Selected by Dan
The Michael Jackson
than a decade after his band the Stone Roses released their groundbreaking
self-titled debut, and several months after an appearance at Fuji Rock,
singer Ian Brown—new album in hand—is due in for four nights at
Shibuya’s intimate Club Quattro and Shinjuku' venerable Liquid Room.
The visit will give fans in
Japan the chance to assess the singer's second solo album, Music Of The Spheres (see CD reviews) and find out whether Brown,
leader of a band that despite releasing only two records was one of the
most influential of the '90s, still has what it takes.
Although hamstrung by legal
disputes with their record company and a litany of personal and drug
problems, the Stone Roses exerted a massive influence on '90s music with a
British blues-based, psychedelic indie-rock sound that also borrowed
heavily from the burgeoning acid house culture. This signature approach
put them at the forefront of Britain's "Madchester" scene, a
movement whose other big success story was the Happy Mondays, now reborn
as Black Grape.
Brown's deliciously sweet,
yet somehow malevolent voice was an essential ingredient in the Stone
Rose's heady brew. Who can forget his soaring vocals on songs like "I
Wanna Be Adored," and "I Am the Resurrection"?
Unfortunately, it seems that at times Brown's arrogance, a quality that
stood him in good stead in a musical context, has gotten in the way of his
career. Inflated egos and squabbling broke the Stone Roses apart, and has
also led to incidents such as a case in which Brown was sentenced to jail
for air rage in 1999.
In 1998 Brown launched his
post-Stone Roses career with a solo LP, Unfinished
Monkey Business, which also enlisted the talents of ex-Stone Roses
drummer Reni and bassist Mani (now with Primal Scream). Since his release
from prison Christmas Eve 1999 he has also been working with techno acts
808 State and UNKLE.
While Brown denies the
threatening behavior for which he was jailed, he certainly won't be
arriving on a British Airways flight, as the singer has been banned for
life from that airline.
Ian Brown plays Club Quattro on
Nov 30 - Dec 1 and Liquid Room Dec 3/4. See listings for details.