You’re twisting my melon man?! Yes, Happy Mondays really did make another Brighton appearance on their 30th Anniversary/Twenty Four Hour Party People Tour. Tonight has shown that even three decades on, the Mondays are still storming the field and living it up just as they did in their heyday.
No supports are needed tonight and the band walk on to a narrative from the infamous Shaun Ryder, the profanities are flying as the group all enter and open with ‘Loose Fit’ and already the crowd are getting rowdy and eager to let their energy out. This is only amplified when everyone’s favourite maraca player enters the stage. Bez is surely the only person in the country who has mastered the art of hyping a crowd without saying a word, he’s like a lovable mascot which the crowd have nothing but appreciation for. The track flows excellently and Shaun’s hushed tones are complimented by the power of fellow vocalist Rowetta Idah, arguably the strongest real talent of the group.
In typical fashion Shaun seems off his nut, as he slowly staggers around the stage his slurring and mumbles between songs are hilarious. If this were any other band, the crowd would have been furious at the sight, but intoxicants are such a key aspect of the Happy Mondays’ image that it would be strange for them not to be present. It is incredible that the band are still able to sell out such a prestigious and sizeable venue, which does demonstrate more than anything their audience dedication. It’s clear that many are reliving their teenage years in the room as the overwhelming feeling of nostalgia sets in.
It seems all are having a terrific time and the group continue to roll out the fan favourites, ‘Hallelujah’ and the very fitting ’24 Hour Party People’ of course make appearances, each only increasing the electricity to the climax which we all know is coming. Bez has managed to go the entire set without shaking a single one of his maracas and Shaun is still looking lost and confused on the setlist, but the crowd are loving every moment.
A unanimous roaring comes following a single statement: “You’re twisting my melon man!” and already the arms are in the air and flailing around. ‘Step On’ may have been a hit back in the day, but there is no doubt that it still holds up in today’s climate and will definitely be a memorable moment for many tonight. My only complaint for this evening is the set timings, originally booked as a two hour set, the band were really only on for just over half that time. The lack of a support made this even more apparent as it’s clear that many are still hungry for a few more tracks.
In short though, Happy Mondays’ are one hell of a band. 30 years on and they still have the energy, enthusiasm and hilarity to put on a show which will saw smiles all around a sell out room. I don’t think that the cult fandom the Mondays have will ever cease, and they’ve still got another few decades of touring left in them.