When I heard that I was going to be watching Made Of Stone my stomach sunk, while I’m a big fan of Shane Meadows, I’m not a fan of The Stone Roses. In fairness I kind of missed the whole Roses era. While the Roses were kings of the British movie scene I was otherwise entertained, music was the last thing on my mind.
Made Of Stone is without a doubt the most beautifully shot movie of Meadows career. From the moment that Ian Brown steps out into a filled auditorium, to the voice over of Alfred Hitchcock talking about the power of film, your lost. Meadows passion for the Roses is very clear from the opening seconds, and he loves them so much, he’ll make you love them too.
The coverage shown in Made Of Stone starts the day that the band makes their public announcement stating that they are reforming. It then takes you through the build up to a free concert, a fleeting European tour, and finally a large-scale concert to a 75,000 strong audience.
Gone are the party animals we all heard about in the 90’s, The Stone Roses are now fifty year old guys who seem to have really calmed down, or were they twenty odd years ago when they were in their prime just putting on a persona?
The power Ian Brown had on his fans years ago, that presence is all but gone; now Ian Brown is just a middle age guy with a really likeable, and somewhat humble attitude. Band mates Mani, John Squire, and Alan Wren are all in the same boat. They have grown up, have families, responsibilities, but still have the passion for their music.
Meadows pulls a familiar filming stunt, using colour footage to show The Stone Roses of the past and black and white to show what is happening in the present. This is until that final concert scene, when there simply is no alternative to colour.
While Made Of Stone is a highly enjoyable viewing, you cannot help but wonder what Meadows has given you in this movie. While I have much more admiration of the band, I’m sure if I’ve actually learned anything. The combination of past story, and present music means there is little room to learn anything negative about these aging rockers. Meadows has pulled off another instant hit, and in the same breath made all his viewers fans of his favourite band.
Made Of Stone is in UK cinemas today!