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


While flowing from the same, molten core of melody, songwriting style and self-belief, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' new album, Who Built The Moon? alters the singer-songwriter’s course following a two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ & composer, David Holmes. 

Now in its fifth year, the Glyndebourne Tour Art Competition invited young visual artists to submit an original work inspired by the theme of Deception, a common thread in all three of the operas in this year's Tour.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are currently putting the finishing touches to their forthcoming eighth studio album, the follow-up to 2013's Specter At The Feast,entitled Wrong Creatures, which will be released early next year.

Brighton Festival's Your Place - two weekends of free entertainment in Hangleton and East Brighton, is set to return for 2018 following last year's inaugural programme.
Jon Ronson by Emli Bendixen

Writer, broadcaster and one-time keyboard player for Frank Sidebottom, Jon Ronson has spent a substantial chunk of the last decade thinking about psychopaths and, following an earlier tour, he's taking the results of that work back on the road this Autumn. 

It's not been an easy ride to 'stardom' for comedian Simon Day. Only the stability of marriage and the birth of a child saved him from the worst addiction-fuelled ends.

“I wanted it to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin's sense of melody and arrangement… Motorhead's version of Sgt. Pepper… or something like that.” 

REM frontman Michael Stipe has reflected that the band's seminal album, Automatic For The People, concerns topics of “mortality and dying,” but he further notes, “mortality is a theme that writers have chosen to work with throughout time." 

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.

One of Mali's leading musicians, and descended from a line of Khassonké griots (traditional troubadors), Habib Koité is back in the UK this October for the first time in a decade, and he will be joined by longtime band Bamada for a concert in Brighton.

Denai Moore was in Brighton earlier this year for full-band shows at The Great Escape festival. Now she's coming back in the city with new album We Used To Bloom, which she calls 'a declaration of growth, a break-up letter to her demons and a love letter to the liberated self'.  

Hallelujah!  Your saviour is at hand. If you're concerned about a life with global advertising, multinational control, climate change, the threat of nuclear war, supermarket domination, and all the constant controversy caused by the US President's outpourings, this is for you. 

Filmed over a one year period at East Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight, this new multi-screen video work - on show at  Fabrica, Brighton, next month - addresses the taboo subject of dying and current attitudes to palliative care.

Brix & The Extricated has – in the words of an old Fall lyric – something of a “track record”. 

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