwide tour beginning with two shows at Manchester Heaton Park, June 29 and 30 2012. The band has also said that there is a good chance of them playing and releasing new material, although Brown warned the audience: "We Hope so. But we said that before, didn't we?" Manchester-based SJM will promote the live shows. Details are yet to be released about international touring dates.
"I Am the Resurrection"
Referencing the band's famous 1989 track "I Am The Resurrection," Brown told journalists: "This is a live resurrection, and you're invited, so you better be there."
Speculation about the band's highly-anticipated comeback began late last week when London-based PR firm Murray Chalmers PR - who represent Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, among others - invited journalists to "a special press conference for a very important announcement."
Since disbanding in 1996, demand for the Manchester-formed four-piece to reform has grown with each successive year. A long-standing animosity between former song writing partners Brown and Squire, dating from when Squire quit the group via a phone call, was previously believed to be the main stumbling block to the group reuniting.
Following the band's split in 1996, Brown embarked on a successful solo career, while bassist Mani joined U.K. alt.rock act Primal Scream. At the tail end of the 1990s, Squire enjoyed brief success with a new band, The Seahorses, before retiring from music and beginning a new career as a full time artist. In 2009, he posted an image of a metallic artwork on his website which included the inscription: "I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses." Reni's post-Roses activity included a short run as singer with guitar band The Rub, before he disappeared from the limelight.
Although The Stone Roses' chart achievements peaked with its Geffen-released sophomore set "Second Coming," which hit No. 4 in the U.K. charts in 1994, the band's 1989 self-titled debut is often hailed as the greatest ever debut album.
In 1990, at the height of the "Madchester" scene, almost 30,000 people flocked to see them at an outdoor concert in Spike Island near Widnes - a gig which is now viewed as a seminal moment in the history of British rock music.
Asked how long the reunion tour is likely to last, Brown told the audience "We'll ride it until the wheels fall off." The Manchester-born singer also revealed that the band had previously received a number of highly lucrative offers to reform but had always vetoed the idea. "In times like this you can uplift people," stated Brown, when quizzed on why they had chosen now to reform.
"Everything changed when me and Ian started seeing each other again," added Squire. The long-running feud between the guitarist and Brown was reportedly settled when the pair met at the funeral of Mani's mother earlier this year.
Tickets for two the Heaton Park, Manchester shows go on sale at 9.30am GMT on Friday 21 October. Details can be found at www.thestoneroses.org .
- Live