In 1990, Manchester, or Madchester as it had been reinvented, ruled the music world. It was a city of mavericks and misfits. The home of Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, the Hacienda nightclub, The Stone Roses, a British rave culture revitalising acid house and forming an experimental crossover between alternative rock and dance music. Central to everything was a bunch of ruffians from the industrial-metropolitan borough of Salford in Greater Manchester. Brothers Shaun and Paul Ryder, Gaz Whelan, Paul Davis, Mark Day and Mark Berry (AKA loose-limbed groover Bez) were not so much a band as a gang who channelled their own experience of working class boredom and misdemeanour meshed through Manchester’s prism of influences into a brilliantly unique vernacular.
By the time Happy Mondays were set to release the generation-defining Pills ‘N Thrills and Bellyaches album in November 1990, the Mondays had already two full studio albums under their belt. Produced by dance music and remix gurus Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne, this seminal record represented a brighter sound that encapsulated the feel-good hedonism of its generation. The album’s centre-piece Step On, a reworking of the 1971 John Kongos track He’s Gonna Step On You Again, reinvented with infectious Italo-house style piano motif and Rowetta’s soul-power backing vocals that brought Happy Mondays to the Top 5 singles charts and Top of the Pops.
Twenty-five years later, it’s just about time to commemorate the record that’s nothing short of a definable document of British music and youth culture. Don’t miss it as the original Mondays line-up takes to the road again and gets set to twist your melon, man.
Tickets | €35