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Madchester summer revival to make our Mondays happy

AND so the revival merry-go-round continues apace.

The glory days, and indeed daze, of Madchester looks set to be the dominant sound of the summer with The Stone Roses headlining at the Phoenix Park and now the original line-up of Happy Mondays flogging their wares with fellow Lancastrians Inspiral Carpets in tow.

Although the Stone Roses had several magnificent songs to their name, as a live unit they were seriously hampered by the fact that frontman Ian Brown was possessed of a voice reminiscent of a badly beaten burro, so those who've forked out handsomely for the Phoenix Park can only pray that technology has progressed sufficiently to, ahem, rectify Mr Brown's problems regarding pitch.

No such problems beset the Happy Mondays however, given that Shaun Ryder delivered his stream of colourful lyrical imagery in a half-howl, half-drawl which reflected the drugged-out demeanour of its creator.


The Mondays somehow found themselves one of the most iconic bands of their generation and blazed brightest for two years from late '88 before tipping over into excess and disintegrating amid acrimony and drug abuse.

The highpoint came in November 1990 with the release of Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches, a hedonistic celebration of the rave culture which was about to crash and burn.

At their best Happy Mondays were possessed of a swagger and sense of danger and were utterly of their time.

>George Byrne

Happy Mondays play the Olympia Theatre on Monday and Tuesday