With The Happy Mondays about to play Vive Latino 2015 next month, Carl Stanley looks back at some of the band’s greatest live performances……
Coming from the Free-Trade Hall this live version of Tart Tart sort of captures the true roots of the bands early material probably more so than the John Cale produced ‘Squirrel and G-Man’, louder and darker and more loose than the record songs like Kuff Dam and Tart Tart came to life live showcasing that funky punk sound the band established in the mid-80’s, Paul Ryder’s super slick bass lines and Shaun’s nonsensical street slang lyrics stand out in this video shot for the live recorded ‘One Louder’ video.
Playing ‘Kinky Afro’ at the Rock in Rio festival 1991 The Happy Mondays win over the Maracana stadium playing a triumphant set in the pouring rain, coming from the Osborne/Oakenfold produced ‘Pills Thrills and Bellyaches’ Kinky Afro was the bands biggest US hit and like ‘Step On’ went to number 5 in the UK, with a more polished sound and Rowetta’s added vocals the group took it international. this clip offers a superb live version with a ‘wide-a-wake’ Bez on form working those maracas just right, enjoy…
From Tony Wilson’s now legendary TV programme ‘The Other Side Of Midnight’ the Happy Mondays play out this performance of…er Performance, all rather chaotic on the outside the groups effortless ‘couldnt give a toss’ front comes right through in the studios of Granada but more so the new E-influenced sound they’d produced with ‘Bummed’, probably one of the first times the general TV viewers of the north clapped eyes on The Happy Mondays and their sound, vibe and general craziness.
I know it isn’t the band themselves but Central Station’s art work, in its own way was just as exciting as the records it covered. Mirroring the Happy Mondays mad-bad playful sense of humour they created their own identity with their punked-out technicolour album art work which is still so very recognisable today, an interesting clip from ‘Madchester, Sound of the North’ Documentary gives a brief look at Matt Pat and Karen working at their old Sackville Street studio.
Tony Wilson: “The second half of the factory story is best summed up by the painterly eccentricity of Central Station, Matt, Pat and Karen.”Â
Wrote For Luck
Big Manchester vibes in the area…not half!, this performance of the Mondays monumental set closer and fans favourite ‘Wrote for Luck’ comes from 1988 at New York’s Ritz theatre and though the quality isn’t great it captures WFL in its full anarchic glory almost defining everything that the band were about, building up like like one of those big house tunes the Monday’s soaked up in the Hacienda its got to be one of dance/rock’s greatest moments, all pinned down by that magical rhythm section, PD’s keys and mad sounding sequences and Mark Days innovative guitar style, not to mention some of Shaun’s Ryder’s greatest ever lyrics, its performance turns into an all out party on stage as the band are joined by friends, family and crew members for the last tune of the night, which always left the crowds wanting more…
Madchester 2015 Raves on
After a blinding and busy 2014, including madchester.com highlight sets Kendal Calling and Beat Herder, Happy Mondays look set to continue to thrill & bellyache global audiences in 2015. Starting with Vive Latino 2015, Foro Sol, Mexico in March, the band are also lined up to play Fuji Rock, Japan in late July. They round the year off with a headline slot at Shiiine On Weekender in Minehead which has one of the best line ups we have seen for some time.
All in all the Mondays and their Madchester vibe continues to resonate with generations of global audiences. Follow our twitter feed @ for exclusive Happy Mondays news and other Madchester shenanigans.
Read other Carl Stanley articles @ Your Own Magazine
Edited for madchester.com by Martin Hiscox 15th Feb 2015.