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Stone Roses light up the stage in comeback gig

Ian Brown performs on stage on the opening night of their three night series of reunion concerts. Photo: Reuters / Images

The Stone Roses last night had their resurrection as the reunited band made a triumphant comeback at the first of their homecoming shows.

Frontman Ian Brown told the 70,000-strong crowd at Manchester's Heaton Park on Friday: "Here we are, here it is, here we go."

The band announced last year they were reforming after an acrimonious split 16 years earlier.

They took fans back two decades by opening with their traditional gig starter I Wanna Be Adored, one of their best-loved anthems.

The quartet, often hailed as the inspiration for a generation of bands, went on to play other favourites such as Mersey Paradise, (song For My) Sugar Spun Sister and Sally Cinnamon.

Brown, known for his self belief, gloated "yeah, as you see we still got it" despite at times struggling to hit the correct notes, a problem he often faced in the band's heyday.

Thousands of fans packed Heaton Park in Manchester. Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters

The reunion was one which many fans thought would never happen after their bitter fall-out. They had long met rumours of a revival with assurances that the band would not reform.

But they eventually buried the hatchet last year, agreeing a series of festival dates and a three-night stint topping the bill at their own mini-festival in Heaton Park.

Friday's show was the band's first large-scale show in the UK since the band fell apart in 1996.

Guitarist John Squire walked out in the spring of that year and the band limped on for a further six months but called it a day in the wake of a disastrous performance at Reading Festival.Drummer Alan "Reni" Wren had quit the previous year.

Frontman Ian Brown. Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters

Brown's signature swagger has been much copied by singers who have followed in his wake such as Liam Gallagher.

And he showed his cocky strut had not diminished since the 1990s as he prowled the stage during the largely instrumental chart hit Fool's Gold, clad in a black leather jacket.

Guests in the crowd for the first of their three-night run in Manchester included actress Jamie Winstone, shadow health minister Andy Burnham and record producer Mark Ronson.

Other songs on the band's setlist included Waterfall and Ten Storey Love Song. But the bulk of the music came from the group's 1989 self-titled album, widely hailed as one of the greatest debuts of all time.

The band's performance was well received on social networking site Twitter: