Sun was up, beer was cheap and the whole city of Manchester seemed to be skipping into the quintessential rolling drum beat of Fool’s Gold by the Stone Roses. It was still early summer of 2015, and the legendary Mancunian quartet was gloriously returning home with five individual stadium shows at Manchester City’s home ground, Etihad. It didn’t matter that most of the Roses members supported the cross town rivals, United. It didn’t matter that the band’s new material was scarce and of mediocre quality at its best. It didn’t matter that there was absolutely no doubt in anybody’s mind that the band itself had seen so, so much better days in its glorious past. None of this mattered for the 300 000 nostalgia mongers who flocked into the north-western English city to bask around in lager, chips and cheese and some of the finest music England has ever produced during five consecutive nights at the beginning of June 2015.
On the street level, one could really feel the general public cherishing the homecoming of their favourite sons. The pubs and beer gardens of the Manchester city centre were crammed to their absolute full capacity for the whole week.
Everywhere it was loud. It was as loud as in the crescendo ending of fan favourite live show ending mega hit I Am The Resurrection. And if there ever was a silent moment, one could sense the stillness belonging to the Roses exceptional hit single I Wanna Be Adored’s quiet beginning just before the unforgettable John Squire guitar riff gloriously kicks in. Everyone around seemed to be coming from the show yesterday or going to the show tonight or having tickets for the gig tonight and two days from now. Everyone you saw was there to have a good time with their mates. Everyone you saw was there because of the Roses.
In the new millenial times of desperate aspiration for individualism, the masses rolling around the centre of the Cheshire city appeared laughably homogenous. They were all male and all plus 35 years old. They all probably had a crest of some football club tattooed somewhere in their body. Everyone wore Adidas or similar casual style sneakers and all had a parka thrown on their shoulders to protect against the non-existing pre-summer elements. They all had wide, lager-fuelled smiles on their faces and arms draped around the shoulders of their comrades as they were shouting along with the lyrics of any of the Roses seminal hit songs blasting from the beer garden loudspeakers.
And everyone, E V E R Y O N E wore a certain type of a wide-brimmed, floppy hat on their heads.
Yes, everyone had a bucket hat, fisherman’s hat, Irish country hat, a session hat, an idiot hat or however you want to call it. It really felt like the death was coming from above and the bucket hat was the only imaginable means for protection against it. The favoured coat-of-armour of the Stone Roses genius drummer, Mani was everywhere to be seen. If you watched the scene from a little higher vantage point, say pub upstairs, it seemed like an enormous urban forest floor filled with various mushrooms in innumerable bright colours. It was glorious.
The bucket hat has a long-standing relationship with the English pop culture. First adopted in the 1960’s as a high fashion item, it was reimagined as the chosen head piece of music festival goers and subsequently football casuals in the 80’s and 90’s. The hat is durable and multi-functional. It shields the wearer from the elements, be it rain or sunshine. Or CCTV lens, for that matter.
The Roses played the Etihad for five fully packed shows, 60 000 a night, filled with ecstatic sing-along bangers, multi-coloured flares, one-too-many pints, indefinite comradery and the desperate collective wish to travel back into the time when everything was just a little simpler with no wife’s and kids, mortgages, tech bubble bursts or the fear of global warming. For many-a-patron participating in the shenanigans during those nights, it was the peak adult-life. A chance to revisit something forever lost.
That fleeting moment eventually passed us all as did the Roses comeback, but as the 90’s fashion revival continues to sweep the world today, the style they were associated with lives on. And the bucket hat is more topical than ever.
We, at The Terrace stock various colors of bucket hats from such brands as Barbour, Carhartt WIP, Lacoste etc. Go check them out!