Twenty years ago if you wanted a bootleg video of your favourite band, the chances are you’d need to spend £20 from a stall in Camden Market for a grainy bad quality VHS video that was unlikely to even be from the gig you attended.
Ten years ago you were likely to pick up the same poor quality recording on a DVD instead. You could also spend hours on the likes of Napster and Audio Galaxy trying to find the occasionally bootleg mp3 track but these obviously didn’t capture the experience as much as a video. Soulseek did have its share of videos but it took several days for these to download and frankly was just painful.
Five years ago YouTube was finally beginning to take off after it’s 2005 launch and some real rarities were begining to appear as people transferred those old grainy VHS tapes to their computers and uploaded extracts to share (there was a 10 minute time limit on each video).
Here we are in 2012 and last weeks gigs in Manchester by The Stone Roses shows just how far technology has come. Within hours tracks had begun to appear on YouTube uploaded from peoples smartphones. Six days later and some kind person has taken the dozens of shaky videos and edited them all together. The quality may not be perfect, but as someone who was there myself I can say this video captures the gig perfectly.
Shane Meadows crew were at the gig interviewing lots of fans and filming the performance for their future film. I’m sure his film will be fantastic, but as far as bootleg goes this is as close as you’re likely to get to being there when you have to look over someones shoulders whilst other people brush past. That’s what big gigs are like, not perfect but good fun.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, in 2006 the Beastie Boys released ‘Awesome, I Shot That’ on DVD which was recorded by fans on camcorders. The tiresome Radiohead also did a similar project online.
The opening number from the gig is below. Don’t forget if you aren’t a Stone Roses fan you have to state one of the following things… “Ian Brown can’t sing”, “They’re so overrated” etc, etc…. head over to Drowned in Sound if you want much longer list of cliches.
If you’re looking for the full gig, unfortunately it’s been removed off YouTube, no doubt in anticipation of a live DVD.