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Combine Manchester, the 80s, hypnotic funk, indie rock and acid house together, and you get Happy Mondays. The band who became known for being a “howl of innovation” and “purveyors of the non-stop party spirit.”
The product of working-class backgrounds in Salford, Happy Mondays were the sound of a generation, pioneering the “Madchester” sound of the late 1980s and 1990s. They were formed in 1980 by Shaun Ryder, a figure with Ian Brown-esque swagger, and would go on to run riot in the charts.
Their songs are synonymous with party culture and fast living, with a dash of pills and thrills thrown in for good measure. Iconic songs such as Step On, which coined the term “You’re twisting my melon, man”, made them legends in their own right. As their success grew, so did their notoriety for bad behaviour and, ultimately, their self destructiveness.
Following their initial split in 1993, the band went on to reform in various incarnations in 1999, 2004 and 2012. And, while their days of partying may now be behind them, the music of Happy Mondays remains in the minds of their fans as something you can’t quite categorise, but something you feel.