Blackpool Empress Ballroom ’89 (aka “The Flashback”)

The Stone Roses - Blackpool 1989 aka The FlashbackCity: Blackpool, England
Date: 12th August 1989

Running Time (Approx): 60 mins


  1. Intro (Don’t Stop)
  2. I Wanna Be Adored
  3. Elephant Stone
  4. Waterfall
  5. Sugar Spun Sister
  6. Made Of Stone
  7. She Bangs The Drums
  8. Where Angels Play
  9. Shoot You Down
  10. Going Down
  11. Mersey Paradise
  12. I Am The Resurrection

Blackpool flyer 12-08-89
Sound Quality: A
Hear it all in perfect CD-quality sound – although I’m sure the video is the source for this bootleg, the quality is much purer than the video, esp. the guitar and bass. I recommend synching the CD with the video!

Performance Quality: A
Brilliant, from start to finish. Considered one of the best Roses live performances. Best performances are Waterfall and Resurrection, which lasts for 12 minutes! Brown’s voice sounds weak on some songs (She Bangs, Mersey Paradise), but he is not too bad by his standards. Reni and Squire are on top form.

Why should I get this bootleg?

This gig was a defining moment in Roses history, but was also a great performance.


Blackpool Empress Ballroom Advert 1989The first massive gig the Roses ever played, and some would say their best. 4,000 people packed into the Empress Ballroom, which was usually used for press conferences and trade fairs, and danced the night away, after the band’s crew had kicked open the doors, prompting a massive rush in.

The crowd got seriously overheated, and John, Mani and Reni threw ice pops into the crowd when they came on stage.

During the day, Blackpool was flooded with people wearing flares and Reni hats, enjoying a day out, which they continued in the Ballroom, bringing beachballs in to chuck around. Ian later on said that Blackpool was the moment he knew the band had made it.

Fan Reviews

“Superb. Probably the best I’ve heard. The sound quality is brilliant too, better than I expected. Mani’s bass comes through loud and clear. Reni’s drumming is unbelievable – the guy is superhuman… I mean I have never heard a drummer that comes close to that.” – Graham Laffin, Northern Ireland

“Another concert compared to the crappy sound on the video.” – Nick Turner, Italy

“Far better quality than the video version” – Jonathan Newman, England

“The band sound on good form!” – Chris Porton, England

“Far better than that shitty quality sound that’s on the video!” – Stephen Hackworth, England

“What a quality gig and sound! Brilliant stuff, this. The version of I Am The Resurrection is dead on!” – Dan VanDeMortel, USA

“I think Elephant Stone is particular is fantastic, it’s played with so much spirit.” – Coleen Clancy, USA

“Excellent. I’ve got the video, but the sound is much more crisp.” – Peter Hancox, England

“The video version put me off this concert but hearing it on the CD puts it in a completely different light. The last minute of Where Angels Play is an absolute killer.” – Paul McAuley, Scotland

3 thoughts on “Blackpool Empress Ballroom ’89 (aka “The Flashback”)”

  1. I worked the bar that night. Jees that was hard work but I could see the stage pouring pints(inside the bar was/is a bit higher than the floor, the bar is at the back and I’m tallish, plus the stage.

    We wer eating ice, holding it on our necks.

    Also did the after party, there was supposed to be two of us but my mate retired hurt (heat, alcohol, drugs?). Met some great people, had a great time but strewth it was hard work.

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