8:23am Friday 29th June 2012
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The Stone Roses will make their eagerly awaited comeback as they headline the first of their homecoming shows in Manchester.
The quartet, often hailed as the inspiration for a generation of bands, fell apart 16 years ago and fans had all but given up on a reconciliation.
But after burying the hatchet last year, the band behind Fool's Gold and She Bangs The Drums will top the bill at their own mini-festival in Heaton Park.
It will be their first large scale show in the UK since guitarist John Squire walked out in 1996. The remainder of the group called it a day six months later in the wake of a disastrous slot at Reading Festival.
The Mancunian act - fronted by singer Ian Brown - are still revered for their first self-titled album, recognised as one of the greatest rock debuts.
The group have been cited as an inspiration by acts such as Oasis and Kasabian, but despite continuing interest in their music, rumours of a reunion were repeatedly quashed over the years.
Brown and Squire did not speak for well over a decade following the split.
However, last year the group - which also features bassist Gary "Mani" Mounfield and drummer Alan "Reni" Wren - staged a press conference in London to announce they would be playing Manchester shows this summer, as well as festivals.
They revealed they had eventually been brought together by the funeral of Mani's mum and had already been in rehearsals. They debuted new songs last month at a low-key secret gig at Warrington's Parr Hall and have played some European festival dates. But many are considering Friday night's show at Heaton Park as the comeback proper.
They sold 210,000 tickets for the trio of gigs in less than an hour, to become the fastest selling shows in the UK. Tickets have gone on to be exchanged for four-figure sums.
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