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


Shooshh is arguably Brighton's most popular beach nightclub. The pandemic left the club and its team with the constant challenge of reinventing itself to adapt to new rules wherever it was possible in order to survive.

Africa in the Lounge returns for another series of concerts drawing on musical traditions from across Africa. The next shows will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook from Ooosh! studios in Brighton, on 23 and 30 April.
Credit Erin Hambly

Drug Store Romeos formed at college in Farnborough when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie pinned an ad about finding a bassist for their new band to the school's notice board - Sarah replied and quickly proved herself a better vocalist than either of them.

Multi-award winning theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay are bringing their latest critically acclaimed production, The War Of The Worlds, to Worthing this May.

The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company has teamed up with Brighton based project Quarantine Kids Storytime to produce short form audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays. The collaboration aims to deliver classical content made accessible to young audiences and those new to the Bard.

Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) continue their audio, visual and digital exploration of America's most celebrated Outsider artist Henry Darger, with the next instalment of the project.

The registered arts charity Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has received two grants to help the organisation recover and reopen over the next few months. 
Credit Jamie MacMillian

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE took time out to explain what it's like to return for a second time as Guest Director, and what's in store for this year's very different, but as ever eclectic, Brighton Festival 2021.

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the album Utopian Ashes. 

Kavanagh are the epitome of unsigned, DIY rock'n'roll. With a fearsome live reputation, they have won two national Battle of the Bands competitions and have toured the UK. Based in Brighton, they featured on the I Am Not Your Slave compilation album of unsigned talent from the South East. 
Credit Taylor Jewell

In the final weekend of lockdown, Charleston invites audiences to tune in online for a bite-sized version of the annual Charleston Festival.
Credit Holly Whitaker

Drawing influence from a wide range of eras and genres, Brighton-based troupe Genn have released new EP Liminal. From the opening bass ostinato of its first track Feel to the hooky refrain of closer Falling Out, through rock'n'roll, psychedelia and funked-up, post-punk vibes, Liminal is a veritable rollercoaster journey.

Brighton, today, became the first UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown. 

Quintet Junodream - who play The Prince Albert, Brighton, later this year - possess a rare flair for infusing their immediately compelling alt-rock with an abundance of creative sonic embellishments

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