Happy Mondays

Rising from the ecstasy-fuelled hedonism of New Order's legendary club, the Hacienda, Shaun Ryder's gang ushered in a new era of swaggering, indie that embraced rave culture, hip-hop and 1960s psychedelia under one baggy groove. Working class lads who looked more at home on a football terrace than a stage, the Happy Mondays were discovered by colourful impresario Tony Wilson at a Battle of the Bands competition before capturing the mood of the new Madchester scene with classic third album Pills'n'Thrills And Bellyaches (1990). Top 5 singles "Step On" and "Kinky Afro" set them up as one of the UK's leading bands, but the ill-fated decision to record in Barbados resulted in the lads selling the contents of Eddy Grant's studio to fund a growing taste for drugs. The trip proved a complete disaster, bankrupting Factory Records and by the time the album Yes Please! (1992) was eventually released, it was widely slammed as a flop. They split shortly after, with Shaun Ryder and Bez going on to form Black Grape, but reformed fleetingly throughout the 2000s and released Uncle Dysfunktional (2007) with little impact. In 2012, Shaun Ryder announced via the airwaves that the band would soon return to their original line-up, and they duly completed a 13-date UK tour that May. They also revealed that new material was on its way, although it has yet to see the light of day. On 15 July 2022, the band announced on social media that bassist and keyboard player Paul Ryder had died in the early hours of that morning. He was 58 years old. No cause of death was provided.

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