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


"We're from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around." Soul II Soul mainman Jazzie B remembers the lengths he and a school friend used to go to play dances with their first sound system when they were just thirteen years old.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller's first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977.

In anticipation of International Women's Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act - which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time -  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.  

Brighton's contemporary art gallery Fabrica has launched a crowdfunding appeal to rescue its finances in light of recent funding cuts which threaten the organisation’s future. 
Peace Pic (c) Jonnie Craig 2018

Indie rock quartet Peace have released stand-alone track, Power, a unifying anthem between the band and their fans at their notoriously raucous and tribal live shows; this is Peace 2.0; new label, new tunes and a sure fire statement of intent from the four-piece.

The Netherlands has been chosen as the lead international partner for The Great Escape who will be working alongside the Dutch Music Export to highlight the country's most prominent rising stars.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, the UK's only major greenfield jazz festival, today announces a host of acts confirmed to perform at this summer's event, which returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from June 29th – July 1st 2018.

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Albert Hammond Jr's new album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Punk. Funk. Rock. Soul. The main ingredients in a potent witch's brew that the Bellrays have been mixing for a long time now.

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

Star of BBC's Live At The Apollo and The Mash Report, Geoff Norcott takes to the road with his new show following a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted.

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