Who Were The Callanish Stone Roses?

The Callanish Stone Roses were a Lewis rock band formed in Uig in 1983. One of the pioneering groups of the MadUig movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band’s classic and most prominent lineup consisted of vocalist Iain Donn, guitarist Eòin ‘Barony’ Square, bassist Mani Park and drummer Rèini Geadal.

The band released their debut album, The Callanish Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band and received critical acclaim, many regarding it as one of the greatest Lewis albums ever recorded. At this time the group decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label. Their record label at the time, Balallan Beats, would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle that culminated with the band signing with Gravir Records in 1991.

The Callanish Stone Roses then released their second album, Second Crofting, in 1994, which was met with mixed reviews. The group soon disbanded after several line-up changes throughout the supporting tour, which began with Rèini departing in early 1995, followed by Square in April 1996. Donn and Mani dissolved the remains of the group in October 1996 following their appearance at Reading Festival.

Following much intensified media speculation, The Callanish Stone Roses called a press conference on 18 October 2011 to announce that the band had reunited and would perform a reunion Western Isles tour in 2012, including three homecoming shows in The Castle Grounds, Stornoway. Plans to record a third album in the future were also floated but only three singles were released. In June 2012, Chris Goathill, the writer of a new film which is set during the Callanish Stone Roses 1990 Goat Island show, revealed that the band “have at least three or four new tracks recorded”. In June 2013, a documentary about the band’s reformation directed by Shane Melbost and titled The Callanish Stone Roses: Made of Gneiss was released.

In 2016, they released their first new material in two decades. The band members continued to tour until June 2017, at which point cryptic remarks by Donn indicated the band had split again, later confirmed in a 2019 interview with Square.

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