matter how meagre the Stone Roses’ output eventually turned out to be. the memory of the band is jealously guarded. John Squire’s leaving of the group became the closest equivalent this decade to McCartney’s announcement that he was sacking the Beatles. So how have fans of the Bozos reacted to Mani’s new placement?
‘Well. most of them I‘ve met are pretty well chuffed that. at least if we're not together. there’s two of us at the minute. me and John. who are having it with other hands.‘ says Mani. ‘I can see us being as successful apart as we were together. y‘know.‘
Mani had known the Scream Team for some time before he became a fully paid up member. In fact. he and the rest of the Stone Roses had been fans even before his old band took off. and he recalls going to see early incarnations of the Primals when they played in Manchester. It was during the last Roses tour that the bass player began to envision that his future could lie elsewhere. and he recalls making his initial overtures to Gillespie.
‘When the Roses played in Brighton. Bobby turned up to see the show. and we kidnapped him and his bird on our tour bus.‘ he reveals. ‘just took him away with us for a couple of days. right‘.’ Y'know. just gettin‘ him pissed and what 'ave yer . . . And by that time. I thought I‘d smelled a rat.
‘Y‘know. I knew John was unhappy and I thought. well. if he‘s gonna end up jumpin’ ship. I‘m gonna fuckin‘ feather tne own nest. man. So I sorted meself out. I said to Bob: “Listen. if it all comes on top I wanna come and join your hand.” and he was happy to have me.‘
Mani came on board towards the end of the recording of the Primals‘ latest opus. Vanishing Point. when the album was 90% completed. Comparing the recording process with that of his previous band. he feels the Scream set-up is more democratic.
‘Anyone can bring an idea in.‘ he says. ‘lt’s completely wide open. you know. it’s total freedom.‘ He pauses and adds: ‘You don’t have to look round and see if you're being Led Zeppelin enough for somebody. y‘know.‘
For Primal Scream. the scheduled show at Glasgow Green on 23 August is a vital one. Not only will the gig be on home ground. it‘s also the test which. for many. has to consolidate the impression fostered by the healthy. heady kaleidoscopic rumble fun. of Vanishing Point. that the band are back on track after the lacklustre (Iii-a Out But Don 'I Give Up period. Having already postponed the show once. rumours of chaos in the band are rife. There has been chatter in the music press about people quitting the band. about a nervousness among the ranks as to their ability to deliver it live and about members having to check into rehab.
Matti acknowledges that the show is impor— tant. but. as he points out: 'Oh yeah. we‘ve just had an LP go in the charts at Number Two. you know. so we're all chukin’ it.‘
As to the ill-health rumours. he concedes: ‘There may be something in that. One of the members of the band will benefit from a couple of weeks of fuckin‘ rest. really. but I don't want to say who. It's been a hit full on for everyone lately. so everyone‘s a bit fuckin' cream-crackered or what ‘ave yer. But that
extra couple of weeks will just give us that bit more sharpness. I think we can use the time wisely. because we’ve gotta be smokin’ when we come up there. y” know . We can’t fuckin‘ play half-baked for a Glaswegian crowd. Not
'We can't fuckin' play half-baked for a Glaswegian crowd. Not allowed. Not in Glasgow, anyway. They suss you out straight away.’ Mani
allowed. Not in Glasgow. anyway. They suss you out straight away.‘
For him. personally. the show should he ‘a triumphant return. man. because I played there once before with my old band. didn‘t l‘." The. Stone Roses‘ l‘)()() Glasgow Green gig has assumed legendary status among those who attended, and it would seem. among the band members themselves.
‘For me. right. that was probably the best show we ever played with the Roses.‘ Mani reminisces. ‘It was the one that we enjoyed the most — we always have enjoyed it in Glasgow. y’know. I remember there was one point on stage when we all looked at each other and we knew it was happening and. fuck . . . it was just amazing. I love playing up there. no matter who I‘m with.‘
This time round. Mani will be there with. among others. a certain Mr Irvine Welsh. who is planning to do a couple of readings during the night. The chances are though. that the infamous Welsh/Scream football collaboration ‘The Barmy Army And The Scream Team Meet The Big Man Up Town‘ will not be given an airing.
‘I very much doubt it. Fuckin’ ’ell. man. the weird shit about that was that record was just so tongue in cheek and people took it so literally.‘ says Mani. referring to the furore the Rangers-baiting single caused. ‘Bob showed me all these cuttings from the Daily Record and all that. branding him as a sectarian anti-Christ. stirring up hatred. but it was just a piss take of a record. that y'know . . .'
Mani is still Primal Scream's new boy and. happy as he is. one wonders whether he had to undergo any particular initiation rites before fully earning his place. ‘Well. l still have to go for the btttties and the brews at dinner time. yeah.‘ he confesses. ‘I don't mind. I can live with that. But the outrageous sexual demands are just takin‘ it a little bit too far . . .‘
Primal Scream are at Glasgow Green on 23 Aug.
Primal instinct: Mani, Bobby Gillespie, Duffie and Throb 2S Jul-l Aug l997 THE UST13