Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 12 February 2012

Twisting His Melon: Shaun Ryder Set To Spill The Beans At Brighton Film Festival

A local nine-day film festival can boast the likes of Louis Theroux, Nick Broomfield and Luke Holland as past guests. Now that eclectic line-up will be joined by the iconic name of one, Shaun Ryder.

The mixture of screenings, seminars, Q&As and master classes will give the former Happy Mondays and Blake Grape frontman the chance to spout forth about his successful career as a musician, occasional newspaper columnist, actor, author, singer-songwriter and television personality.

Ryder’s life is now so busy that he feels like he’s living the life of a crew member of the Starship Enterprise.

“Well, you know when one of the crew members on that show got a fever and would have some sort of hazy out-of-body experience? Yes, I feel like I’m having one now myself.”

Music impresario Tony Wilson once referred to Ryder’s often witty lyrics as the stuff of legend. 

Recently The Happy Mondays produced yet another album, Uncle Dysfunktional. 

In 2009 he made a cameo appearance (a non-speaking role) as himself in Channel 4 drama Shameless and appeared in I’m A Celebrity .. Get Me Out Of Here.

His recent autobiography, Twisting My Melon, has proved a big success and he’s just committed to a full Mondays reunion.

“I did Celebrity ’cos me missus Joanne loves it and because I had a Best Of album out and a new solo record on the way. A day longer than Johnny Rotten did, that was the plan, but I ended up enjoying myself there.”

In the end Ryder came a respectable second and ended up doing a full round of promo.

“I was sick of the exaggerated rock and roll image I used to put out there and wanted to show the real me. I felt at last that the the true Shaun got the chance to shine.”

Following the original Happy Mondays split, and despite rumours of how his substance abuse had finally caught up with him, Ryder returned to the spotlight in 1995 with his new project, Black Grape, an immediate short-term success whose first release, It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah, topped the British album chart for a week. The group split after the second album flopped.

Ryder claims not to give ‘a fuck’ whether the Mondays and Black grape went down in musical history or not.

But at the See Festival Ryder will be looking back and telling his side of an amazing career that just seems to grow and grow in variety and intrigue.

In Conversation with Shaun Ryder at Brighton Dome on Fri 30 March 8pm. See for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


Jim White gets around. When he's not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction.

To mark 150 years as a performance venue, Brighton Dome is seeking memories from across its rich history. Submissions will help inform new heritage displays which will go on show when the refurbished buildings re-open in late 2018.

Greg James and Chris Smith's Kid Normal has been chosen as the 2018 'big read' for children across Brighton & Hove and beyond. 

Son of Dave is fifty years old, and has lived for twenty-one years in the UK, hailing originally from Winnipeg Canada where he was steeped at a young age in the blues-bar tradition. 

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting from a rather unusual location. He reveals that,“I'm currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn't non-stop glamour?

A remake of one of Brighton's most iconic films, Brighton Rock, is set to take place this week on the 70th anniversary of the classic starring Richard Attenborough – and members of the public are invited to dress up in vintage 1940s attire and take part.

Brighton charity Same Sky has launched its crowdfunder for Burning the Clocks 2017 – an uplifting antidote to the excesses of a commercial Christmas. 
(c) Gone Fishing + Marathon Artists 2017

MMODE – aka Belfast brother & sister duo Lucy & Thomas Gaffney – have  announced that their self-titled debut album, MMODE, will be released next month.

The WWE bandwagon rolled into Brighton recently to deliver its quality brand of big names and even bigger action.
Pic by Ian Kelsey

It's not often a group of young men pool their creative resources to benefit the health and wellbeing of others. It's even rarer when those young men are musicians. But that's exactly what the Brighton-based collective, 40 Shillings On the Drum, have done with the release of their new single. The English Coast.

Direct from an extended season in London's West End, Bill  Kenwright's production of Alan Ayckbourn's farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How the Other Half Loves comes to Theatre Royal Brighton, this month.

Experience the whisper of stories, speaking of the Black Atlantic, singing of jazz and Harlem and the African American literary renaissance in As Waves of One Sea. 

Louise Redknapp rose to fame as a member of the girl group Eternal. She left the band to carve out a successful solo career achieving sales of over five million records with five albums.
Stereophonics (c) Andrew Whitton 2017

Twenty years after their debut (Word Gets Around) and six No.1 albums later, Stereophonics are set to release their new album Scream Above The Sounds, this week.

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