tweety stuff @ronanfromcork
This was first published in The Evening Echo [Cork] on 2018-10-11, text underneath photo.
When The Stone Roses rolled into Cork for Feile 95, Ian Brown, Mani and the rest of the band were virtually kings of the city, with stories of people meeting them still being told today. The affection for the band has never dampened, and when The Complete Stone Roses come here during the Jazz weekend it is bound to be one of their best gigs of the year.
Nelly, who plays bass and takes on the mantle of Mani, is very clear about the role The Complete Stone Roses take on, “we’re not impersonators, we’re not that kind of band. We wear similar clothes, our singer does pull a few of the moves Ian Brown does, and we put a lot of attention to detail into the performances, but we aren’t actors pretending to be The Stone Roses, we are musicians playing the songs of The Stone Roses.”
He knows full well just how important The Stone Roses are to people and his group try to do that justice, “as a band they made quite an impact, they had that punk thing – they came – had two big records, pretty much every song on both albums are great – and then disbanded. We play all the greatest hits like ‘Sally Cinnamon’, ‘She Bangs The Drum’, ‘Fools Gold’, ‘Waterfall’ etc, but also the fan favourites ‘Mersey Paradise’ and ‘This Is The One’, so people who listen to them a lot will be happy, if we are recreating a specific set we listen back to the bootlegs and play it as close to possible as we can from that night.”
The attention to detail he refers to goes as far as his actual bass guitar, as Nelly went to great lengths to get the exact same model as Mani’s main bass, which did not go unnoticed when the two met, “Mani said the bass he plays is as ‘rare as rocking horse s**t’, but that’s how we see it as a band, if you are going to do it, do it right. The guitarist and I have always done that, get the same guitars and bass that The Stone Roses use; get the right tones, gear and pedals. It took me a long long time to find the exact same Rickenbacker that Mani uses, but it was worth it – it’s a great bass and plays great.”
Both bass players have become friends over time, “I’ve met Mani a few times, the last time we met up was the night The Stone Roses were playing Glasgow Green, we met up for a few beers beforehand and talked about music and how life was going. He’s always had great praise for the Complete Stone Roses, he’s a great guy.”
Nelly spent a lot of time perfecting what he does in the band, “I sat and studied all the recordings they made and every bootleg I could get my hands on – there are so many versions of what they did – and learned what suited the band best live. Learning when he used his thumbs and when he used plectrums; which tones he used when. It all paid off because we are in place now where we are really happy with it.”
While he isn’t pretending to be Mani on stage, Nelly is aware of how Mani plays in a live setting, “there’s plenty of performances you can see of Mani, he’s quite an energetic bass player and it’s easy to get into frame of mind and attitude especially when the crowd is up for it.”
Mani started influencing Nelly’s style long before he joined The Complete Stone Roses, “The Stone Roses had finished around 1995, and I only started taking the bass seriously around 1999 when I was about 19, I was into punk music originally and then I got into Indie bands like The Stone Roses, so Mani was a really big influence straight away, and also Primal Scream, who Mani was playing with at the time. He’s always been a very melodic bass player, so I picked up stuff like that straight away and got into that style.”
Since he wasn’t a founding member of the group Nelly knows it was more than his playing that got him into the band, and also explains how they don’t recreate the band’s off-stage antics, “The Complete Stone Roses were already an established band when I joined them, they had started around 1998, this tour being the 20th anniversary, I only joined in 2005. I think my personality and attitude was a big part of me being asked to join the band, not just my technique. We are travelling so much with the band members and staying in hotels etc, you are essentially living with each other for half the year on the road. We’ve all got to get on really well, and fortunately we do – we don’t want to be fighting with each other like the real Stone Roses did!”
The Complete Stone Roses play The Venue on Saturday 27 Oct. Tickets are available via TicketMaster