The Stone Roses: Made of Stone – review

Warm and energetic, Shane Meadows's love letter to the Stone Roses may be his best film so far

They're made of something much more fragile than that. The unfakeable warmth of fan-love pulses out of this dynamic documentary by Shane Meadows, about the 2012 reunion of the Stone Roses, the legendary band whose first album triggered the Manchester wave; yet while 90s Cool Britannia got into its euphoric groove, the Stone Roses themselves famously retreated into legal wrangling, creative inertia and weird Salingeresque reclusiveness, one hidden benefit of which was that they were never tempted, like Noel Gallagher, to commit themselves to endorsing Tony Blair.

In its sheer warmth, energy and sense of purpose, this film could be Meadows's best so far. Made of Stone comes in three acts: a triumphant free gig for echt fans (they need to bring CD inserts or other paraphernalia to get tickets) at Warrington's Parr Hall; a tricky mini-tour in Europe during which drummer Alan "Reni" Wren throws a bit of a strop and it looks as if all the old animosities are rising to the surface; and then a colossal event at Heaton Park, captured by Meadows with fiery confidence and flair. John Squire launches into a freaky guitar solo while Ian Brown – looking compellingly like a mobile Easter Island statue – goes walkabout along the front row. Meadows is clearly not interested in lifting the biographical lid on anyone, just getting alongside the band, and picking up on their energy, vulnerability and excitement. He has no agenda; he just loves the Stone Roses, and it's a great, heartfelt tribute.

Read our interview with Shane Meadows about how he made the film


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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