Happy Mondays this weekend. The Spirit of Madchester with continued thoughts and good vibes to the people of Manchester ahead of the One Love Manchester concert happening on this coming Sunday evening.
Happy Mondays were a highly influential band. Forming in 1980 and bridging the Manchester Independent scene with the burgeoning Rave scene in the late 1980s. Their biggest popularity got rolling in 1988 with the release of their second album, Bummed. Their popularity continued into the 90s and they were once referred to as “one of the most influential bands to come out of the UK in the 1990s”.
This concert takes place right at the peak of that popularity, during what became the first incarnation of the band, with Shaun Ryder on vocals, his brother Paul on bass, Mark Day on guitar, Paul Davis on keyboards, Gary Whelen on drums and the legendary Bez as onstage dancer/percussionist. It was recorded at the Kilburn National Ballroom in London on October 26, 1992 by the venerable BBC Radio 1 for their In Concert series.
it was this incarnation of the band which made a huge impression on everyone, from Paul McCartney to Oasis, Stone Roses and The Charlatans. And their popularity wasn’t relegated to the UK and Europe. They had staged a very successful tour of the U.S. in 1991. It was their successful mashup of Krautrock, Funk, Northern Soul and House Music that established Happy Mondays as one of the best and most enduring bands during this time.
Sadly, Happy Mondays disbanded in 1993 (a year after this concert), with Shaun and Bez forming Black Grape. It wasn’t until seven years later, in 1999 that Happy Mondays reunited in what became their second incarnation.
Over the years since, there have been several more incarnations with a reuniting of the original lineup in 2012.
But as a reminder of what Happy Mondays was up to in 1992, here is that memorable concert as it was first broadcast over BBC Radio 1 on October 26, 1992.