IF imitation really is the best form of flattery then the Stone Roses should have no complaints about one of the tribute acts carrying their name, writes Trevor Baxter.
Formed two years before Spike Island and inspired by Blackpool Live, the Clone Roses are long players who just don’t wilt.
In a few months the Clones host a 20th anniversary festival in St Helens, the home town of front man and Ian Brown re-incarnate, Gavin Scott. More than 4,000 tickets have been sold for the Sherdley Park event.
The Clones are also heading to Uppermill Civic Hall on Saturday, July 7 supported by up and coming band, Callow Youth.
Not bad for a group who feared a short shelf-life for a replica act inspired by the Madchester music movement.
There was more self-doubt when the Stones rolled back onto the scene for reunion shows in 2012. They needn’t have worried.
“Such is the love for the Roses’ music they still want to hear the songs,” says Gavin.
“Yet when they came back the first time, I thought we were done. We put it on Twitter ‘anyone got any jobs going?’
“To be honest though it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to us.
“It is just down to our popular the Roses are. People are not coming to hear us, they are coming to hear Roses music.
“We have mums and dads are at the back and all the kids are at the front.”
Roses tribute bands now almost number double figures but for longevity and originality the Clones are up there with the best.
“We have put a lot of work into getting the show right and to sound right,” adds Gavin, a music promoter by day.
“I even wear the same trainers as Ian and people at the front pick up on it.
“People like the idea we evolved. When the Roses came back the first time, we changed the set list and copied the guitars and the clothes.”
For all the homage paid to the Stone Roses, the two bands occupy very different worlds.
“They are aware of us and have been good with us because they just let us get on with things,” says Gavin.
“I play Ian but have never met him. Our guitarist once met John Squire but didn’t know what to say and just mumbled at him.
“And besides we don’t want to do anything to ruffle their feathers.”
The Uppermill date will be their first in Saddleworth. For more information and tickets go online.