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The Stoned Roses & Mani,
Temple Theatre,
25 February 1999

In a week when John Squire finally dumped the abomination known as The Seahorses, prompting immediate speculation about the possibility of the Third Coming of The Stone Roses, it appeared that this was a dream line-up. Unfortunately, rock star pretensions got in the way of what had the potential to be one of the best gigs in years.

You could understand why the band were pissed off over the wrong band name being printed on the tickets, but their demand of an apology in a national newspaper was a pretentious over-reaction on their part.

The venue itself was over-packed, causing people to be jostled everywhere and beer to be spilled over everyone and everything. Their failure to supply free water to people, especially those dancing downstairs in the Crypt, smacks of profiteering and was positively dangerous given the prohibitive queues for the toilets.

The band started promisingly enough, with their Ian Brown's gestures being especially convincing. Oh, and he could sing better than the real thing too. However, the sound engineer had the singer's mike turned down too low, while the bass barely registered. They did their thing though and even if they couldn't keep up the standards they set themselves at the start, they still walked off to rapturous applause.

Next up was Mani's flatmate, who DJs with the man himself. While Mani contentedly drank a bottle of Jack Daniels onstage, his mate played one of the worst DJ sets I have ever heard, managing to half-empty a once-packed dance floor. Even when he got a reception for Ian Brown's 'My Star', he couldn't raise the tempo or the profile of the music he played.

When Mani finally plucked up the responsibility to begin DJing the night was nearly over. For 45 minutes, though he put some funk back into the proceedings and got some bodies back onto the dancefloor but, at that stage it was too little too late.

by Neil Callanan