Manchester pop impresario Tony Wilson discovered the Mondays (then managed by Phil Saxe) at a battle of the bands contest held at his Hacienda nightclub. Their first album, Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), debuted in 1987. This was followed by Bummed in 1988, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches in 1990 produced by Paul Oakenfold and Yes Please! in 1992, produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. By the late 1980s, the Happy Mondays were an important part of the Manchester music scene and personified rave culture. Shaun Ryder fought against a serious drug problem which typified the scene and the era, except for the fighting part.
Musically, the band fused indie pop guitars with a rhythmic style that owed much to house music, funk, and northern soul. Much of their music was remixed by popular DJs, emphasizing the dance influences even further. In terms of style and dress, they crossed hippy fashion and ideals with 1970s glamour. Sartorially and musically, the band helped to encourage the psychedelic revival associated with acid house. One of their most popular songs was "Lazyitis (One Armed Boxer)", featuring a surreal duet between Ryder and Karl Denver.
Playing at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, The Happy Mondays were joined by special guests - the newly reformed Inspiral Carpets. Were you at the gig? Do you wish you were there? Leave a wink below and give your views on the Happy Mondays.