Tony Wilson compared his lyrics to W.B.Yeats and some 30 years since the Happy Monday were first formed his profile has never been higher. With an appearance on "I'm A Celebrity" and a forthcoming UK tour we thought now would be the time to look back at his career so far.
The Happy Mondays were one of the most influential bands of the 1980s both catching and leading the zeitgeist of the E fuelled rave generation. Tony Wilson of Factory Records discovered the Mondays at a battle for the bands at the Hacienda nightclub. The debut album ' Squirrel and Gman' helped launch the band, but it was the subsequent albums ' Bummed ' and ' Pills n Thrills' that really established them and lead to their legendary status. With hits such as Hallelujah , Wrote for Luck , Step on and Kinky Affro the band were rarely out of the charts and set dance floors across the planet alight.
At their peak in the late 1980s early 1990s the band were one of the biggest live acts both in the UK and overseas. The band toured hard and partied even harder. Eventually the pace proved too much and the band split in 1993. Ryder and charismatic dancer Bez went on to form the short lived Black Grape producing 2 albums which never reached the creative or commercial success of their previous band. The Mondays have reformed on several occasions although not with their original line up. Ryder himself has produced one solo album Amateur Night in the Big Top which received mixed reviews.
In 2010 Ryder surprised many by being invited and accepting an invitation to appear on "I'm A Celebrity" where he came 2 nd . Since then there has been talk of a duet with the winner Stacey Solomon.
With a healthy back catalogue and a much raised profile Shaun Ryder is heading out on a UK tour in 2011 and will be appearing at the Millennium Music Hall in Cardiff. It promises to be a night of nostalgia for the 30 somethings and if nothing else you can guarantee Shaun will be having it large!
Shaun Ryder @ The Millennium Music Hall on Saturday 26 th February
John Cooper Clarke
The Incredible String Band