MANI from the Stone Roses is one of his best friends, Noel Gallagher was once his roadie and he is pretty much on first name terms with every star from the Manchester scene.
So Clint Boon admitted it felt surreal at first when he began to be surrounded by musicians impersonating his mates.
The radio presenter and Inspiral Carpets icon will be taking to the stage with tribute bands The Clone Roses, Oasish and The Smiths Ltd for That Manchester Night at the Parr Hall on Saturday, April 22, and it is bringing back a lot of memories.
Clint said: “It was 20 years ago when I started working with the Clone Roses so we’re really good friends now which is why I do it. Back then it felt really surreal but it has become quite normal now.
“Mani is one of best mates and I recently grabbed a night out with a ‘tribute Mani’. We were joined by a tribute Ian Brown, a tribute Peter Hook and a tribute Johnny Marr.
“They’re all my mates and sometimes it feels weird being the real Clint Boon on a night of all these tribute artists but I enjoy doing it.
“It’s a strange world the tribute scene but I love being a part of it. They’re great people. There’s some nice memories and some funny anecdotes.
“Plus the tribute band world has become massive. There’s a massive demand for it and it’s not perceived as being a bit weird anymore.
“People have accepted it and see it as a great source of entertainment because a lot of these bands you can’t see now.”
So what does Mani make of the Clone Roses?
“He’s cool with it,” added Clint, dad-of-five to Cassius, six, Hector, 10, Oscar, 13, as well as Max, 22, and Harley, 24, from his first marriage.
“Back in the day when he was with Primal Scream he occasionally DJed with some of the Stone Roses tributes.
“With a band like Stone Roses, who were out of action for almost 20 years, he appreciated the demand there was to see a Roses tribute act.
“He really respected it rather seeing it as out of order. He sort of encouraged it. I think that’s how it should be. It’s all variations on different aspects of art.
“It’s like a lot of the stuff that Peter Hook is doing now. A lot of people don’t subscribe to it but I do. It’s his interpretations on classic New Order and Joy Division albums.
“Also there’s probably an argument that a band like the Clone Roses have helped to build the spirit of the Roses over that 20 year period.
“When they came back they were possibly a bit bigger because of bands like the Clones and all the DJs that have played the tunes non-stop in the clubs.
“That Stone Roses enigma just got bigger and bigger while they weren’t working.”
There is something to be said for that. The Clone Roses enjoyed one of their biggest gigs at the Parr Hall just days after The Stone Roses graced the same stage for their comeback show.
They say their popularity has surged rather than declined since the band’s reunion and their latest gig, That Manchester Night, has sold out.
So what made the Manchester scene in the late 80s and early 90s so special?
Clint said: “In terms of its music, imagery and its spirit it was just a really positive, uplifting, colourful scene.
“While some music scenes across the decades have been a bit dark or over political that Manchester scene was just a real, upbeat beautiful thing to be part of.
“I think people still feel that when they hear the records or when they see the pictures of how things used to be.
“People were partying a lot and some of the bands were writing songs about having parties, namely the Happy Mondays.
“It was just a real celebratory scene and I think it still touches a nerve today.
“When younger people see it they wish they’d been part of it and those people who were part of it find it nice to be reminded about it.”
Another thing that has got Clint feeling nostalgic about the ‘Madchester’ era is 24 Hour Party People which is 15 this year.
He had a small part as a train conductor in Michael Winterbottom’s film about Tony Wilson and Factory Records.
Clint added: “It’s still something I’m quite proud of. Being as objective as I can about it it’s still one of my favourite films.
“It’s not factually bang on but it totally captures the madness of that era in Manchester.
“It was like a big circus the whole Manchester thing and you get that feeling when you watch the movie.”
After That Manchester Night, Clint will be back in Warrington on May 28.
The 57-year-old will be doing a DJ set before Space and Cast take to the outdoor stage at the Old Fish Market.
Clint added: “I’ve worked with both bands over the years quite a lot. They’re lovely people and great bands.
“They’ve made some amazing records between them. It’s always a pleasure working with that lot.
“They’re not too precious to go out on the road and celebrate what they’ve done in the past.
“Some people think you should just move forward and not do the hits but there’s nothing wrong with getting up there and doing the songs that people love from the records people bought that gave us all careers in the first place.”
Warrington Music Festival will also play host to 20 emerging artists on May 27.
Clint, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, described that platform as ‘vitally important’.
“It gives new unsigned, upcoming bands a taste of something bigger,” he said.
“They could be playing in front of a couple of thousand people potentially.
“If the weather’s nice it will be an amazing occasion. It’s good that people provide stages like that for the next generation of talent.
“I know Warrington Music Festival has been going for quite a few years and it’s always been brilliant.
“I’ve DJed there quite a few times and some of the stuff I’ve seen over the years has been fantastic.
“One of my favourite moments was seeing a band called The Maybes. They were stunning. They had a reshuffle of the line-up and became the Tea Street Band.”
Clint also said he is a fan of Burtonwood’s Slydigs who recently toured the world with The Who.
He added: “It’s incredible isn’t it? When people say they’ve supported a big band it’s usually one or two gigs but Slydigs toured America with them and were invited back to join them in Europe.
“If The Who didn’t rate the band they wouldn’t be doing it.”
CLINT Boon paid tribute to Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill when he spoke to Weekend.
Dad-of-three Craig, 44, died in November 2016.
Keyboardist Clint said the future of the Inspiral Carpets is on hold while the band comes to terms with the devastating loss of their friend.
He said: “There might not be a future for the band at all. It’s just not something we’re discussing at the moment.
"The main priority is carrying on helping Craig’s family with what they’re going through.
“We’re all still in disbelief that we’ve lost him. Craig not being there is still one of the most incredible things I’ve experienced
“But on a daily basis we’re reminded how much love there was for him.
“People still talk about what an amazing drummer he was. He was a lovely bloke and the world’s not quite as good now that he’s not here.”
Weekend spoke to Clint just before he started his new drive time radio show on XS Manchester.
The move saw him return to Laser House where he started hosting his drive time show for XFM back in 2006.
He said: “I’m really excited. I’m actually in the office now getting stuff ready to start.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time because it’s 18 months since XFM changed to Radio X.
“It was a big change for me going from doing five days on the radio for 12 years to just one show a week on Sunday night.
“Talking to Manchester at drive time is something I love doing.
“I’m not going to criticise the company for changing XFM to Radio X. It’s someone else’s company, it’s not mine
“For me it was an end of an era but that next 18 months was amazing.
“I started podcasting for the first time in January last year and by September I’d won one of the biggest awards in the country.
“I got a bronze award for Best Podcast at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards.
“So I’ve had the freedom to do other things but at the same time I’ve missed talking to Manchester every day.
“I’ve still got a lot of love for the Global brand (the company that runs Radio X) but I’m really excited about what’s about to happen. I’ll give it my best shot.”
- Clint Boon will be performing a DJ set before Cast and Space’s Warrington Music Festival show on May 28
- That Manchester Night on Saturday, April 22, has sold out. For enquiries about returns call 442345.