The Happy Mondays were one of Manchester's premier groups, drawing huge crowds for Factory Records' Haçienda. Their flowing mixture of funk, soul, and brit-pop was one of the highlights of the Madchester music scene, along with the Stone Roses' guitar-pop. 1990's Pills, Thrills, N Bellyaches remains as one of the genre's best ever albums and vaulted them from relative obscurity to druggie icons. Sadly, their reputation of being drug fiends, particularly in Shaun Ryder's case, lead to a multitude of problems, culminating in the band's break-up. Bez and Shaun later formed Black Grape in the mid-90s, and proved they still had their musical chops with the acclaimed It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah"
Following several ultimately disappointing reunions, the group got back together last summer and began recording a new album. A few months ago, the Happy Mondays announced their inclusion in April's Coachella fest, as well as a mini-tour. And now, reports have emerged that they're well on their way to completing their first LP in 14 years, which has yet to be titled. I'm a bit skeptical of this, given their turbulent history, but it could just be a nice surprise. Look out for a single in June.
04-29 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
05-22 Inverness, Scotland - Ironworks
05-23 Aberdeen, Scotland - Music Hall
05-25 Sheffield, England - Leadmill
05-26 Middlesbrough, England - Town Hall
05-27 Hull, England - Hull University
05-28 Cambridge, England - Junction
05-30 Northampton, England - Roadmender
05-31 Preston, England - 53 Degrees
06-01 Dudley, England - JB's
07-08 Manchester, England - Ritz
MP3: Happy Mondays - God's Cop
MP3: Happy Mondays - Bob's Yer Uncle
MP3: Happy Mondays - Step On