The Seven Ages of Rock was a landmark BBC series charting the emergence and re-emergence of rock music as a global force, told through the musicians who shaped the genre. The 7th film in the series looked at The Stone Roses as the heirs to the indie crown and considered Spike Island a key event in the story of British indie.
On a grassy knoll near the muddy banks of the Mersey, opposite a cement factory, The Stone Roses held a huge outdoor gig. Spike Island was rammed full of 27,000 people excitedly waiting for the big Stone Roses moment. It marked the beginning of the 1990s, a celebration of all things Madchester and the moment where The Stone Roses moved directly into the media spotlight. It was a hugely ambitious gig for an Indie band, perhaps a bit too ambitious technically. On the day there were problems with the sound rig – the sound was literally being ‘blown away’ and the audience were struggling to hear the band properly. It didn’t stop the event becoming legendary.
Here’s a trailer for the Spike Island video, with the full clip available on the BBC archive site.