Brighton Magazine

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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


Whats on in Brighton today

Stone Foundation's new album, Everybody, Anyone, was recorded at Paul Weller's Black Barn Studios in Surrey and features a sprinkling of guest musicians.

Novo Amor, aka Ali Lacey, has unveiled a poignant video for the title track from his anticipated debut album, Birthplace.

The flamboyant world of Brighton in the 1880s and back-street life of the 1930s and 50s are the focus of two new books from community publisher QueenSpark Books.

While touring the UK in November 2016, American songwriter Amelia White viewed the bitterly divisive election season back home via the BBC, and from a promoter's attic began to complete the songs on her album, Rhythm Of The Rain. 

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….

Reading the wonderful new Ronnie Lane oral biography, Can You Show Me A Dream?, it would be easy for the reader to be left with the impression that Ronnie's life cycle had been a wild journey with a sad ending. But for Ronnie the journey hadn't ended. The letter had left the envelope, that's all.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  

The RPMs new single Let Things Happen raises the bar significantly for this young Brighton band. 
(c) Tom Sheehan 2018

Del Amitri return this summer for a UK tour, the celebrated Glaswegian band's first run of dates since 2014.

Albert Hammond Jr's latest 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. 

Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to become more responsible with their waste after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach. 

One-hundred years on from the first women in the country being granted the right to vote, Brighton Dome has been officially recognised as one of forty-one buildings across England that were at the centre of suffragette action.

Joan Armatrading is a woman of candour – not to mention can do. She gets straight to the heart of the matter, and she delivers.

The drama and magic of Glyndebourne Festival provide the inspiration for a new children’s book, The Mulberry Bees.

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