Spike Island: Where angels play.
Last week was the 29th anniversary of the ‘gig of our generation’, The Stone Roses at Spike Island. I’d won nearly £500 on the horses so I bought two tickets, one for me and one for my mate Chris, and spent £50 on a pair of Joe Bloggs flares.
I decided the easiest way to get the coach so went to the bus station and booked two tickets. We decided to go up the night before, we had no idea where we’d stay though. I vaguely remember Chris saying don’t worry, we’ll find somewhere. Saturday 26th came and off we went. The coach journey was fairly uneventful, apart from meeting two girls who we thought we had a chance with but all they did was smoke most of our fags. The bus took us as far as Runcorn so we had to walk the rest of the way. We had no idea how to get to Spike Island, this was the days before mobile phones so neither of us had a map in our pocket. By now we were starving so decided to pop into a McDonalds for something to eat. Chris said ‘don’t speak when we get inside, you don’t want to stand out’. Not sure how he thought we’d blend in wearing massive flares & tie-dye sweatshirts but I went along with it. We got our food and carried on walking to the gig.
I’ve still got no idea where went, all I remember was following these huge spotlights that were shining in the sky as it seemed logical that they were at the venue. It seemed we walked all night and at one point we came across a all night garage so I decided to get some fags. Whilst being served Chris turned to me and said ‘when you’ve got your fags, just follow me calmly and don’t make any sudden movements’. I wondered what he was going on about but when I turned around it all became clear. Standing on the forecourt in front of us was a group of 5 or 6 lads, and it was obvious they weren’t there to make friends. We walked past them and as soon as we were outside the forecourt we both legged it. We ran as fast as we bloody could as the lads were chasing us, blindly running down the roads for what seemed like ages. I was just starting to run out of breath when this black van drove past us and stopped. The door opened and out got a policeman. ‘You lads alright?’ he asked. Panting I replied ‘Does it fucking look like it’. The lads chasing us had disappeared but the policeman asked us whether we wanted a lift to the gig. Not wanting to spend the rest of the night dodging the locals we gratefully accepted. We must have been the only people taken to the gig by the police.
After wandering around the site we decided to find somewhere to kip, there was a distinct lack of B & B’s so we decided to bed down in one of viewing points by the river bank. After moving mountains of glass we laid down and attempted to get some sleep. The next day flew past in a blur, to be honest I don’t remember too much about it. Whether that was tiredness, excitement or whatever we were smoking but what I do remember was the support acts were awful. Frankie Bones was ‘in the area’ constantly, Ruff, Ruff and Ready got booed off stage and Gary Clails On-U Sound System played a song that went on for 20 minutes. At some point one of the DJ’s played ‘Hallelujah’ by The Happy Mondays’ and the place erupted. All of a sudden it was dark and the band walked on stage. Chris and I did our best to stay together, the crowd swayed backwards and forwards and then it was over. Fireworks erupted overhead and we all realised we had witnessed something special and something we wouldn’t forget for a long time. The next day we had to catch the coach from the station in Liverpool so we had a wander around the city. We stumbled across a record shop where I bought a few records including the ‘Cool As Fuck’ EP by the Inspiral Carpets. Before long it was time to get on the coach and head home. I must have looked a right state, my jeans were filthy and torn around the hem, I never wore them again.
Grab our Spike Island tee HERE.