Well I certainly never thought that I’d discuss these two particular bands in the same post but The Stone Roses and Westlife are arguably responsible for the biggest news stories in UK music this week… albeit for completely opposite reasons.

Westlife Split…..

Manager Louis Walsh was among the first to pay tribute , calling the boys “four of the best ambassadors Ireland has ever had. Westlife were always the best four people I have ever worked with. I had a brilliant time working with them. And it just goes to show how far you can get in this business with the right attitude.”
But not everyone is as sad about their demise, one frustrated male contacted ITV show This Morning to point out ‘The Stool making Industry will deteriorate.. Big time! Bluntly dismissing any impact on the music industry.

I am far from being an avid follower of relentless balladeers Westlife, but they have seemed a tad off the radar of late, so news of their split didn’t come as a great surprise to me. However, the the mass of grief stricken reactions on twitter did. I was surprised and at times disappointed by certain people who outed themselves as die hard fans via devastated outpourings on the social media site ( maybe I’m irked because any of my boy/man band persuasions are heartily aligned with Take That).

I think it is quite clear that I am coping fine with the ‘sad’ news, but I can’t deny that the the Irish foursome have achieved some mighty impressive stats during their lengthy 14 year career – clocking up 14 numbers ones and selling over 44 Million for instance. They also cleverly managed to avoid any major scandal, survive an original members departure, a member coming out, and maintained a hardy fan base that stuck by them even when their brand of music was far from being cool or current. It will be interesting to see where the hardworking members go from here… We know Kian has his hands full co managing his pregnant wifes girlband Wonderland and his new role on The Voice of Ireland. Mark had always had one of the strongest voices so perhaps the West End will call on his talents. Lead vocalist Shane could go solo or also use his vast experience to judge future stars. The prettiest member Nicky who always showcased a good sense of humour during interviews so could maybe take a turn at presenting? I am of course merely speculating with my little amount of knowledge on the foursome…. but let’s just hope we aren’t inundated with endless reality TV appearances by the former boy band heroes.

Westlife’s ‘Greatest Hits’ is to be released in Ireland on November 18, with a new single, ‘Lighthouse’, issued a week earlier on November 11.

Dates for a final Irish tour including a monster farewell in Dublin are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Stone Roses Reunite

Two days ago The Stone Roses original line-up – frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni confirmed they have reunited via a press conference at London’s Soho Hotel. They thrilled their ardent fans by revealing plans for two homecoming gigs at Heaton Park on June 29-30 in 2012 before embarking on an extensive world tour.

They also revealed they are working on new material which they intend to perform at the shows. That said, fans should try their best to reign in their and excitement to some degree. The band are known for not always sticking to their word, despite the good intentions when the plans leave their mouths. Aware of their somewhat unpredictable nature, when commenting on the task of creating a new album frontman Brown added : We hope so. But we said that before didn’t we?”

But it does appear that they have put their differences aside finally. Legandary bassist Mani has always been extremely vocal about his opinion about the band reuniting, once famously stating it would only happen when “Manchester City win the European Cup”. But it would appear his love for the band has been resurrected saying “Something magical happens when us four are in the room together, you can’t put your finger on it. It’s just beautiful to capture it again. I’ve missed it.”

Later, Brown also said the band decided to finally reform because “at times like this you can uplift people” and they would carry on “until the wheels fall off”. Meanwhile, Mani said the reunion was a “suck it and see thing”, while Reni revealed he “would be happy with 12 months”.

Whatever the reunited band end up delivering, the prospect of what could come have caused an exciting stir in the musical ranks… Lets just hope these relative old timers can remind the many bland artists of today how to do it….

Tickets for the double header go on sale at 9.30am this Friday (October 21). For further information go to their newly launched The Stone Roses official website

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