The summer of love never ended. 30 years on, the 24 hour party is still going strong: Happy Mondays are headlining Sunday night, main stage on the beach.
Formed in the 80s in Salford, Manchester, and growing out of a mutating acid house-fuelled Madchestah, Happy Mondays fast became legends of late ’80s and early ’90s dance club scene. The original line-up included Shaun Ryder on lead vocals, with brother Paul Ryder on bass, lead guitarist Mark Day, and drummer Gary Whelan. Mark ‘Bez’ Berry later joined the band as a dancer and percussionist. In the early ’90s, Rowetta joined the band to provide backing vocals, to complete the same line-up that will be playing at LMF.
In 1990, third album Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches went platinum in the UK selling more than 350,000 copies, marking them clearly as one of the era’s most influential bands. Late the same year, Paul McCartney said: ‘I saw the Happy Mondays on TV, and they reminded me of the Beatles in their ‘Strawberry Fields’ phase’.
Go find a melon to twist, pull on your Joe Bloggs jeans, and start practicing your Bez convulsions because it’s going to get messy. As the saying goes: ‘If you think you can remember Manchester in the 90s, you weren’t there.’ Don’t miss it this time round and expect excess all areas. So probably best to take the Monday off.